RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – LAST DAY OF FINALS
By David Minnis-Bell
Last day of the Finals, One race scheduled. The wind looked light. We waited until close to 14:00. And as before the men’s and women’s gold fleets were the first cab off the rank. 14:35 and the women were off and racing, the men having to wait a single postponement of around 10 minutes.
The conditions on Trentino course looked light. 80% of the fleet had track forward. Those who hit the corners capitalised. Marina Alabau(ESP) sailed out from the pack early. She went hard left in the straps and came in first to the top mark. Sailors who chose the centre lanes missed out. Li Ling(CHN) rounded second followed by Pauline Perrin(FRA). Current overall place holder Alessandra Sensini(ITA) rounded in seventh place. Bryony Shaw(GBR) and Antonia Frey(GRE) were caught way back in the pack. Bryony was able to find gaps and fight back to a reasonable position, Antonia wasn’t so lucky. Zofia Klepecka(POL) had a major drama. She some how got a small rock stuck in her mast track and was unable to push her mast track forward. Affectively cancelling her race. Alessandra Sensini continued to push forward through the leading group. Followed by Barbara Kendall.
A postponement flag was hoisted for about ten minutes. The wind went a little bit funky, but soon settled down. The pin end was favoured “AGAIN”. So 90% of the fleet slammed the right side, directly under the cliffs. Full speed planing in 15 knots, the start line definitely had open spaces yet some people still managed to be over at the start. The top guys not only blazed a trail clear of the fleet, Tom Ahley(NZL) and Miarczynski Przemek(POL) left everybody standing still. It was all all these two from start to finish. Tom crossed first closely followed by Miarczynski. Two French men found their legs Julien Quentel and Julien Bontemp got up to speed finishing 3rd and 4th. Joeri Van Dijk and Nick Dempsey ended up in the low teens. But still holding onto 4th and 5th overall.