Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) started her match racing campaign last year in Medemblik during the Delta Lloyd Regatta. "We have come a long way" declares Skudina. "I can't believe we have started one year ago. We got our boats in February and trained with one of the top Russian match-racers. This made us progress, improving steadily at each regatta," Skudina and her team claimed the European Championship in early May after a close final with Lucy MacGregor (GBR). Skudina has qualified for the Gold round robin with 100% victories.
Four races were sailed back to back in the 49ers, the leadership changing in the Gold fleet. 2009 European Champions, Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) take the lead for the first time in the regatta on equal points with early leaders Nico Delle Karth and Nikolau Resch (AUT).
"We are sailing well again", explains Pietro Sibello "This year we have started every regatta with a disqualification at the start. Yesterday we were good enough to stay calm, concentrate on the shifts and stay close to the other boats. This series of OCS scores has made us doubt, and take unnecessary risks."
The 49ers are racing in Medemblik on two different race areas. Whilst it does make it difficult for the coaches to follow racing, most sailors appreciate it. "Today we raced four races back to back," continues Pietro Sibello.
"We can do it because we have two racing areas. We don't need to wait on shore while the other group races and we can also compete with the same weather conditions, which is fairer. I like to sail in Medemblik, it is the best regatta of the circuit for the 49ers, their are lots of boats, a great organisation and no wait!"
The top four keep their places in the Laser Radial fleet. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) claimed a fourth victory with top five scores. The other races were claimed by defending champion and Hyères' winner Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and Evi van Acker (BEL). The third race saw a close battle at the front between the Dutch and the Belgian.
"I made a stupid mistake on the beat, I tried to cover Evi, I went right but it didn't work out, Evi sailed away", explains Bouwmeester.
It was a hard day in the Laser class with most favourites scoring high points in at least one race. Tom Slingsby (AUS) enjoyed the windy conditions to take the lead from Matias del Solar (CHI) who suffered in the breeze. 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup winner, Nick Thompson (GBR) climbs to second overall with Julio Alsogaray (ARG) in third.
It was great fun on the water for the Finn sailors who finally experienced some of the best conditions since the start of the year. World number one, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) conserves the lead on equal points with early leader, Rafa Trujillo from Spain.
It is close racing in the 2.4mR with the top four boats within six points of each other. Thierry Schmitter (NED) has kept top place since day one. Damien Seguin (FRA) won the last race, and is in second overall, only two points from first. Two Brits, Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe are third and fourth.
"It was very close racing with Thierry and Megan" explains Damien Seguin. "It is good to have closed the gap with Thierry. Tomorrow will be a big fight with three races. The racing here is very challenging and it promises to be an interesting Worlds here next July!"
Gold medallist Paul Tingley (CAN) is enjoying racing in the Delta Lloyd Regatta "I like the short and steep waves. It does provide exciting and challenging races. There were many lead changes and I had a good spot from the back!"
The windy conditions suited the Australian team of Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page, scoring the best results in the 470 Men's division. Placed 14th after Thursday's light air races, the ISAF Sailing World Cup leaders gained 10 places to fourth overall.
"This is the first day with good wind for the whole season; it is good to stretch the back", jokes Malcolm Page! The Beijing Gold Medallist who has teamed up with Matthew Belcher after the Olympics and is combining a Farr 40 campaign with the 470. "We want to do all the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit regattas and the Farr 40 racing helps me to pay the bills. With most events in Europe we need this year to travel four times back and forth. We have spent nearly five months in Europe this year! We use these regattas to develop as a team and be well prepared for the Worlds."
Nic Asher and Elliott Willis (GBR) are sailing away from the fleet, increasing their lead to 20 points over Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela (ISR). "So far it's been an interesting regatta", says Asher. "We had quite light winds to start off with, we were pretty happy with our speed and we sailed pretty conservatively. It was the first day of gold fleet today and we had a bit of breeze. Again we were pretty fast, sailed pretty well again and managed to pull out a 20 point lead, so we're happy."
Italian team Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol take the lead in the Women's division with top four results including a victory. They are on equal points with Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer of Denmark. The Dutch team of Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout proved they love the breeze. The World Champions have taken two races and placed sixth. They are now only six points from the lead.
The 470's will finish their programme on Saturday with two last races before completing the Medal races at 1800hrs for the Men and 1920hrs for the Women.
The Norwegian team of Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen continue in their domination of the Star fleet with top two scores. Second place goes to Marin Lovrovic and Sinisa Mikulicic (CRO) and third to Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL).
The Star will also race their Medal race on Saturday at 1840hrs after two fleet races in the morning.
The RS:X results are not available at the time of going to press.
The Medal races will be broadcasted live on www.deltalloydregatta.tv with 3D tracking integrated in the footage.
The 2.4mR and Star fleet races can be followed on www.deltalloydregatta.org with 3D tracking and tracing.
Regular Twitter updates will keep everyone informed throughout the day. news, pictures and videos will be available daily on the event website and the Sailing World Cup Facebook site.
For more details visit the regatta website : www.deltalloydregatta.org
For the latest news, photos and videos, as well as Standings, event details and more, visit the ISAF Sailing World Cup website at www.sailing.org/worldcup