It was an exciting last day at the fifth leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Medemblik.
The breeze picked up to about 15 knots, sometimes gusting up to 18 knots during the match race finals. The remaining six medal races were sailed and Le Berre's team from France and Macgregor's team from Great Britain had a close battle for the match racing title, won by the French trio.
The event leaders changed constantly during the Finn medal race sailed in a good breeze. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), seventh at the top mark had to sail back through the fleet to secure the title which changed hands several times during the race. Marin Misura (CRO) sailed in front throughout the whole race and went on to increase his lead before the finish to take third overall. The double European champion, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) gained valuable places to finish in third place and take gold. Rafael Trujillo (ESP) also had to battle from the back of the pack to hold on to silver.
Women's Match Racing
The semi finals were raced on Sunday morning. The British team of Lucy Macgregor won 3-0 against Bekatorou of Greece whilst Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) won 3-0 against Echegoyen of Spain. Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) teams met in the finals, for the first time in the regatta for a best of five flights.
Both teams won two races each with the title to be decided on the last match. After a good start Macgregor took the lead until the last leg when the French team enjoyed a big gust to sail away to the finish and collect their first ISAF Sailing World Cup victory.
The happy trio of Anne-Claire Le Berre, Alice Ponsar and Myrtille Ponge didn't hide their joy,
"This victory means a lot for us. This is the first time that a French team wins a Match Racing event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup. This is the result of all the team work and hard training over winter. It is also very special to win against the British who have been undefeated until today. We know that to win against their team we needed to give it all. Our objective was to get to the semi-finals, so everything after was a bonus. Today we were confident with our manoeuvres, boat handling and speed. Our motivation did the rest."
RS:X overall wins for Miarczynski and Manchon
The wind was very light when the RS:X Men started their medal race on Sunday morning. Regatta leader Przemek Miarczynski (POL) won the race on the line to take his first title of the season. Andreas Carioulou (CYP) dominated the medal race but Miarczynski gradually caught up to pass him in the last few meters.
"I was waiting for the gusts to catch up with Andreas. On the last run, I went to the right and did my job! It had been difficult racing, both physically and mentally. The light wind meant pumping constantly and looking out for the shifts and pressure."
Going into the medal race in fifth position, Nick Dempsey (GBR) took third place in the medal race and silver in the regatta, with Nimrod Mashiah (ISR) keeping bronze, only one point from Piotr Myszka (POl) who lost his earlier second place to fourth.
Blanca Manchon (ESP), undefeated since the start of the regatta, wins the Delta Lloyd Regatta in the Women's RS:X class after a medal race sailed at the back of the fleet:
"Today I had to sail with Zofia Keplacka (POL) to make sure I stayed in front of her. It didn't matter that I sailed in front or at the back. She is the only one that could threaten me!"
The Pole takes silver and Beijing 2008 bronze medallist, Bryony Shaw (GBR) claims the bronze. Marina Alabau (ESP) won the medal race.
Aussies win 49er & Laser classes
The Delta Lloyd Regatta marked the successful return to international competition for Australian world champions. Tom Slingsby has dominated the Laser fleet in the Dutch regatta and takes gold after an epic medal race. Positions changed regularly with the light and shifty wind; disqualifications given by the jury for excessive kinetics added to the drama and were decisive in the overall results. Lukka Radelic (CRO) collected his second disqualification and had to retire from the race. Javier Hernandez (ESP) lost the lead of the medal race and the silver medal on the last run after collecting his first 'yellow' flag. The Spaniard had to settle for bronze leaving the silver for Matias del Solar (CHI).
"With these conditions I had decided to play it safe. I was worried to get flagged as well" explains Slingsby. "I like the conditions in Medemblik. I always sail well here. It's my favourite spot."
Drama in the 49er medal race
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) got the best out of the medal race in the 49ers. Placed in second position behind Austrians Nico Delle Karth and Nikolau Resch, the Australians took the lead of the race at the bottom mark when the regatta leaders capsized. Their misfortune benefited the Australians and the New Zealanders Burling and Tuke who took first and second in the medal race and the regatta. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen retain their title won last year.
Bouwmeester dominates the medal race in the Laser Radials
Local favourite Marit Bouwmeester (NED) finished her strong performance at this year's Delta Lloyd Regatta in style. She won the medal race and added a fifth bullet to her series. Evi Van Acker was her biggest threat. After the starting gun, the Belgian number four on the ISAF World Rankings tried her luck on the right side of the course, as a big shower was coming in from there. Bouwmeester decided differently:
"I did not expect the pressure to build up that quickly, so I stayed with my gust."
Bouwmeester took an early lead, whereas Van Acker came sixth around the top mark. Her Dutch rival maintained her first position and won the regatta.
"Winning a World Cup is cool, but it is not my main objective. It is still a long way to London. I am happy with the experience and learning points of this week. It was good to sail the medal race under pressure."
Van Acker won silver and Veronika Fenclova (CZE) bronze.
2.4mR duel decided in protest room
The Paralympic 2.4mR class sailed one last race. Current IFDS World Champion and title defender Thierry Schmitter (NED) had a two point lead over Frenchman Damien Seguin. Schmitter finished one spot ahead of him in third position and was going to win the 2010 Delta Lloyd Regatta. However, the 2004 Paralympic Champion and 2008 silver medallist Seguin protested him. On the run, the two of them sailed next to each other with Schmitter to leeward. Seguin luffed and Schmitter had to stay free and followed, but his boom touched the French 2.4mR. The Dutchman lost the protest and therefore the overall victory to Seguin. Schmitter: "It is a pity to finish a regatta this way, but that detracts nothing from my performance on the water."
Helena Lucas (GBR) takes bronze in Medemblik.
For full results and more images visit the regatta website : www.deltalloydregatta.org
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