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Formula 18 World Championship - Brit claims lead in overall standings

by Niccolò Pagani, Sailing &Travel Multimedia on 11 Jul 2013
Formula 18 World Championship 2013 Sailing and Travel Media http://www.sailingandtravel.it/
The Marina di Grosseto racing waters, currently hosting the Formula 18 World Championship 2013, delivered an amazing day’s racing. After yesterday’s rain forced the committee to halt the action after just one start, today a nine to 15-knot westerly and a calm sea served up the perfect conditions for the 161 teams entered to showcase their talents. The race committee successfully started all three races planned for today for each of the two groups into which the large fleet of Formula 18 catamarans is divided, delivering both public and crews a truly unique day’s sailing.

The undisputed star of the whole day, however, was Brit Hugh Styles (crew Richard Mason) on GBR 7, who, thanks to one win, one second and a third place, shot all the way up to the top of the overall standings with just five points. After a second position garnered yesterday, the British team today proved they are capable of delivering superbly consistent results, securing their reputation as one of the two favourites to take overall victory.

Now lying second in the overall standings, on six points, are Francois Gabart and Matthieu Vandame (FRA 301), courtesy of one win and one third-place finish from today (the BDF in race 2 was cancelled out by the discard). This means that the French team now lies ahead of their fellow countrymen Bontemps-Amiot (FRA 004) who are currently on seven points and thus take the third step on the podium ahead of a third French duo, Besson-Lagarrigue (FRA 1796).

Mitch and Jordi Booth (ESP 1910), however, slipped down to seventh position on 15 points as, after yesterday’s win, they could only manage an eighth, a sixth and an 11th (discard) today.

Mischa Heemskerk (OLA 1796) also had a fantastic day, taking home two wins and an 18th-place finish. However, the Dutchwoman also paid a high price for her disqualification from yesterday’s race 1, slipping down to 11th in the overall standings.

The best performance of today from the large group of Italian teams racing came from Bissaro-Cesari (ITA 13) who, thanks to a fourth, a 14th and a ninth position, are now in 13th position, while De Paoli-Stella (ITA 3) are 17th and Radman-Cioni (ITA 23) are 22nd.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 10th 2013, brings the final two qualifying heats at 12:00 with the gold and silver finals series beginning in the afternoon.

Hugh Styles (GBR 7): 'A great day - we won with a lead of over two and a half minutes which turned everything in the right direction. Unfortunately, in the other two races, we made a few mistakes which cost us a bit on the long run. Conditions were very stable in the first race, a little bit more changeable in the other two, and then the committee took the very correct decision to call us back ashore.'

Al Hadi Musab (OMA 1576): 'Conditions were much better today than yesterday and we’re happy with what we did. We can’t wait to get back on the water tomorrow to try to do it all over again. It’s an incredibly competitive fleet and that makes every single race great fun.'

Lamberto Cesari (ITA 13): 'The first race was very positive as we finished a good fourth. In the second, we had a terrible start but at least we’re satisfied with the way we came back during the race. The third race was so-so. Conditions were excellent today – no doubt about that. The racing course was fun and the standard incredibly high so you paid for every error very dearly indeed.'

Marco Borioni, president of the Compagnia della vela Grosseto: 'The Maremma gave us splendid wind and a great day’s racing today. I personally am very happy with our bowman Ettore Botticini’s result in a mixed crew. He really performed well today.'

Provisional standings for the top 10 positions after four races (the complete standings can be downloaded by following this link:

1. GBR 7 - Styles/Mason - 2, 1, 2, (3) – 5 points
2. FRA 301 - Gabart/Vandame - 2, (81 BDF), 1, 3 - 6 pts
3. FRA 004 - Bontemps/Amiot - 3, (80 OCS), 2, 2 - 7 pts
4. FRA 1796 - Besson/Lagarrigue - 1, (6), 5, 2 - 8 pts
5. NED 2 - Zeekant/Van Hek - 6, (80 OCS), 3, 4 - 13 pts
6. GER 277 - Sach/Sach - 4, 3, 7, (10) - 14 pts
7. ESP 1910 - Booth/Booth - 1, 8, 6, (11) - 15 pts
8. NED 2010 - Veenman/De Waard- 3, (35), 6, 8 - 17 pts
9. USA 888 - Reiss/Whitehead - 7, (21), 5, 7 - 19 pts
10. GRE 77 - Paschalidis/Dyrssen - 6, (80 OCS), 7, 6 - 19 pts
13. ITA 13 - Bissaro/Cesari - 8, 4, (14), 9 - 21 Event website
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