Unlike day one, when tactical smarts were the name of the game, Thursday's strong weather put a premium on crew work, boat handling and smooth manoeuvers. In addition, the race committees on both courses opted to hold short 3-leg races making them even more physically demanding.
Ekaterina Skudina from Russia was able to hold on to first place in Group A despite a great performance by Lucy Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and, in particular, Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (DEN). After a below par start on Wednesday with just two wins, Meldgaard swept all away with five bullets, also beating the world's number one match racer Lucy Macgregor and climbing to second overall on tiebreak. According to Meldgaard, today's success was a question of sharpening their skills on the Scholtz22 yachts. It cost them the first three races of the Round Robins but then they led to a seven race winning streak!
As the day passed, the breeze died down and Group B was affected. Only two of the five scheduled flight were raced and Rita Gonçalves from Portugal came on top with five wins, tied with Italy's Cristiana Monina.
In Group A, Pierre-Antoine Morvan, the French match racer, made a superb comeback from a 3-2 score and finished on top of leaderboard with seven wins, tied with Finn Staffan Lindberg. The Frenchman qualified first on tiebreak due to his two victories against Lindberg. Despite the stronger breeze, Morvan stated that he constantly had to be aggressive and opportunistic with the constant changes in wind direction.
Similar to the Women's division, Group B of the Open division saw the last two flights cancelled. The undisputed leader in this group, and only unbeaten so far in the European Championship, is Mads Ebler from Denmark. Yet, as Ebler points out, the results don't reflect the tight and close races he had to win and two or three of them could have very easily gone the other way. According to Ebler, one of the strong points of his team in the lighter winds of the opening day was to continuously discuss the tactics onboard, sail relaxed and never panic when things seem to go wrong.
Racing will resume on Friday with the completion of the Round Robins for Group B and depending on weather conditions the organization will decide on the schedule.
Set on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance and located a couple of miles from the meeting point of the Austrian, German and Swiss borders, picturesque Hard is an ideal venue. Racing takes place a few dozens of meters from the shore, giving the public the chance to be as close as possible to the action.
GROUP A (10/10 flights) GROUP B (7/10 flights)
1. Skudina,RUS, 8-2 1. Gonçalves, POR, 5-2
2. Meldgaard, DEN, 7-3 2. Monina, ITA, 5-2
3. Macgregor, GBR, 7-3 3. Hahlbrock, GER, 4-3
4. Groeneveld, NED, 4-6 4. Bekatorou, GRE, 3-4
5. Dekleva, SLO, 3-7 5. Bossard, FRA, 2-5
6. Kliba, CRO, 1-9 6. Cameselle, ESP, 2-5
GROUP A (10/10 flights) GROUP B (8/10 flights)
1. Morvan, FRA, 7-3 1. Ebler, DEN, 8-0
2. Lindberg, FIN, 7-3 2. Pasini, ITA, 5-3
3. Arbuzov, RUS, 6-4 3. Monnin, SUI, 5-3
4. Meister, GER, 5-5 4. Marinho, POR, 4-4
5. Spitzayer, AUT, 3-7 5. Cherry, GBR, 2-6
6. Stanczyk, POL, 2-8 6. Den Boer, NED, 0-8
For further information please visit www.matchracehard.blogspot.com