by Dana Paxton
At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma, the opening day was characterized by wet and wild conditions. With wind gusting in the upper 20s and tall waves the norm, it was a challenging day of racing. Of the 21 U.S. sailors competing, the racing standout result came from Sydney Bolger and Sarah Lihan in the Women’s 470, who are in eighth overall after two races. Two races also were held in Men’s 470, Finn, Laser, RS:X Women and 49er blue fleets. Racing was postponed in the Nacra 17 and 49er FX.
RS:X Women, USA - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Sarah Lihan (New York, N.Y.) locked in their top-10 overall position in the 36-boat Women’s 470 class, with a sixth and 16th. Despite never having competed together before, Bolger explained the bonus of having a crew who is a 2012 Olympian. 'She was definitely the confidence builder,' said the 2012 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. 'There were times when I was a little less confident and Sarah put the hammer down and brought the aggression in the boat. It was exactly what we needed.'
Although many of the competing teams struggled in the aggressive weather, Lihan explained that for her that wasn’t the case. 'One of the strengths of our team is that I have a lot of experience in these conditions and I’m very comfortable in these boats, in these waves,' she explained. 'For me, it’s kind of fun.'
Their US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider team mates, Anne Haeger (East Troy, Mich.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) are in 15th overall.
In Women’s RS:X, 2012 Olympian Farrah Hall started the day with a 12th and added a 41st to finish in 13th overall.
Gordon Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.) found the day’s conditions challenging, ones he hasn’t encountered much in the 18 months of sailing in the Finn. 'It was definitely tough condition to handle for a new competitor in the Finn feet,' he said. 'It’s rare we get conditions like this, and it was a test for a lot of people in the fleet. Even though it was a bad day, I identified things I need to improve.'
With a 54th and 110th in the 72-boat fleet, Lamphere is in 60th overall. His US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider team mate, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), is in 26th. Lamphere added that sailing a Finn is a balance of strength and technique. 'Most people think Finn sailors are plain brutes, but it’s a lot more finesse than you would imagine.'
In the 49er fleet, which was split into two groups, only the yellow group got in racing before it was abandoned for the other (blue) group. The team of Fred Strammer (Nokomis, Fla.) and Zach Brown (San Diego, Calif.) scored a 12th and were 'on course side' (OCS) or over the starting line early in the second race. With partial results in the class scored, there is a delay on the event website for overall standings.
Ryan Pesch (Vineyard Haven, Mass.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) were in the blue group and did not race.
'We were in the second start and the wind started out OK,' explained Burd. 'We started to go out to the race course and they cancelled. We put our main down and got some damage to our spreader, so we have our spare rig up right now. We’ll repair tonight so it shouldn’t be a problem tomorrow.'
Racing continues on April 2.
Results to date:
24th, 470 Men - Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.)*
15th, 470 Women - Anne Haeger (East Troy, Mich.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)*
8th, 470 Women – Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Sarah Lihan (New York, N.Y.) * **
Results not posted 49er - Fred Strammer (Nokomis, Fla.) and Zach Brown (San Diego, Calif.)*
Did not race today, 49er - Ryan Pesch (Vineyard Haven, Mass.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.)*
Did not race today, 49er – Brad Funk (Miami, Fla.) and Erik Aakhus (Corona del Mar, Calif.)**
Did not race today, 49er FX - Kristen Lane (Tiburon, Calif.) and Christine Neville (Oakland, Calif.) **
26th, Finn – Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.)*
60th, Finn – Gordon Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.)*
32nd, Laser - Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)*
113th, Laser – Erik Bowers (Excelsior, Minn.)
Did not race today, Nacra 17 – Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and John Casey (Longwood, Fla.)
13th, RS:X Women – Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
* Denotes member of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
** Denotes member of US Sailing Development Team
US Sailing Team website
Trofeo Princesa Sofia website