Strong Winds Big Waves Welcome Sailors In Palma
Don't worry, it's attached
©Martinez Studio / Sofia MAPFRE
ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma
Sailing got underway at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma - Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE with wild winds and wicked waves pushing the fleets that got out onto the race course.
The 49er had a tough day with only the yellow fleet getting racing in before a postponement for the day. The British team of David Evans and Edward Powys mastered the heavy weather with a victory and a third place. However with a large contingent of Danish teams have had their word say after race day one.
Last year's winner, Jonas Warrer (DEN) and new crew Peter Lang (DEN), and Allan Norregaard with Anders Thomsen (DEN) placed in the top ten in the first race, and took the first two places in the second.
With an Olympic medal in 2008 and 2012, Denmark has put its trademark on skiff sailing. In Palma, the Danish 49ers teams are among the favourites with Warrer defending his title with Lang. They have both won an Olympic medal with Warrer taking Gold in Beijing and Lang, the Bronze at London 2012.
After a strong day in the breeze, Danish 49er coach Peter Hansen explains their success, "The 49er project has started as soon as the skiff was selected for the Sydney Olympic Games! We have built up a basis with lots of teams and they have been working hard, sharing and progressing together. We keep adding new and younger teams and they learn from the others. It is a good way to keep growing our potential."
On seeing the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 medallists part ways Hansen said, "It was a logical choice. We believe that changing crew increase the learning curve. Allan [Norregaard] and Peter [Lang] had decided to part after the London Olympics; and it was the same situation for Jonas and Soren Hansen. However, we left it up to the sailors to decide"
Warrer shares his coach's comments, "I have sailed with four different crews in the 49ers, and so for me it is a way to improve and to keep learning. Peter is young, full of energy and super-fast in the boat. It is also interesting for me to learn from him after he won the selection and a medal in London.
"We are a good combination and trained a lot in Palma since the start of February. Palma is our first event together and so far it is going well. If we don't make any mistake we can win it again." On his main opponents the Dane added, "The British are strong as they proved today, and of course Allan and his new crew. We are all good friends in the Danish squad, when we train together and on land but on the water there is no mercy."
The 49erFX didn't have the opportunity to race and reveal their leaders today with unsuitable conditions The Danish 49erFX team is following the same recipe as the 49ers. "We have started with five teams and they are all training with the guys. It is working well. The girls are learning fast, and it is creating a good dynamic," explained Danish head coach Thomas Jacobsen.
In the Women's 470 the British women dominated in the breeze and Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh Mcintyre have a clean score sheet with two race wins. the 470 Women with a clean score. "It was pretty full-on for the first day, but good though. We were pretty fast on the racecourse so that made things quite simple and then we just played it quite simply. We were just trying to do the basic stuff well."
Alison Young in the Laser Radial has been just as impressive with two victories. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Sarah Gunni (DEN) are second and third on equal points with a fourth and a first place. They are closely followed by French sailors taking the next four places.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) and Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstaedter (AUT) share the lead in the Men's 470 with two race wins apiece. The World #1 and #2 crews will enjoy going head-to-head when the top sailors join together.
2011 European and World Champion Giles Scott (GBR) got back into the Finn swing immediately with a race win. London 2012 bronze medallist took the second race win and is tied with Scott atop of the Finn pile.
ISAF World Sailing Laser Rankings leaders Tom Burton (AUS) and Philip Buhl (GER) are leading the Laser competition with Great Britain's Martin Evans holding strong tied at the top with the world's top two. Buhl had a perfect day with two race wins whilst Burton discards a DNC and Evans discards an 11th place.
Toni Wilhelm (GER), Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Ricardo Santos (BRA) are leading the Men's RS:X fleet with the German notching up two race wins in the big breeze. Maayan Davidovich (ISR) is continuing her good form after winning ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami with a race victory. She takes the lead with her discard from World #1 Flavia Tartaglini (ITA).
The forecast for the second day of racing is for a 15 knots North Westerly breeze and will hopefully the Nacra 17, 49erFX and 2.4mR sailors to the party.