Photos © Icarus Sailing Media
Small changes at the top
The pattern seems to go like this. Absolute calm on arrival at the venue. Not a breath of wind. Then a hint of a breeze from the west and the east as the race committee wait between the two inshore course areas to see which direction will dominate. One wins out and the breeze builds to top out at 16 knots. Anyway that’s what happened for the last two days.
To spice things up a bit today, the sea was alive with ‘Portuguese Men of War’, a jelly fish with a particularly nasty sting. Happily these ‘marine predators’ did not cause the fleets any problems today although the safety plan put in place by the organisers has made provision for such an incident.
Marina Alabau [ESP] dominated the women’s fleet. Two bullets and a second yesterday. Two bullets and a third today. Now the only woman with a score in single figures – 6 – she has left the peloton to fight it out amongst themselves. Tuuli Pataja [FIN] has responded well. This morning was the first time that she has been on the podium at an important championship. She came close last year in Burgas, Bulgaria but not did not make the break through.
Today, she posted a 4-3-1 score line to move up the rankings to take over second place.
Maayan Davidovich [ISR], Blanca Manchon [ESP] and Olga Maslivets [UKR] went into the 6th race tied on points in the squabble for third place. It was Maayan who nailed it by posting a second. She now has a 3 point advantage over Blanca in fourth. Olga is now 10 points adrift in 5th.
She was late to the venue this morning, not feeling well but she was determined to go out and give everything to maintain her podium position.
Over in the men’s fleet. Przemyslaw Miarczynski [POL] and Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] have locked horns at the front of the fleet. Yesterday was Nimrod’s day but the advantage swung back to Pont today. He scored a 1-4-1 to claim the top spot. Nimrod lost his rhythm scoring an 8th in the first, a bullet in the second and a damaging 15th in the last. He’s still 8 points clear of 3rd placed Byron Kokalanis [GRE].
Looking forward to the business end of the regatta, the forecast is not encouraging. Light winds are forecast. One more big score will leave Nimrod preying for a 12th race when the second discard kicks in. Pont is in good shape. He’s not carrying any big scores out of the first 2 days
Pawel Tarnowski [POL] the current RS:X Youth European Champion, is in with a fighting chance of making the medal race in his first senior championships. Now in 12th, 2 points away from local hero, joao Rodrigues [POR] who is having a stinker of a regatta, he is ready to pounce when Richard Stauffacher [SUI] puts in one more bad score.
Racing resumes on Monday. First start 1100hrs.
RS:X European Windsurfing Championships Microsite