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Lanzarote International Regatta - Day 5

by Andy Rice 14 Feb 2023 20:19 GMT 9-17 February 2023

Tuesday was the start of part 2 of the Lanzarote International Regatta. After two days of the dusty Calima breeze from the Sahara, today the sunshine returned to the Canary Islands, and 10 to 14 knots of wind were blowing for the opening day of Nacra 17 and iQFOiL racing.

Nacra 17: High-flying Kiwis

The Nacra 17 fleet encountered big rolling waves, but there were also some big strategic and tactical decisions to be made as the wind strength and direction shifted across the course.

Micah Wilkinson & Erica Dawson (NZL) won two of the three races to take an early lead ahead of Mateo Majdalani & Eugenia Bosco (ARG) who won the last race of the afternoon. The Argentineans sit in second, on equal points with Laila van der Meer & Bjarne Bouwer (NED) in third.

Sarah Newberry-Moore & David Liebenberg (USA) hold 10th place overall, and are looking to push further up the fleet on Wednesday. Coached by Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Zajac from Austria, Newberry-Moore is enjoying the Lanzarote experience. "David and I have been training here for about five weeks, and we're here for the wind and the waves and because so much of the fleet has based itself here for the winter."

Toy cars and proper boats

She is also the mother of a 20-month-old toddler which creates additional challenges for the working day. "Being here with the toddler has been pretty exciting. It's amazing to be able to travel with him. We're finding a balance, and my coach Tom has a one-year-old as well, so we're experiencing similar things together. In the morning, we play with the toy cars, and then we come down to the boat park, to go training and to go racing."

As to the racing, Newberry-Moore commented: "It was breezier at the beginning of the day and got gradually lighter, and it was very difficult to be heads out of the boat while keeping the boat going through the waves. There was swell mixed with chop, and you could have some smooth patches where it felt fast and easy and then some really choppy moments, so it was a lot of concentration."

iQFOiL Women: Race wins for Mexico and Israel

Mariana Aguilar (MEX) won the opening iQFOiL women's race, followed by a 7th in the next. "Winning that first race felt great," said the Mexican. "I saw the whole fleet behind me, chasing me, and I said to myself 'This is my race,' and I just went as hard as I could. It was a nice moment to cross the finish line ahead."

Aguilar likes training in the warm weather of Mexico but admits Lanzarote is a strong rival for her affections. "For sure this is a really good place to train and it's challenging. We've had all conditions. I mean, really strong winds with huge waves and also flat water and light winds. You can have wind from all directions as well, so you get all scenarios."

Perhaps it's also the warm weather all year round in Israel that contributes to making their women's squad so strong. In the early stages the Israeli team is dominating the top 10, with Sharon Kantor holding top spot ahead of Aguilar with scores of 2,5. Israel also hold 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th overall.

iQFOiL Men: Sills into early lead

Sam Sills (GBR) had a stellar day with 1,2 to top the iqfoil men's standings. "It was quite heavy with big waves but also tricky winds," said Sam. "I was really pleased to get those scores because it's a big fleet and it's quite hard to get cleanly off the start line."

Winner of the other race was Sebastian Koerdel (GER) which puts the German in second place, on equal points with Daniele Benedetti (ITA).

For Wednesday there's a forecast of a northerly wind, a more typical trade wind direction for the Canaries. Racing is set to start at 11am Lanzarote time.

This international event organized by Marina Rubicón with the support of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation is possible thanks to the institutional sponsorship of Promotur Turismo de Canarias with the financing of the REACTEU Fund and Tourism of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), as well as the public collaboration of the Yaiza City Council and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas & Cabrera Medina (Cicar).

Nacra 17 (after 3 races)

1. Wilkinson/ Dawson (NZL), 2 points
2. Majdalani/ Bosco (ARG), 4 points
3. Van der Meer/ Bouwer (NED), 4 points

iQFOiL Women (after 2 races)

1. Kantor (ISR), 7 points
2. Aguilar (MEX), 8 points
3. Spychakov (ISR), 8 points

iQFOiL Men (after 2 races)

1. Sills (GBR), 3 points
2. Koerdel (GER), 7 points
3. Benedetti (ITA), 7 points

Full results can be found here.

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