SAILING: Lucas bags fab four in Palma Bay

SUPER START: Helena Lucas

SUPER START: Helena Lucas

First published in Sport

Paralympic champion medallist Helena Lucas remains unbeaten from four races so far in the 2.4mR fleet after a long and challenging second day of racing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca.

The London 2012 gold medallist won both her races for the second day running at this Princess Sofia Trophy, with British Sailing Team crews in the Olympic Classes also faring well in the light wind, testing conditions across Palma Bay.

Lucas tops the 2.4mR standings with Portland team-mate Megan Pascoe in third overall after four races in the one-person Paralympic event, while six GBR crews are poised inside the top three spots at the end of the two-day opening series.

Britain’s 49erFX crews had an impressive day, with Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth and Frances Peters/Nicola Groves picking up mirrored scorelines of a second and a third apiece from their two races, with both pairs remarking on the huge progress the fleet has made in the new class since their first World Cup regatta at this venue a year ago.

Weymouth’s Dobson and Ain-sworth are in fourth place overall at the end of this third day of racing, and were pleased with their showing on the racecourse today.

“We managed to come out of a real snakes and ladders day really well, so we’re really happy with that,” said Dobson of their racing. “We sat around on shore for hours watching the fight between the sea breeze and the gradient, and the gradient eventually won out.

“We ended up having two snakes and ladders-type races in 8-11 knots so it ended up being quite a nice day of yachting when it didn’t look like it was going to be at 10 o’clock.

“We’re really happy that we managed to stick it all together yesterday.”

In the men’s 49er event, British crews impressed on the water after a long delay on shore.

Three different British crews picked up race wins, and five British crews end the second day in the top 10 spots.

Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube are second overall, Dave Evans/Ed Powys are third, Nic Asher/Fynn Sterritt fifth and Dylan Fletcher/Alain Sign are in sixth, with the European champions managing to win their first race of the day in spite of breaking a board and a pole before the race.

The Finn fleet had the longest day on the water, being the first the leave the shore for a three-race, seven-hour stint afloat.

Portland’s Giles Scott advanced to fourth overall amid the shifty conditions on the Finn course, admitting it was a ‘super tricky day’.

The new 470 men’s pairing of Luke Patience, from Portland, and Elliot Willis picked up their first World Cup race win to end their day on a high and move them into second overall.

Bryony Shaw is poised third in the RS:X Women’s windsurfing event, with Weymouth’s Nick Dempsey ninth after five events in the men’s event.

An increase in wind speeds is expected to provide a new challenge for the first day of finals series racing today.

Racing at the Princess Sofia Trophy continues today, with the final medal races scheduled for Saturday.

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