by David Staley
Access Class European Championships day two on Lake Garda was a case of too much, too little and just enough wind to enable the competition.
Marco Gualandris & Marta Zanetti handled the fresher conditions well today. Access Class European Championships
Due to the light breezes followed by storms yesterday all classes were already behind schedule. Electrical storms and heavy rain in the mountains overnight abated but left a strong ‘Pelair’ for the scheduled 9am start for the two-person divisions at Gargnano. The race management team held the Access 303 sailors ashore and called the SKUD 18 crews out first to face 20-25 knots of northerly.
Alex Hovden and Kate Mannerings (GBR) showed their experience, managing the heavier conditions with confidence, but new SKUD sailors Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) also handled the breeze and waves well. Gualandris and Zanetti finished with three second places today to stay within reach of Hovden and Mannerings who lead with a three point buffer. Andrea Stella and Pietro Piccoli (ITA) have moved into third place but are tied on points with Shimon Ben Yakov and Zehavi Hagar (ISR).
The Access 303 two-person teams arrived on the race course just as the northerly was fading. After a little while, a light southerly ‘Ora’ arrived enabling racing to get underway shortly after noon.
In today’s first race, series leaders Zoltan Pegan and Eva Mircsev (HUN) were off the line well at the favoured end, but did not find pressure on the right and arrived at the weather mark with three boats ahead of them. The Hungarians gradually worked their way forward, finishing overlapped but just behind Joshua Rothenhaeusler and Dominique Scheller (SUI). A few boat lengths ahead were Julian Mueller and Fabio Rosa (SUI), clinching their first win. Pegan and Mircsev were back on top in the second race, while Rothenhaeusler and Scheller finished third to secure second place ahead of Mueller and Rosa at the end of racing.
Winds remained light in the afternoon for the single-person divisions, but two races were completed for all classes.
Heat wins in the Access 2.3 went to Lindsay Burns (GBR) and Carlos Alberto Araujo (POR) but Pedro Cancio Reis (POR) holds a two point lead overall. Burns has held second place and Fernando Pinto (POR) has moved into third, another two points behind.
Zoltan Pegan (HUN) has maintained a perfect scorecard today in the 303 single-person fleet, as befits the current World Champion. Luca Mantovani (ITA) and Paul Phillips both had second --third places and are in second and third place respectively. It is hard to see how anyone can upset the Hungarian with only one day of competition left.
Australian Barry Coates posted two clear wins in the Liberty division this afternoon, each time followed by Vera Voorbach (NED) who sails with full servo control. Russell Phillips (AUS) and Cedric Castaldi (FRA) both scored a third - fourth today, but Phillips holds third overall by four points.
Tomorrow is the final day of racing at Circolo Vela Gargnano and Race Officer Carmelo Paroli (ITA) plans another two or three heats for each of the classes.
Further information is available from Access Class website
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