2007 RS:X EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY THREE
Winds of up to twenty eight knots and high seas created a new leader, and added high drama to today’s single race
Limassol, Cyprus- It was a cloudy and windy day in Cyprus, not exactly the light air that had been forecasted. Instead a solid 25 knots was pumping onshore shortly before the 11:00 start for the men’s fleet. An area of low pressure had swung into the area and was substantially deeper than expected. The swell and chop also built up very quickly to produce very challenging conditions.
Competitors were literally ‘flying’ downwind with fins fully clear of the water before disappearing into troughs only to re-emerge again a few seconds later, an airborne ‘speed blur’! It was totally ‘full on’ for the racers who came ashore with ‘wicked’ stories of heroic efforts to hold on while hitting speeds of up to 30 knots. A few competitors stepped it up today and dominated in the radical conditions.
In the men’s blue fleet 2003 Mistral World Champion, Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) won with room to spare and took back the overall lead from young gun Nicolas Le Gal (FRA). Le Gal had a torrid time finishing 15th, now happily discarded, and so clings on to second place for now.
The other young gun, Fabian Heidegger (ITA) who did well yesterday, also sailed his throw out finishing today’s blue fleet race in 15th, but still hangs onto third overall. JP Tobin (NZL), João Rodrigues (POR) and Ivan Pastor (ESP) are all square in fourth overall, the three sailed top five performances today. JP who rounded the bottom mark in second place during the race, fell on the jibe in the tricky conditions, but still recovered quickly enough to finish fourth. Not bad at all!
Next to start were the women. The breeze was building still further. Up went the ‘Y’ Flag and on went their lifejackets. The growing seas looked pretty gnarly! Straight out of the trap was the heroine of the day, Lucy Horwood (GBR) who reveled in the conditions using her vast Formula windsurfing experience to take the bullet. Alessandra Sensini (ITA) took 2nd and picked up some points on the overall score board where she sits in 3rd just behind Barbara Kendall (NZL) who finished 8th in today’s race. Regatta leader Marina Alabau (ESP) sailed her discard with an OCS but retains the overall lead.
Everyone has a well-earned rest day tomorrow, some to re-group and plan strategy, others to chill. The battle for the top step on the podium is well and truly on. Points are extremely close. Just about anyone in the top five could take it. The men’s fleet will now be split into Gold and Silver Fleets. Racing resumes on Tuesday.
Stay tuned for the latest information coming soon to www.rsxclass.com/europeans.html including fantastic pictures of the day.