Great Britain beat the hosts from The Netherlands to the top of the medal table as the Medal Race brought the 2009 Delta Lloyd Regatta, event five of the 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup, to a close. The sun shone and the wind blew steadily from the north east for the close of the Delta Lloyd Regatta 2009. The event shocked and surprised many with several upsets amongst the favourites, surprises from the newcomers, equipment failures, broken masts and broken hearts. The conditions couldn’t have been better or the sailing more exciting.
Ahead of today’s racing, the drama had already begun with two Medal Races held on Saturday night for the Laser Radial and Men’s 470 fleets.
Saturday was Belarusian Tatiana Drozdovskaya’s lucky day in the Laser Radial Medal Race. Alberte Lindberg (DEN), who was leading by over 100 meters, was confused on the last lap of the race when the Dutch sailor, Marit Bouwmeester, quit the race early and headed to the harbour. Lindberg’s confusion allowed Drozdovskaya to take the lead and win the Medal Race. She finished the day tied for 106 points with Lindberg. Lindberg ended up in second with Czechoslovakia’s Veronika Fenclova in third place.
Beijing Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) missed out on the medals, but a strong fourth place finish helps her extend her advantage over Tina Mihelic (CRO) in the World Cup Standings.
The finishing positions were even closer in the Men’s 470 fleet, with just one point separating the three medal winning crews. In a tie with 58 points each, France’s Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos held strong to win the Delta Lloyd Regatta. In a close second were the Netherlands Sven Coster and Kalle Coster. Separated by only a point from first and second were the Argentinean duo of Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente. ISAF Sailing World Cup Standing leaders Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl (USA) see their advantage at the front cut after missing out on the top 20 (and therefore World Cup points) this week.
Whilst Great Britain ended on top of the medal table with three golds, two silvers and a bronze, there was also plenty of success in today’s Medal Races for the Dutch team competing on their home waters. Dorian van Rijsselberge won his third ISAF Sailing World Cup event following a surprise upset in the Men’s RS:X Medal Race when Poland’s Piotr Myszke surrendered his first place position.
Myszke was tied with van Rijsselberge on 22 points; however, van Rijsselberge took a second in the crucial double-points Medal Race while Myszka took a 10th. In third place was France’s Julien Bontemps with 32 points. Rijsselberge, who has only competed at three of the five World Cup events to date, moves up to second in the World Cup Standings, just two points behind João Rodrigues (POR).
Along with van Rijsselberge, the second Dutch victory came in the Paralympic 2.4mR fleet. Thierry Schmitter (NED) was unbeatable throughout the week scoring only 14 points to sail away with the gold medal. Great Britain’s Megan Pascoe held her course and staved off André Rademaker (NED) for the second place position with 25 points. Rademaker was a close third with 28 points. Pascoe's second-place finish keeps her at the top of the World Cup Standings.
Nowhere was the British success better illustrated than in the Finn fleet, which saw a big upset when Giles Scott (GBR), who has been the leader all week, surrendered his first place position to Ed Wright (GBR). Wright took the gold with 25 points and Scott finished with 36 points. In third place was Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic.
Wright and Scott also stay first and second respectively in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, with Wright now holding an impressive 78-point score after five events (thanks to two wins and two silver medal finishes).
The other British wins came in the Laser and Women’s Match Racing events. Beijing gold medallist Paul Goodison of Great Britain proved himself unstoppable in this week’s Laser competition. Following on from his victory at the last World Cup event at Hyeres, he has been on top of the fleet all week at the Delta Lloyd Regatta, easily cruising to the gold medal. After 12 races today, he finished first with 55 points followed by the Croatian competitors Tonci Stipanovic with 62 points and Milan Vujasinovic with 71 points in third place. Nick Thompson (GBR) finished sixth overall to retain his lead of the World Cup Standings.
After a two-event break, Women's Match Racing returned to the ISAF Sailing World Cup series in Medemblik. Lucy MacGregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin (GBR) got the better of the German team of Ulrike Schuemann, Julia Bleir and Kathrin Kadelbach 3-2 in today’s final to win gold and also take over the top spot in the World Cup Standings. Apart from the Brits and the Dutch, gold medals went to six other nations in Medemblik, with 18 nations winning medals in total.
Spain took victory amongst the female windsurfers as Blanca Manchon (ESP) sailed a tight race to secure the number one position in the Women’s RS:X Medal Race and extend her lead in the World Cup Standings to a massive 34 points. A finish of 14th or better at either of the two remaining ISAF Sailing World Cup events of the 2008-09 series will ensure her the title of inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion in the Women's RS:X. Trailing on the edge of her board this week were Italian’s Laura Linares and Flavia Tartaglini who came in second and third respectively.
The Australian team of Nathan Outtridge and Iain Jensen showed who’s boss on the 49er’s race course on Sunday for the Medal Race coming in 25 points ahead of second place Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello of Italy. With just a point behind second place, the team of Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes of Great Britain came in at 75 points for third place overall.
After a disappointing results at Hyeres, World Cup leaders Paul Campbell-James and Mark Asquith (GBR) put in a much stronger showing at Medemblik this week. They finished fifth overall to hold on to first place in the World Cup Standings.
The Japanese team of Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata were similarly dominant as they sailed to a first place finish in the Women’s 470 Medal Race. They beat out the team of Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defarnce of France who took the silver, followed by Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving of the USA who finished in third position.
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) made the most of the absence of the top two teams in the World Cup Standings, finishing seventh overall to score 14 World Cup points and close the gap at the top of the Standings.
Completing the list of gold medal winners in Medemblik are the illustrious pairing of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada(BRA), who ended their debut on the ISAF Sailing World Cup by winning gold in the Star Medal Race. The Brazilian pair took a big lead into the race and ended up clear winners ahead of Fredrik Loof and Johan Tillander (SWE) in second and Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen (GER) in third.
Whilst the Brazilians take the plaudits for their performance this week, another strong finish for Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA) lifts them up two places and into the lead of the World Cup Standings.