British sailors are battling it out for the podium spots with two days of competition remaining at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Majorca.
Rising stars James Peters-Fynn Sterritt continued their consistent form at the front of the 49er fleet on Thursday (30 March) to once again head the pack. Their 6,6,2 scoreline has extended their lead as they sit 12 points clear of nearest rivals Spaniards Diego Botin Le Chever-Iago Lopez Marra. Winning the day were Miami gold medallists Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell with a 1,2,3 advancing them to third.
It’s been a day of mixed feelings in the Nacra 17. Ben Saxton-Steph Orton, who paired up for this regatta after just a week training together, were pleased with their day. The duo now sit in fifth place overall, but remain focused that the regatta is still about learning and enjoying it.
Saxton said: “We've had a really good day scoring 5,4,2, so we’re really happy with that. We’ve only had a few days sailing together and Steph has only had eight days in the Nacra, so well done, Steph.”
Following an incident between John Gimson-Anna Burnett and Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface in the final race both crews were unable to finish due to gear damage. Both boats were subsequently granted redress meaning Gimson-Burnett remain at the top of the Nacra 17 leaderboard.
Burnett reflected: “We had a really challenging day. We got a UFD (starting disqualification) in the first race which wasn’t a great start, then pulled it back for the second race and got ourselves together for a counting race.
“In the last race we were top five at the windward mark when we had a major collision. This meant we were unable to finish the race as we couldn’t hoist our kite because the pole wire snapped.
“It wasn’t really the day we needed after yesterday, but we have been granted redress for the final race so we’re still leading the regatta. We’re hoping to get the boat fixed and come back tomorrow and see what we can do,” concluded Burnett.
Elliot Hanson’s bullet in the first race of the day sees him move up to third place and lead the British charge in the Laser event. World Champion Nick Thompson’s third place in the final race of day has advanced him to fifth overall.
Thompson commented: “I have been using this event as a process regatta with a new coach so I’m really happy with how it’s been going. There have been some learning points, but I’m pleased with the progress.”
Commenting on the strength of his teammates in the fleet, Thompson said: “It’s fantastic to have such a strong team. We’ve worked hard over the winter and everyone is sailing really well, so it’s been a good week so far.”
Lorenzo Chiavarini, currently sitting just outside the medals in fourth, added: “It’s great having so many boats at the front of the fleet. Some of the others are very strong at starting, which is something I’m working on so that I can try and catch them up! I’ve been gaining places downwind which is helping though.”
Alison Young is currently 10th in the Laser Radial and will look to consolidate her medal race position in Friday’s final day of fleet racing. At only their second regatta together, 49er FX duo Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey finished the day in sixth.
Whilst the top few boats in the Finn have already qualified for the grand final and semi-final, the new format being trialled at the regatta means the rest of the fleet still have the opportunity to gain a place during Friday’s semi-final qualifier. Ben Cornish and Henry Wetherell, in 11th and 17th respectively, will be aiming to do just that.
Also, experimenting with a new format is the RS:X class. The event will see 12 boards advance through to quarter, semi and grand finals for their last day of racing on Saturday. Kieran Martin is currently in 10th in the Men’s RS:X. In the Women’s fleet Emma Wilson is in 12th and will be aiming to cement this during the final day of gold fleet racing. Izzy Hamilton sits 21st overnight.
Following the final series Gold/Silver split in the Women’s 470 event, the Podium Potential and Podium Potential Pathway crews are pushing the front of the Silver fleet. Young guns Sarah Norbury-Katie Dabson are second, while Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter and Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart are fifth and seventh respectively. Martin Wrigley-James Taylor are 18th in the silver fleet in the Men’s 470.
Racing resumes from 1100hrs (local) on Friday 31 March, with the event concluding for all classes on Saturday 1 April.
Full event results can be found at www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall.
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