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World Cup Final in Santander - Day 3

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 8 Jun 2017 23:10 BST 4-11 June 2017

Sailing's 2017 World Cup Series Final reached its mid-point on Thursday, as sailors continue to fight for position across the ten Olympic and Open Kiteboarding events in Santander, Spain.

The competition in Santander has been ferocious with Olympic medallists, World Champions and many of the world's leading sailors aiming to reach Saturday's live Medal Races and to be in with a chance at claiming a medal.

Thursday's racing saw exceptional sailing conditions across all the racing areas. An 11-16 knot breeze, gusting 25 knots, tested the sailors.

An interesting fight is developing at the front of the Women's One Person Dinghy fleet between Belgium's Evi van Acker and Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom.

The pair, both Olympic medallists, are fighting tooth and nail with minimal separation.

Three points split the pair and they're enjoying the battle, "It's always exciting to compete with Evi because she is really good, she fights a lot and wants to win," commented Rindom. "I think it's great fun to compete against her and I am looking forward to the next couple of days.

Van Acker echoed her rival, "She is a good sailor and always has been. It is really cool to have good rivalry with Anne-Marie."

The rivalry seems to bring out the best in the pair. Van Acker snapped up a fourth and a first and is on nine points and Rindom is on 12 points after a third and second. They have opened up a good advantage over Vasileia Karachaliou, winner of the American World Cup who has plenty of sailors chasing her down.

Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) held on to his lead in the Men's One Person Dinghy, Laser, after a 12th, which he discards and a sixth. Charlie Buckinham (USA), Philipp Buhl (GER) and Pavlos Kontides (CYP) remain in the hunt.

Brazilian Women's RS:X Windsurfer Patricia Freitas continued her form from the previous day's racing with a 2-3-6 scorecard. Freitas was relaxed ashore after racing and commented, "It was good, I maintained my first position and extended my lead by two points.

"It was a tricky day with lot of gusts and shifty conditions but we were lucky that the wind kept picking up. The weather was beautiful but it got chilly towards the end."

Although she felt the cold, Freitas seems to be warming up and has a six point advantage over American World Cup winner Yunxiu Lu (CHN).

Kiran Badloe (NED), Louis Giard (FRA), Shahar Zubari (ISR) and Piotr Myzska (POL) are embroiled in a compelling battle in the Men's Windsurfer. The quartet are sharing the leading positions in the Men's RS:X fleet races and just nine points split them with three fleet races remaining.

French World Cup winner Nico Parlier (FRA) is untouchable in the Foiling Formula Kiteboarding, sailing the perfect day.

The young Frenchman won six consecutive races and now holds a huge 20-point lead over Riccardo Leccese (ITA). Defending World Cup Final Champion Oliver Bridge (GBR) is tied for second with Leccese.

Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) pulled themselves firmly into contention in the Men's Two Person Dinghy, 470, after a day that featured two race wins. The victories put them within sight of leaders Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and two points off David Bargehr and Lukas Mahr (AUT).

In the Women's 470 fleet, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) snapped up their third race win of a week and followed with a second. They lead on seven points, five clear of Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) who won the day's other race.

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) sailed consistently in the Men's Skiff, 49er, and move to first overall. A 2-3-2 scoreline gives them an advantage over Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR). Overnight leaders Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) drop to third.

Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki (POL) sailed a great day, recording a 5-2-1 to move into the top ten for the first time this week.

In the 49erFX, the Women's Skiff, Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) advanced after a three second places and now lead. Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) beat the Brazilians in the opening two races of the day and had held the lead going into the final race. Lili Sebesi and Albane Dubois snapped up the final race win and the Brazilians maintained consistency, coming through in second.

The British racers finished sixth and now trail the Brazilians by a single point.

Ed Wright (GBR) had a mixed day in the Men's Heavyweight Dinghy, Finn, after a third and a discarded 15th. He still holds the lead but Ben Cornish (GBR) and Deniss Karpak (EST) posted a first and a fourth each and remain close to Wright.

Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco maintained their exceptional run of results in the Mixed Multihull, Nacra 17, to extend their lead. Tom Phipps and Nicola Boniface (GBR), John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) and Ruggero Tita and Caterina Marianna Banti (ITA) are battling it out for two podium places with three points splitting the trio.

Racing resumes at 12:00 local time on Thursday 8 June. The week of racing will culminate in the Live Medal Races on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June.

Full results can be found here.