Friday, July 8, 2011

Spanish Sailing Top of the J/80 Worlds- Day Three

(Copenhagen, Denmark- July 7th)- Once again the third day of sailing for the J/80 Worlds started off with a postponement.  The announcement this time was for races to start at 12:30 pm.  It was "moving day" as it is often in many major regattas, time to move up or down the leader-board or else forget winning. 

After seven races, the Spanish contingent (the three past J/80 World Champions and Olympic Champion) all made huge moves into the top spots, now occupying four of the top five positions!  Leading the charge is Ignacio Camino's NEXTEL ENGINEERING, scoring a 1-5 to take a 5 point lead after three days of sailing.  Fellow Spanish sailor Carlos Martinez's MAPFRE leapt into second overall after posting a 4-4 to for a total of 29 points.  Perhaps sailing the most consistent regatta of all teams is the Swedish sailing champion Ingemar Sundstedt, posting an 8-8 score to secure third overall with 37 points.  Within striking distance of the top three is Canary Islander Rayco Tabares sailing HOTEL GRAND CANARIAS, posting a 3-1 for the best record of the day and catapulting himself into 4th place, just two points back from Sundstedt and only 13 points from first place! 

Perhaps the story of the regatta so far has to be the ascent of Jose Maria van der Ploeg sailing GREAT SAILING.  Jose's team started out very, very slow in the first three races with a 27-17-11.  Nevertheless, Jose's team got their act together and figured out not only how to get off the starting line, but sail very solid races to post the best record of the fleet for the past four races, getting a 5-1-5-2 to place themselves in 5th place overall with only 41 pts, just two points back from Tabares and also having a shot at a podium finish.

Eric Brezellec's IC2 TEAM
Yesterday's leader, American Glenn Darden on LE TIGRE, simply had a classic "hard luck" day, managing to only get a 15-30 and has to count to finishes in the teens to drop from 1st place and, like the classic board game of "Chutes and Ladders", dropped down the chute so far that they now lie in 7th place.  Rounding out the top ten are Jean Charles Moriceau from France, posting a 2-9 score to move up into 6th overall with 49 points.  In 8th is the German team from Kieler Woche led by Martin Menzner with 60.5 points, 9th is Eric Brezellec's INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 team with 68 points and 10th is another German team, Bjorn Beilken with 71 points.

Of note, the top Danish team from the host country is Jesper Kragh Jespersen lying in 14th, the top Italian team is Aldo Samele on CANARINO FEROCE in 15th place, top Russian team is Vitaliy Tarakanov in 21st, top British team is Tom Phipps in 25th, top Polish team is Pawel Boksa in 36th, top Netherlands team is Laura Vroon in 43rd, top Estonian team is Peeter Meressaar in 59th and top Finnish team is Otto Reittila in 63rd.

The racing on the final day sounds very similar to the past four J/80 World Championships.  All very, very close racing with at least 6-7 boats having a mathematical chance to win the entire Worlds overall!  At this level of world-class sailing, you simply cannot have any closer racing than what these teams are experiencing.  Friday will surely dawn with a lot of anxious skippers and tacticians pondering the best strategies to go win the regatta while avoiding any kind of massive mistakes.  What's unusual is that the only boat in the top ten with a toss race under 15th place is the Swedish team of Ingemar Sundstedt, every other team has toss races in the 20s, 30s or higher!  Friday will be an interesting day and the champion that arises like a Phoenix from the smoke of battle will be a well-deserved J/80 World Champion.

Sailing Photo credits: Peter Sogaard Photos

For more J/80 Worlds sailing information