#sailDLR2014 – Dublin Moth sailor Rory Fitzpatrick lies tenth overall after tricky winds dominated the third day of racing at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland.
The day looked perfect for sailing, but the word from the sailors coming shore was of shifty, gusty winds that kept everyone on their toes through the day.
Fitzpatrick's Irish team mates on the Isselmeer at Medemblik include 49er pair Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern in 11th place, Finn Sailor Robert O'Leary in 13th place, Laser man James Espey in 14th, and John Twomey eighth in the Sonar. Dublin's Jade O'Connor lies eighth in the kitesurf event. Full results here.
Forecasts of a significant drop in the wind in the afternoon were luckily wrong, and while the wind did decrease from the 15-18 knots in the morning there was still a healthy breeze late in the afternoon when the Moths were finishing their final race of the day. And the sun shone down on the 350 sailors from 49 nations all day long. It was a great day to be sailing.
Megan Pascoe (GBR) had a perfect day in the 2.4 mR with two race wins. Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens (NED) in the women's 470, Nicholas Heiner (NED) in the Laser, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the Laser Radial, Phillip Kasueske (GER) in the Finn, Zofia Klepacka (POL) in RS:X women, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Burrell (GBR) in the Skud 18 and Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) in the Sonar all maintained their leads.
There were new leaders in the men's 470 with Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP), in the 49er with Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac (CRO), in the Nacra with Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), in the RS:X men's with Louis Giard (FRA).
Today was also the first day for the two demonstration events, the Kitesurfers and the Moths. Both fleets enjoyed showing off what they could in waters off Medemblik.
A second and a third place today was enough for Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) to take the overall lead in the 470 men. Barreiros commented, "Today was difficult because the wind was nice, but so shifty. Also the first mark was close to the beach. Today we are happy at the end with a second and a third. Our first day here was really bad, when we collected 24 points, but tomorrow we will aim for top five and try and keep first overall."
"We are using new sails here and I need to test them at a regatta before the Europeans. It's different to test in training and a regatta. But I am very happy with the new sails, especially the spinnaker."
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) dropped to second after picking up a black flag disqualification (BFD) in the first race, and then placing tenth in the second. Patience said, "It was a tricky start. The flag and the hooter were not timed the same and we had set our watch at clearly the wrong time, so we were just over a metre too early, but it was our misjudgement."
"In the last race we were in good control, and then the race went from pretty big gusts up to 17 knots down to suddenly high wiring at about 7 knots and when it does that, when you have created so much leverage planing, you are really exposed, and we just got it wrong. We were in the wrong place. And then when you're not planing you just can't get back. A small error turned out to be huge in terms of numbers, so a bit frustrating."
Giulio Desiderato and Andrea Trani (ITA) also picked up a BFD to drop to third. The second race of the day was won by Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson (RSA). Hudson said, "It was nice that we got some breezy conditions. It made a bit of a change and we enjoyed that. In the first race we had a good start and were in a great spot but we broke our vang, and had to fix that in the middle of the race and it cost us a lot, but we managed to get back to eighth. So that wasn't too bad.
"In the second race we had a similar start and strategy and it went very well and we ended up leading at the top mark. Although it was fairly breezy the wind was really up and down, so it was absolutely critical to stay in the big pressure. That made life quite difficult defending, but we did a pretty good job with a lot of experienced, high quality guys on our tail. We were very happy to close out the win."
For Jim and Hudson, the Delta Lloyd Regatta marks three years since they first sailed together. "The Delta Lloyd Regatta marks the anniversary of when we started sailing together here in 2011 and we like to come back here because it reminds us where we started."
Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens (NED) won the first race and then placed fourth in the second to maintain their lead. Broekhuizen said, "We had an OK day. The first race was pretty windy and the second it decreased a bit. It's like paradise now, windy and sunny. We are still in a process learning a lot. Our expectation was not to win here, we are just expecting to learn a lot, and that's our focus. We're not really focussing on the results, though it would be nice to win."
Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) are still in second after a 6, 2 today. Kyranakou said, "It was a challenging day because the wind was shifting every two minutes, with many pressure differences. In the first race we had to come back at the start because we were over. And then we needed to catch up a lot. We didn't quite make top five, which is always our goal, but we were close. In the second race we had some speed problems, but we caught up with tactics and a good downwind to second, so that was good. We are happy with the week. Of course we are still making a lot of mistakes, so we want to improve a lot. You are never good enough."
"We are showing, that with our sparring partners Michelle and Marieke, that we have trained well recently and it's good to see that we are closer together and we are beating the rest of the fleet. It's good to see we have both made so much progress and the programme we have together is making us both better and that is very positive."
Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) are still third after a 3, 8 but the points are now very close. The second race was won by Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart (GBR). Burnet said, "It was quite a shifty race but we got a good start at the pin end and had good speed up the first beat. We worked our way up with the shifts and pressure, and rounded in front of everybody and held that for the rest of the rest, which was a bit tricky as it was so shifty, but managed to keep the lead."
