In the women's racing Dorota STASZEWSKA (Gaastra, Starboard) consolidated her opening victory yesterday with two further wins and a second. Hot on here heals in second is Swiss all rounder Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) who won the opening race of the day with Christine JOHNSTON (Gaastra, Starboard) now in third.
Yesterday's racing took place in westerly winds blowing between 7 and 12 knots and was watched by thousands of enthusiastic Polish spectators.
The first men's race of the day saw an excellent victory for Argentinean sailor Gonzalo Costa HOEVEL (Neil Pryde, Starboard) who stormed off the start line with blistering speed ahead of fellow Australian racers Steve ALLEN (Neil Pryde, Starboard) and Phil MCGAIN (Gaastra). The pecking order stayed the same throughout the race with Andrea CUCCHI picking up fourth and Sam IRELAND (Neil Pryde, Starboard) of Canada taking the fifth slot.
The next two races were dominated by twenty seven year old Italian racer Andrea CUCCHI. The Italian was on hot form and led both races from start to finish hitting blistering speeds throughout the course. In race number two fellow Italian Patrik DIETHELM (F2) was also sailing with phenomenal board speed and took the runner up slot with Micah BUZIANIS (Mistral, North) of America taking third.
In the last race of the day Cucchi was once again first off the grid but this time was chased by Gonzalo Costa HOEVEL and Kevin PRITCHARD. Once again the sailing order stayed the same for the duration of the race with Buzianis taking fourth and Miarczynski back in fifth.
Andrea Cucchi (Starboard, Neil Pryde) said <1>"I had really good starts and I think I have at least the same speed as everyone else. It was helping a lot to have a good start because the upwind leg today was really short. It was not really tactical because you just needed to go into the beach, tack and then straight out to the mark. It is not so difficult to hold onto the lead once you have made the first mark. "
In the last two races I was clear all the way so it was really easy to control the fleet underneath me. I am happy because I was in bed for four days before the event with a bug. I only just started eating again today.
The starts were really hard because there are so many people and even twenty seconds before the start everybody is just standing. Right before the green flag everybody starts to pump. The swells are quite high and if you get stuck behind one it is impossible to get planning. My tactic was to come from behind with speed and find the emptiest spot on the starting line. I don't care if it was a good place to start I just go through the gap"
Last years winner in Poland Steve ALLEN (Neil Pryde, Fanatic) has started badly after the first two days and is currently back in ninth.
Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) "I have had better starts at a regatta. It is really tricky sailing and I haven't had too much luck out there so far. Yesterday I had three perfect starts but all those races were general recalls. The one start that counted I had a bad one and then went on the wrong side of the course.
Today I had a killer start in the first race and they called it off for lack of wind. I was miles ahead. In the next race I hit a sand bank but still finished second and in the third race I made another mistake. I tried to make the downwind mark in one go, I pumped so hard I had no more power to fight the rest of the race. I have to clear my head and hope for one day with solid consistent winds and I get a rhythm going or something. The speed I saw Cucchi going today in the last two races was pretty impressive. If these conditions continue it is going to be hard to get up there. Last year I was in a similar position at this stage so anything is possible and I won. You never know anything can happen. "
The women's racing was dominated by Dorota STASZEWSKA (Gaastra, Starboard) who won the first and third races with Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland winning race number two. Dorota is a favourite with the spectators and was literally swarmed by the crowds after her race victories. She now has three wins and a second after four races and looks like she is once again going to be the dominating force here in Poland. Jaggi and Christine JOHNSON (Gaastra, Starboard) are both still in the running although the battle for second is extremely tight.
With two days of official racing remaining both men's and women's divisions are still wide open. The forecast for wind is looking excellent and no doubt the racing results will go down to the wire on Saturday. Huge parties have also been organized for both Friday and Saturday night so it looks like we are going to be in for a busy few days as the competition reaches its climax.
Top Ten After 4 Races
|4||ARG||Gonzalo COSTA HOEVEL||BFDx||0,7||13,0||2,0||15,7|