Please select your home edition
Trident-UK 2012 May

2019 RS:X World Championships in Torbole, Italy - Day 4

by RS:X Class 28 Sep 09:31 BST
RS:X Windsurfing World Championships including the Lake Garda RS:X U21 Windsurfing Championships © Robert Hajduk - RS:X Class

The penultimate day of the 2019 RS:X World Championships fizzled out amongst expectations of strong winds that simply failed to show up to the party today. For the 236 competitors from 47 nations, this was the last chance before the medal races to set a marker down, to climb the scoreboard, to protect their position or just to make amends and prove a point from a poor start to the event.

Instead the day was another long slow wait for wind once the early morning breeze had died away. Some sailors went for an ice cream in some of Torboles excellent ice cream palours while others took the time to sunbathe on the grass at the Circolo Surf Torbole. Either way, waiting for wind is something sailors seem to excel at.

The women were the first in line to race today and, with another early start, were sent off to race in the northerly Peller breeze. Over the past few days it looked as though the world championship was following the "script" of Lilian De Geus from the Netherlands, who is looking to retain her title. And this was reinforced when De Geus went out to win the first race of the day and then take second place in the next. All the time, her medal contenders were scoring some big results and taking little falls down the leaderboard. Giorgia Speciale scored a 35th in the second race of the day and tumbled down the leader board to sit 5th overall having started the day in 2nd.

However China's Yunxiu Lu hadn't read the script and won the last race of the day. This combined with De Geus ending the day with a 23rd place, sees these two sailors swap places with De Geus having to surrender her leaders bid to Lu. Not only did De Geus have to hand over the lead, she also handed over a six point advantage to Lu going into tomorrows double points Medal Race. This means that De Geus has to have at least four boards between herself and Lu as they finish the medal race tomorrow.

Another winner from yesterday's racing was Katy Spychakov from Israel who is in third place having scored 13, 5, 4 and is just two points behind De Geus. Spychakov also has more than one hand on the Under 21 trophy too, but without doubt her mind will be on the potential of a world championship medal and will be aiming to beat De Geus to silver.

Another medal race participant is Stefania Elfutina from Russia who is in seventh place overall and whilst out of the medals, has been pleased with her progress this week in such a big fleet. Elfutina on this week, "Yesterday was nice to wake up early, I was feeling really good this morning when I woke up at six o'clock. I was sure it was going to be a good day for me. The starts here are totally different to the Test event, if you don't do a good start it is like sailing behind a wall. I think Torbole is the only place where we can hold a competition of this size and it is insanely beautiful. My target is for top eight in the medal race tomorrow for me to qualify for Russia to go to Tokyo".

The battle for the final remaining two qualification spots has also been raging away in the silver fleet of the women. Farrah Hall from the United States and Siripon Kaewduang-Hgam from Thailand currently occupy the front two seats for qualification but are being chased by Veerle Ten Have from New Zealand and Gelly Skaraltou from Greece. The points in this battle are extremely close and with a fleet of 53 boats, it will be easy to pick up a big score tomorrow and scupper any chances of country qualification. With only one race for the silver fleet tomorrow, it is like a second medal race for those countries.

The race committee decided that, instead of waiting till the afternoon for the southerly Ora to materialize having learnt yesterday that this is not a reliable wind in September, the men's fleets were going to be sent out immediately and were off to race in the remains of the mornings northerly wind.

In a light 6-8 knots, it was Piotr Myszka from Poland who powered his way around the course to take the race win. However Myszka was followed closely by the dynamic Dutch duo of Van Rijsselberghe and Badloe who came in second and third respectively. Frenchman Pierre Le Coq, who led the qualifying series, came home in sixth place and sat in second overall.

Where the first race was held in a light breeze, the wind was dropping and becoming more erratic and unstable. Despite several attempts to start a race, it became futile and the fleet were sent to shore to wait in hope for the southerly Ora to materialize. At 1730 CET, time ran out and the race committee signaled no more racing. For some sailors this signaled relief in that their position was safe going into the final day - for others it signaled disappointment at not getting the chance to try and move up the leader board.

At the end of the day it is Kieran Badloe who goes into the medal race with a five point buffer over Le Coq who in turn holds a ten point buffer over Van Rijsselberghe in third place. An outside chance of a medal is veteran Byron Kokkalanis from Greece who is twelve points behind Van Rijsselberghe. It is these four sailors who have the opportunity of a medal today and the racing will be thrilling to watch.

In the qualification battle, Korea's Wonwoo Cho has secured his country a place in Tokyo by way of his participation in the medal race. Further down the field Hong Kong, Switzerland, Belarus and Lithuania look safe in their qualification. That leaves a further three spots open and the final gold fleet race will determine which countries fill those spots. In the running are the United States, Russia, Turkey, Mexico and the Czech Republic.

The first races are scheduled to take place from 0800 CET and are able to be followed via tracking on the RS:X event website.

Related Articles

International sailors arrive in Melbourne
For Summer of Sailing 2020 & Olympic Sailing Series The Sail Melbourne - Summer of Sailing 2020 count-down is on with only three weeks to go to the start of an exciting series of world-class sailing in Australia this summer. Posted on 20 Nov
Gladwell's Line: In the aftermath of Bermuda
A look at some of the issues of the past week or so, including the America's Cup A look at some of the issues of the past week or so, including the America's Cup and particularly Emirates Team New Zealand's progress with their first AC75, plus the World Sailing Annual Conference's wins and fails, and more. Posted on 10 Nov
Mini-Transat La Boulangère day 4
The skippers are just about done with the demanding passage across the Bay of Biscay. Virtually all the competitors are opting to pass inside the Cape Finisterre TSS, aside from four sailors who are going for broke to the Far West, a move they hope will pay off. Posted on 8 Oct
Team GB reveals first athletes for Tokyo 2020
Hannah Mills and Giles Scott are among 12 sailors selected The Rio 2016 champions are joined by a host of elite sailors representing eight of the 10 Olympic sailing classes, as the team is announced at Haven Holiday Park, Rockley Park in Poole. Posted on 2 Oct
Top ten for Britain's Saskia Sills
At the RS:X World Championships Saskia Sills posted her best ever RS:X world championship finish claiming ninth place in Torbole, Italy, as Andy Brown and Emma Wilson picked up silverware in the under 21 category. Posted on 29 Sep
Two more US sailors qualify for Tokyo 2020 Games
Pascual and Hall qualify USA for country representation in the RS:X class Because there are more countries competing in the RS:X class than available spots on the Olympic starting line, countries must qualify for the games before athlete trials can be decided. Posted on 29 Sep
2019 RS:X World Championships overall
Friends win medals on the final day at Lake Garda With a full schedule planned for the morning, the 236 competitors and the race officials and volunteers turned up at the Circolo Surf Torbole in the dawn light as has been the norm this week. Posted on 29 Sep
RS:X Worlds day 3
Pack shuffled as Lake Garda plays Joker The 2019 RS:X World Championships being held in Torbole, Italy, rolled into the third day with a fair amount of optimism from the 236 sailors from 47 nations. Posted on 27 Sep
2019 RS:X World Championships day 2
The right side of the track on Lake Garda Day 2 of the 2019 RS:X World Championships being held in Torbole, Italy, saw the all important split of the fleets as the racing moved from qualifying series into the final series of racing. Posted on 26 Sep
2019 RS:X World Championships day 1
A game of two halves on Lake Garda Day 1 of the 2019 RS:X World Championships dawned - quite literally - upon the 236 competitors who were eager to start their championship campaigns this morning. Posted on 25 Sep