"We've had a bit of time off, so it's important for us to get back into it and do some racing. It's the best way to learn really. And we ended the Dutch girls winning streak today."
There is a new leader in the 49er fleet with Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac (CRO) moving three points clear after another three races were sailed. Former leaders Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) had a high score day, but only dropped to second while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) fared better to move up to third.
John Pink and Stuart Blithell (GBR) dominated the first two races with two bullets, while Frederico Alonso and Arturo Alonso (ESP) won the third race of the day.
After winning the first race Przemyslaw Mirczynski (POL) slipped up with two mid fleet scores to drop to fifth. Louis Giard (FRA) had the best day with a 3, 5, 1 to move into a narrow lead over Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED). The second race was won by third overall Piotr Myszka (POL).
Zofia Klepacka (POL) solidified her overall lead with two race wins and a second place to take a six point lead after eight races. Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) won the third race of the day to move up to second overall while three top four positions keeps Lilian de Geus (NED) firmly still in the race, sandwiched between the four Polish sailors.
The 35 Nacra sailors produced the expected spectacle with hulls flying, crashes and even a breakage as the mast on the boat of Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh (GBR) came down after a capsize. Up to that point they had been having a great week.
Despite posting a 3, 22, 10, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) moved into the overall lead, overtaking Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA). Darren Bundocck and Nina Curtis (AUS) took a race win to stay in third. The other race wins went to Audrey Ogereau and Matthieu Vandame (FRA) and Flora Laugier and Valentin Bedllet (FRA).
Phillip Kasueske (GER) maintains his overall lead with a 3, 4, though it is now down to a single point from Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Jake Lilley (AUS) is now up to third, after he and Postma both picked up a first and second today in the stronger winds.
Lilley said, "We had a bit of wind today and it was much nicer to be able to use our speed a bit more. I think the biggest change today was that so far PJ and myself have been sailing too conservatively, and these kids have been getting round us on the corners. We changed it today and were a bit more aggressive. In the second race PJ and I both came off the pin. We were being quite bold, but the wind went right and we were back in the fleet again. But this time we managed to fight through the fleet for a 1, 2 finish."
Despite Oscar flag being displayed for free pumping on the downwinds, Postma picked up a yellow flag for having his boom in the water while pumping in the second race, which he admits probably cost him a second race win.
Lilley continued, "Each day we have been up the front, but what's been happening is that on the second beat these kids have been punching out from us while we are still kind of sailing up the middle because that's what you do in the bigger fleets. Anyway, it's something different and heaps to learn. And this eight race series format is quite interesting. With a small fleet it brings a different aspect to the racing."
"It was pretty nice today again. The last three days have been glamour, and definitely the best weather we have had so far this season out of any of the regattas."
Nicholas Heiner (NED) started the day by winning his third race of the week and then placed eighth in the second to end the day with a seven point lead. Sam Meech (NZL) is still proving to be the best of the chasing Kiwis, while Andy Malony (NZL) remains in third, though on equal points with the next two boats.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) continues to lead the Laser Radial fleet though she didn't have things all her own way. Alicia Cebrian Martinez de Lagos (ESP) remains in second with Evi van Acker (BEL) in third. The race wins went to fourth placed Isabella Bertold (CAN) and van Acker.
After six races there is just five points separating the top three boats in the three man keel boat. Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) still lead from Colin Harrison, Jon Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) and Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR). Race wins went to the Norwegian and Australian teams.
There is just one point in it in the Skud fleet after Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) produced two bullets in the increased wind today, while regatta leaders Alexandra Rickham and Niki Burrell (GBR) picked up two second places. Vera Voorbach and Jan Rein van Essenveld (NED) remain in third, eight points adrift of the leaders.
Megan Pascoe (GBR) looks to be running away with the 2.4mR class after two more race wins today, to extend her lead to eight points over Helena Lucas (GBR). Matt Bugg (AUS) is in third, another four points adrift.
Pascoe said on her day, "It was a very good day for me with two wins and it was quite breezy at times. The first race really quite windy with shifts from the right. It was mainly a speed race which I seemed to win. Downwind was quite fun playing on the waves. Otherwise an uneventful race."
"The second race was lighter but choppy as usual. It was more tricky with a lot more shifts and boats coming back from the left and the right. The gusts were also a lot more shifty. Some had gusts and some weren't so that made it much trickier. But there were five or six of us up there. Every time someone tacked it looked like they were winning and then the next person tacked and they looked like they were winning. But I got a nice shift at the bottom of the second beat and that gave me the lead for the rest of the race."
The Kite and the Moth were both began racing today as demonstration events at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. The 21 kites sailed a series of five or six person round robin heats through the day. After five sets of races, Oliver Bridge (GBR) is tied on points with Florian Gruber (GER), with Alejandro Climent Hernandez (ESP) just two points back in third.
Chris Rashley (GBR) won three of the four races in the Moth fleet, with Ben Paton (GBR) picking up three second places and then a win in the final race. The British sailors made a top three with Tom Offer (GBR) finishing the day with a third place to move into third place overall.