STRONG winds and big swells provided some game-changing conditions at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca yesterday, with capsizes and equipment breakages across the fleets in Palma Bay.
Portland’s Giles Scott survived the day unscathed amid the 20-25 knot squally conditions, posting two more race wins to extend his lead in the Finn fleet.
Helena Lucas also continued her confident march towards 2.4mR gold, with a race win and a second place seeing her amass a five-point buffer over Portland team-mate Megan Pascoe with one more day of racing to go for the Paralympic class.
The 49erFX class was the first to complete their schedule before the breeze and waves began to build, with Weymouth’s Char-lotte Dobson and Sophie Ains-worth showing their boat-handling skills in the lively women’s skiff racing to post 13-5-4 for their efforts and maintain overall third place.
In spite of admitting to a few mistakes on the racecourse, Weymouth’s windsurfing world champion Nick Dempsey also appeared to enjoy his day in the RS:X fleet, posting a 4-5-2 to boost him into fifth place.
He said: “My speed was good.
“I made a lot of mistakes and still had the 5-4-2 – you always know you’re going fast when you’re not sailing that well but still getting some really good results. “It’s nice to have the wind here finally in Palma – it’s been a tough week so far so that eases us up a little bit and it’s a damn site more enjoyable.”
After a consistent but conservative start, the Olympic silver and bronze medallist is planning a change of approach for the final two days of the event.
“I’ve been relatively consistent all week but have really been lacking pushing the front of the fleet and attacking the front of the fleet. “Today I’d like to start sailing a bit more to win, actually start pushing on a little bit, maybe take a few little risks here and there and attack it a little bit more than I have been.”
In the RS:X women’s windsurfing fleet, Bryony Shaw managed to survive the tough conditions to end her day still with the red jersey for overall third place. Racing concludes for the 2.4mR Paralympic class today, while sailors in the 10 Olympic classes will continue to battle it out for the 10 berths in the medal races tomorrow.