2007 RS:X EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY ONE TRIO
With 10-15 knots winds, it was a perfect day of racing in Cyprus, with a three-race shoot out
Limassol, Cyprus- Day one of the 2007 RS:X Europeans Championships has gone off without a hitch, and leaders Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) and Barbara Kendal(NZL) showed that experience has won the day. Today’s breeze was a bit shiftier and cloudier than the commonly cloudless Cyprus, with the breeze turning right close to the shore, it was a race to port, with speed and timing defining characteristics of the day. Two fully planing races were held sharp at 11 AM then another one was held after lunch, giving competitors time to retune and prepare for the changing lighter winds for the third race.
On the men’s course the race was to the right and in group yellow, “Pont” Przemyslaw (POL) led the charge with a great start on the first race securing the bullet. In the blue group it was a tough fight involving Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE), JP Tobin (NZL) and João Rodrigues (POR). Nikos said that he had had a tough morning “as it wasn’t the typical wind of Cyprus” but still was able to pull a, X and Y. JP Tobin says he was, “dicing it out” with the rest of the close group that landed him a bullet in the first race. Staying very consistent was João with a 2 and 4 in the morning races, choosing to go hard right both races. A great start in the first race saw him leading at the top mark. Gal Fridman, (ISR) 2004 Olympic Champion, was happy with his day of being consistently in the top five, except the first race. He’s lost a bit of weight recently which he explains is why he is “passing people much faster downwind.”
In the sequence of third races, the wind decided to back off a bit to around 10 knots. Half of the blue men’s fleet opted to leave their masts at the front of the track to assist their efforts to get onto the plane. Somehow, the leaders made the transition and pulled away slowly. Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE) lead the charge to take the win with another veteran João Rodrigues (POR) hot on his heals, in close second. The yellow fleet followed suit and opted for mast forward in the track, however the leaders powered around the course in their own private war with their masts at the back of the track the entire time. Nicolas Le Gal (FRA) relished in the tricky conditions with a bullet that puts him in fourth overall.
On the women’s side, experience blended with new blood, leading by one point is Barbara Kendal (NZL) over Marina Alabau (ESP). Barbara was “very happy with her day” winning the first race in style, follow by second position on the next race and a third in the third. Marina explained, “well I am happy with today, I went close to the shore upwind, and had great speed, without too much work.” Marina won the last two races hands down, and made it look easy. Another favorite, Bryony Shaw (GBR) was close but still with work to do to make it back on the podium from last year’s second place, finishing 6th and 11th making her 16th overall. Toni Frey also had a great day bringing herself in third overall, and very close to second place Marina.
Tomorrow calls for more 10-15 knot sea breezes and two races are on the schedule, leaving one more race to be sailed before the group splits into gold and silver fleet for the men. Many sailors relished today’s planning conditions, while other light wind specialists might have to wait another day or two before they can show off their expertise. A close race now for sure, so stay tuned and look for continued reporting and pictures at www.rsxclass.com/europeans.html