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470 European Championships at Cesme, Turkey - Day 4

by Andy Rice 16 Sep 2022 20:17 BST 13-18 September 2022

Anton Dahlberg & Lovisa Karlsson (SWE) ran away with the fourth day of competition at the 470 European Championships in Çesme, Turkey. Somehow the Swedes made sense of the trickiest conditions yet seen on Ilica Bay, with a new southerly direction creating shifty offshore breezes that swing through 30 degrees or more.

No one came close to emulating the 2,1 scoreline which now puts SWE 349 in the lead. As Karlsson said: "You had to be on top of your compass numbers today, knowing the limits of the shifts, and keep your eyes out for the next bit of pressure."

Even the Swedes got it wrong sometimes, though, especially in the abandoned first start of the second race of the session. They were way back in the pack as the race was called off on the second upwind leg when a massive shift of more than 50 degrees made a mockery of the race course. While the Swedes and other frontrunners breathed a sigh of relief, the biggest losers from the abandonment were the USA crew of Louisa Nordstrom & Trevor Bornarth (USA) who were leading the fleet when the race was canned.

After a strong outing on Thursday, a race win would have got the Americans to within a few points of the top 10. With a 9,15 from the day, the Americans sit in 14th overall and 18 points away from the Israeli team currently in 10th overall.

Nordstrom remained upbeat despite the frustrations of the day. "I really like that shifty stuff," she said. "I think my time in college sailing really helps, lots of short, sharp races in difficult conditions, that's my favourite kind of racing."

Not everyone was so upbeat. It was one of those days where seemingly everyone except the Swedish thought they'd had a bad day. Not the French team of Hippolyte Machetti & Aloïse Retornaz (FRA) however, who had the second best outing of the day with a 1,6 set of scores. Retornaz, the Olympic bronze medallist from Tokyo 2020, said: "We were quite bad at the start but we found our way through the fleet and won the race, so that was really good.

"In the second race we were third and slipped a bit at the end but still a pretty good day."

Up until today, the yellow bib wearers Jordi Xammar & Nora Brugman (ESP) had been the only team to keep all their scores inside the top 10 but in the last race of the afternoon the Spaniards finished in 14th place after fighting their way back from a bad downwind leg. "The positive thing is we had good first upwind legs all day," said Xammar. "We lost a lot sometimes on the downwind but overall we can be pretty positive."

They now slip to second overall, just two points behind the Swedes.

It was one good and one bad one for the other high-flying Spanish team of Silvia Mas & Nico Rodriguez (ESP) who are now in third place overall ahead of two German teams.

Linda Fahrni & Cyril Schüpbach (SUI) were the runaway winners of silver fleet today, the Swiss team winning both races, an incredible feat of consistency on such a demanding day. As fellow Swiss sailor in the gold fleet, Yves Mermod, commented: "Today was like roulette, Russian roulette with a gun full of bullets."

Saturday will be two more races for gold and silver fleets, and the forecast is for the breeze still to be from the shifty south, but much windier. Every day of this competition has been different, and Ilica Bay continues to promise new challenges for the fleet every time they go racing.

Event website: 2022europeans.470.org
Results: 2022europeans.470.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/155406587@N08/albums

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