After a day of rest for all competitors, Wednesday morning greeted the sailors with blue skies and the promise of one to 15 knots.
All 38 women started close to 1100 local time and it was Flavia TARTAGLINI (ITA)who found herself in a commanding position as she rounded first place a good 30 seconds in front of Wai Man CHAN (HKG). The rest of the fleet seemed to get stuck in some type of vortex of winds, and simply let these two girls shoot off to duel it out by themselves. Upwind mark rounding number two, saw CHAN cross TARTAGLINI and plane down wind. By the down wind slalom finish, TARTAGLINI 's fitness and mark rounding skills shone threw. She had not only overtaken but had stretched a lead to 60 metres by the finish. Third place went to 2005 ISAF Youth Worlds Champion Blanca MANCHON (ESP), closely followed by FREY in fourth, who in the last metres over took Angeliki SKARLATOU (GRE).
The second race of the day had a similar feel, the 'bang the corner gods' were all in favour of who dared. MANCHON went to the extreme and shot off to the right further than anybody, noticing the funnels of wind evident on that side. But this time was joined closely by Christine JOHNSTON (GBR), and Angelki SKARLATOU. These three continued the break away. MANCHON however never let down her guard and continued to increase her lead, whilst the main group continued a fierce battle. FREY meanwhile suffered her first poor race of the series, crossing the line in 19th.
Overall FREY immediately drops her 19th in race eight, and otherwise has scored nothing worse than a sixth so far. MANCHON's bullet lifts her to second overall, 13 points back, with Britain's Bryony SHAW in third.
The men's gold fleet started at 1300 with the same story of bang, bang, bang the corners and see who gets up on the plane first.
The first start saw the characteristic general recall. As everybody pushed, a bulge of 15 sailors caused a frenzy and the whole fleet had to come back. The second start was a lot cleaner, but most opted to start at the boat end only to tack on to port to get over to the land and get to the pressure. ISAF World Sailing Games gold medallist Maksym OBEREMKO (UKR) chose the right path and it paid big dividends. He drilled the crew around him. Only Joeri VAN DIJK (NED) and Tom ASHLEY (NZL) could keep up with him. These three seemed to just get all the lucky gusts and continued to build their lead. DEMPSEY then had a break from the bunch and stretched out a comfortable distance, but could not drag back the front three. There was no change in the last part of the race and OBEREMKO obviously happy with his win.
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© RS:X European Championships
DEMPSEY won all too easily, whilst VAN DIJK and KOKKALANIS rounded the last mark, pretty much locked into position. KOKKALANIS took the opportunity to do some freestyle and threw in a duck jibe for the ever present film crews. ASHLEY covered all comers, taking out a fourth.
Yesterday seemed to really give the top sailors in Alacati a chance to shine, whilst some of the other competitors were left woefully behind. One more day of the final series remains, before the Medal Races on Friday.
Overall DEMPSEY stretched out his lead to 16 points and today will be looking to reinforce his lead before the Medal Race. VAN DIJK has edged ahead of HUGUET in second place, with these three now looking odds on to finish on the podium. A little further down the fleet Olympic silver medallist from Athens and 1996 gold medallist Nikos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) had an impressive day, with a 10,16 score moving him up into the top ten in his first ISAF Graded event in the RS:X.
Men's Top Ten
|2||NED||Joeri VAN DIJIK||(11)||9||3||10||3||2||2||2||31|
|10||FRA||Nicolas LE GAL||10||(19)||5||23||8||24||7||6||83|
Women's Top Ten
|9||HKG||Wai Kei CHAN||(DNF)||23||7||20||6||1||9||8||74|
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