PALMA PUMPS UP THE BREEZE FOR THE FINALS04 Apr 2018
Bang on cue Mallorca's Bay of Palma fired up the best breeze yet of the 49 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar as the Finals phase started for most of the ten Olympic classes. In warm spring sunshine the breeze puffed to 18 kts at times to present a new, more physical challenge.
Only Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan in the Men's 470 and their female counterparts France's Camille Lecointre sailing with Aloise Lecointre sailed the perfect day, both crews unbeaten in the breeze today.
Closest to perfection in the windier conditions were the Aussie 470 duo Mat Belcher and Will Ryan who stamped their authority on the strong fleet, opening the Finals series with two bullets. But French duo France's Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz matched their male counterparts with two wins in the women's fleet. Belcher and Ryan now lead by 19 points.
The Rio medallists are in the driving seats in the Women's 470 fleet too, albeit both of the top two Rio helms are now in settled in different partnerships. Leaders are France's Lecointre, bronze winning helm now with Retornaz who are just two points up on Britain's gold winning helm Hannah Mills now with Eilidh McIntyre.
Mills explained, “It’s been a really tough week so far but it’s been good – we’ve had a real mix of conditions and we’ve learned a lot each day. We didn’t get our approach right on the first day and made a few mistakes but since then we’ve been a lot more proactive on our mindset, our priorities, our approach. So far so good, but there’s still two more days of fleet racing to go.”
McIntyre, whose father Mike won gold in the Star in 1988, added: “Our results today look good on paper but we feel like we could have done better. That’s a nice place to be though, with plenty more learning to do.”
Due to the light winds forecast the first start Thursday is scheduled for midday.