Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 728x90

ISAF Sailing World Cup Princesa Sofia regatta - Finn fleet on day 4

by Robert Deaves on 6 Apr 2012
Ben Ainslie (Finn) on day 4 - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2012 Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
On day four of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre Regatta, Ben Ainslie (GBR), the 2008 Olympic Champion, has been on a charge with a clear message to the other Finn sailors. Two more race wins for Ainslie leaves him with a 23 point lead over the 2008 Olympic silver medalist Zach Railey (USA) with Daniel Birgmark (SWE) two points further back, with just three races to sail.

Overnight storms and a three hour postponement because of lack of wind disrupted the start of day four in Palma, but eventually two more races were sailed in slightly better wind conditions.

Race seven got away at 14.00 with a number of black flag disqualifications in seven knots of wind. Regatta leader Ben Ainslie (GBR) was straight back to winning ways to take his third race of the series. Team mate and winner of race two, Andrew Mills (GBR) crossed in second followed by Vasilij Zbogar (SLO). Zbogar has two Olympic medals in the Laser class to his name already and is fighting to qualify for the chance to win a third, this time in the Finn. Zbogar ended the day in fifth overall, while his main competition here, Gasper Vincec is struggling in 19th.

Race eight followed a similar pattern with Ainslie taking his fourth race win of the week. This time he was followed across the line by Zach Railey (GBR) and Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN). This result – along with a seventh in race seven - moved Railey up to second overall, while Daniel Birgmark (SWE) who finished 11-5 today, dropped to third overall. These two have also built a 17 point gap over the rest of the fleet.



Railey said, 'Conditions were a bit better but still very hard to predict.' On Ainslie he had only respect. 'Ben is going fast and making really great decisions on the race course. We had a close race in the second race today and he was able to edge me out for the win. You have to give credit when someone is sailing well and he is doing a great job this week.'

Ainslie of course is still getting back to fitness after an operation on his back earlier this year. He commented, 'It was a difficult period over the winter. We’ve been here training pretty hard, but the conditions funnily enough are quite different to what we’ve been training in and I think everyone’s finding it hard. For me it’s just great to be back racing again and you do realise there’s a huge difference between training with four or five boats and suddenly having 60 boats, a long start line, 1.3 mile beats and a big course so it’s very different and it's great for me to be back racing and getting my head into that.'

Other Olympic selection trials here are also running including the Poles and the Czechs and it couldn't be closer. Rafal Szukiel (POL) who was a 2008 Olympian is just two places and seven points ahead of the young Piotr Kula (POL), who had an excellent start to the regatta. Meanwhile the Czechs are even closer with Tomas Vika (CZE) leading four time Olympic veteran Michael Maier (CZE) by just one place and one point. Friday is going to be a critical day for all these sailors.

Szukiel commented on the selection process, 'Our selection started here in Palma. We have three regattas, here, Hyeres and the Gold Cup, but only two best are counting. So everything is still open.' Is there a competitive spirit between the sailors. 'At the moment we are one team. I hope it will stay like that up to the Olympic.'


On the conditions this week, 'Today's conditions were difficult. The wind was shifty and different with strength. I got some good results because I was sailing well downwind and what is more important I was starting well.'

Ninth placed Matthias Miller (GER) commented, 'I'm very happy to be in the top ten. Last year was not so good for me. but I always could felt that I could do more. Now after lots of training in Valencia I'm ready. This week, like at the Europeans. the main thing was is to reduce the risk.'

On qualification for Weymouth, 'I didn't get selected last year. So the last selection is the worlds in Falmouth. I have to do top ten.'

However at the top of the fleet, Ainslie is now in a great position going onto the final day of the opening series. On Friday he has the possibility of sealing the regatta win with room to spare. He is the only sailor here seeming to make sense of the conditions every race and his scoreline proves it.

Results after eight races

1 GBR 3 Ben Ainslie 10
2 USA 4 Zach Railey 33
3 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 35
4 DEN 2 Jonas Høgh-Christensen 52
5 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 56
6 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 58
7 NZL 1 Dan Slater 63
8 CAN 41 Christopher Cook 66
9 GER 151 Matthias Miller75
10 POL 7 Rafal Szukiel 87

Finn Class website
Trofeo Princesa Sofia website

Barz Optics - FloatersInSunSport - NZT Clewring AC72

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr