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Nacra 17 Europeans - Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco claim victory

by Camille El Beze on 13 Jul 2014
2014 Nacra 17 European Championship Antoine Beysens
After starting their title challenge in the worst possible way at the Nacra 17 European Championship, a hole in their hull after a simple collision on the first day, Spain’s Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco finished off a long, difficult regatta La Grande Motte, France when they collected their first major title as a partnership by clearly winning the sudden death, tricky light winds medal race to secure the event victory.

Representing a first success in the new Olympic chapter of the storied, supremely diverse career of the helm from Hondaribbia in Spain’s Basque country, and the former 470 champion Pacheco, the duo actually built the firm foundations of their success on Friday when they scored three back to back second places when all their main rivals failed to come close in terms of that level of consistency in strong wind conditions.

In today’s medal race the Italian duo Vittorio Bissario and Silvia Sicouri had to win with the Spanish pair in eighth if they were to be overturned.

But it was the wily Martinez and Pacheco who sneaked off the start line in the very light, fickle breeze and got into the biggest and best puff first. They lead Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Pippa Wilson and John Gimson around the windward mark on the first round.

France’s World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou rallied after a poor start and took the lead momentarily on the second of three windward legs, but with the wind making a big shift to the right the Spanish had regained the lead at the top of the final round, finishing comfortably ahead of Besson and Riou.


At one stage the Italians were deep enough in the ten boat fleet that it looked like second overall might go to the French – who had lead until yesterday when they capsized and had to count a 27th in their final aggregate – but Bissario and Sicouri held their nerve and finish second with Besson and Riou content to have salvaged third.

Martinez and Pacheco paired up more 16 months ago and this is their biggest win to date. After Easter’s Princess Sofia Olympic regatta Pacheco had to have an operation to relieve carpal tunnel problems in her forearms which cost them training time, but the ever demanding, hard driving Martinez professed to be happy with their progress, even if he acknowledges that with their Olympic monohull background they still have many areas to catch up with catamaran specialists like Besson – an ex Tornado catamaran sailor who is also current F18 world champion, and the young Italian duo who sailed the Hobie 16 youth catamaran before:

'For sure we are very good where we are now, but the truth is this was a very special regatta with only one real set of conditions – pretty windy – and the medal race today was a little bit tricky, so it probably does not show exactly where everyone is in terms of looking towards the World Championships.' Martinez ventured today.

'I think the guys like Billy Besson and the Italians – I don’t want to say they are unbeatable – but we have to catch up with them. I think they have catamaran knowledge and obviously they are fast. That is where they have the advantage. They always have the boat well set up. We have to learn how to always have the boat well prepared and well set up and all these things. So still we are sometimes good, sometimes bad, some times good.'


La Grande Motte delivered mainly strong winds, even if the first day of racing was lost to a lack of breeze. And one full day was missed because of breezes which were too strong. That meant just three Finals races were sailed. The French duo’s one aberration sullied an otherwise excellent performance which would otherwise have one them the title. The cruel irony is that when they capsized in Friday’s third race, they were sailing super conservatively with Besson off the wire and on the trampoline, holding third place. Their boat stalled in the back of a wave, the ebullient French helm was washed off the boat but for his leg and they capsized when he lost control of the helm.

Meantime Martinez and Pacheco are focused on winning the world title in Santander, where the Spanish sailing team do a lot of their strong winds training, their second home. A fourth Volvo round the world race awaits Martinez but he confirms his strong commitment to a programme which he hopes will bring him a second Olympic gold medal:

'It will be a difficult balance. Now from the Volvo to the Olympics there is much more time. But I probably won’t do all the legs of the Volvo. It is not 100 per cent yet. My idea is to help the team as much as I can but I have a commitment here with the Spanish Olympic committee and with Tara and with everyone involved here. I can’t stop completely but I will help the team as much as I can and try to make the Volvo team as good as we can. We don’t even have 100 days before the start and we have to prepare a boat and a team, the whole game. It is a pretty exacting, exciting project and a very busy year for sure.'


Iker Martinez (ESP) European champion with Tara Pacheco: 'It means we are improving, slowly. We are improving and that is good news. We have done quite a lot of training but really not as much as we would have liked to do. It is not just a new class but Tara and myself are a new team together with a new coach. Santi Lopez is coaching us we had a long years of fighting for selection with him so it is nice to have him on our side now. He was the head coach for London for the team and now he is coaching us so we are very lucky to have someone with so much experience. We were mainly in Santander training but went to Morocco with the French guys and we travelled a lot. It all helps. Every day helps, we find new problems every day and we solve them and move one step forwards. For sure we are very good where we are now, but the truth is this was a very special regatta with only one real set of conditions – pretty windy – and the medal race today was a little bit tricky, so it probably does not show exactly where everyone is in terms of looking towards the World Championships. I think the guys like Billy Besson and the Italians – I don’t want to say they are unbeatable – but we have to catch up with them. I think they have catamaran knowledge and obviously they are fast. That is where they have the advantage. They always have the boat well set up. We have to learn how to always have the boat well prepared and well set up and all these things. So still we are sometimes good, sometimes bad, some times good. Yesterday was great we were on the limit and it was very shifty and that was good for us. We did not have any major things.

Today it was the kind of day when it could be simple if we are in front. For the Italians to beat us they had to win and we had to be eighth. That sounds an easy one but after what we saw on the water we could have been first or last as easily. It was not a relaxing race for sure. I think it was down to the first puff and who got away. We were in front from the beginning. It was not simple but it could be under control.'


Vittorio Bissario (ITA) second overall: 'We are happy to have held on to second place and on a day like today we are happy to have done that. It was not easy. It was really complicated. We know that in these conditions that luck can play a big part and so we are happy in our ability today. Now to relax. We need to take some time to relax and have a week off. Then we sail for one week on Garda and them move to Santander at the beginning of August to train there.

Here we feel complete. We are not maybe the best at starting, or the fastest, but all in all I think we are a complete team and I think that is why we can be always there, always regular. We never think of who we are sailing against. They are other boats to sail against not people far less people with Olympic medals. We just try to beat them all.

Marie Riou (FRA) third with Billy Besson 'Here we made it to third step on to the podium and so our honour is saved! It was a good medal race despite our bad start and a complicated first beat. In the end we made some good calls on the first upwind and so rounded third and managed to finish second. We kept an eye on where the Danes and Italians were all the time. At one point we thought we could get second overall but the Italians got themselves back into it at the very last moment.'

It was so shifty. Billy and I had done the Trophée Clairfontaine here and so we had a vague idea of what can happen. On balance we are very happy with our week. The format worked against us a bit in the end because we had to carry that 27th but we sailed well otherwise, three wins and two second places. It’s not bad.'

Résultat du Samedi 12 Juillet 2014 à 16.51 h.

Rgs

Ident

Concurrents

Grp

P Ret

P tot

c.3
Qu.

c.4
Qu.

c.5
Qu.

c.6
Fin

c.7
Fin

c.8
Fin

c.9
M.R

Coefficients ==>

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

 ESP  246

MARTINEZ Iker
 PACHECO Tara 

Med_RACE

23.00

60.00

2
2.0

4
4.0

6
6.0

2
2.0

2
2.0

2
2.0

1
2.0

2

 ITA  200

BISSARO Vittorio
 SICOURI Silvia 

Med_RACE

42.00

46.00

1
1.0

3
3.0

4
4.0

14
14.0

10
10.0

1
1.0

4
8.0

3

 FRA   1

BESSON Billy
 RIOU Marie 

Med_RACE

46.00

51.00

1
1.0

2
2.0

2
2.0

1
1.0

8
8.0

27
27.0

2
4.0

4

 DEN  248

NORREGAARD Allan
 JUST Line 

Med_RACE

59.00

65.00

4
4.0

4
4.0

6
6.0

3
3.0

11
11.0

13
13.0

10
20.0

5

 AUS  133

WATERHOUSE Jason
 DARMANIN Lisa 

Med_RACE

62.00

68.00

6
6.0

1
1.0

3
3.0

10
10.0

15
15.0

9
9.0

7
14.0

6

 GBR  076

WILSON Pipa
 GIMSON John 

Med_RACE

67.00

80.00

8
8.0

8
8.0

13
13.0

27
27.0

1
1.0

5
5.0

3
6.0

7

 NED  243

GROENEVELD Renee
 KROL Steven 

Med_RACE

69.00

88.00

7
7.0

11
11.0

19
19.0

11
11.0

12
12.0

3
3.0

8
16.0

8

 AUT  205

ZAJAC Thomas
 FRANK Tanja 

Med_RACE

70.00

107.00

6
6.0

25
25.0

2
2.0

17
17.0

3
3.0

6
6.0

5
10.0

9

 SUI  220

BAHLER Matias
 BRUGGER Nathalie 

Med_RACE

73.00

110.00

5
5.0

7
7.0

3
3.0

15
15.0

13
13.0

12
12.0

6
12.0

10

 ARU  212

VAN DER VELDEN Nicole
 VISSER Thijs 

Med_RACE

80.00

89.00

3
3.0

5
5.0

9
9.0

30
30.0

7
7.0

4
4.0

9
18.0

11

 ARG  226

LANGE Santiago
 CARRANZA SAROLI Cecilia 

OR

62.00

78.00

12
12.0

5
5.0

7
7.0

9
9.0

17
17.0

8
8.0

 

12

 AUS  158

MC NICOL Euan
 WHITTY Lucinda 

OR

68.00

76.00

4
4.0

8
8.0

1
1.0

5
5.0

DSQj
41.0

7
7.0

 

13

 FRA  077

CAMMAS Franck
 DE TURCKHEIM Sophie 

OR

70.00

83.00

9
9.0

1
1.0

10
10.0

23
23.0

4
4.0

14
14.0

 

14

 FRA  225

VAIREAUX Moana
 AUDINET Manon 

OR

73.00

110.00

3
3.0

DPI
7.0

10
10.0

13
13.0

5
5.0

28
28.0

 

15

 GBR   2

SAXTON Ben
 DIAMOND Hannah 

OR

75.00

89.00

9
9.0

2
2.0

8
8.0

18
18.0

22
22.0

10
10.0

 

16

 FRA  085

OGEREAU Audrey
 VANDAME Matthieu 

OR

82.00

104.00

2
2.0

6
6.0

5
5.0

19
19.0

9
9.0

31
31.0

 

17

 GBR  042

MACGREGOR Lucy
 WALSH Andrew 

OR

84.00

97.00

13
13.0

11
11.0

1
1.0

4
4.0

21
21.0

DNF
41.0

 

18

 ITA  209

BRESSANI Lorenzo
 MICOL Giovanna 

OR

84.00

112.00

28
28.0

10
10.0

9
9.0

7
7.0

16
16.0

17
17.0

 

19

 NZL  222

JONES Gemma
 SAUNDERS Jason 

OR

86.00

97.00

8
8.0

9
9.0

8
8.0

8
8.0

23
23.0

29
29.0

 

20

 NED  244

MULDER Mandy
 DE KONING Coen 

OR

86.00

123.00

19
19.0

BFD
37.0

7
7.0

25
25.0

18
18.0

11
11.0

 

21

 AUS  242

BUNDOCK Darren
 CURTIS Nina 

OR

96.00

133.00

12
12.0

3
3.0

4
4.0

21
21.0

24
24.0

20
20.0

 

22

 GBR  182

PHIPPS Tom
 ROOK Marie 

OR

96.00

119.00

5
5.0

23
23.0

5
5.0

20
20.0

14
14.0

21
21.0

 

23

 GER  211

KOHLHOFF Paul
 WERNER Carolina 

OR

112.00

128.00

13
13.0

7
7.0

16
16.0

6
6.0

36
36.0

32
32.0

 

24

 AUS  067

PIETROMONACO Pip
 WIERZBOWSKI James 

OR

114.00

141.00

10
10.0

18
18.0

27
27.0

26
26.0

19
19.0

16
16.0

 

25

 NED  081

DELNOOZ Elke
 VAN LEEUWEN Jeroen 

OR

116.00

137.00

10
10.0

21
21.0

17
17.0

12
12.0

29
29.0

30
30.0

 

26

 ITA  219

SALVA Federica
 BIANCHI Francesco 

OR

116.50

138.50

RDG
12.5

22
22.0

12
12.0

39
39.0

6
6.0

22
22.0

 

27

 GBR  120

WHITE Rupert
 NIKKI Boniface 

OR

124.00

140.00

16
16.0

14
14.0

13
13.0

32
32.0

33
33.0

15
15.0

 

28

 ITA  126

PORRO Francesco
 BANTI Caterina Marian 

OR

126.00

163.00

11
11.0

12
12.0

14
14.0

16
16.0

34
34.0

24
24.0

 

29

 DEN  082

CHRISTIANSEN Lin Ea
 MASDALANI Matéo 

OR

131.00

154.00

23
23.0

19
19.0

22
22.0

28
28.0

28
28.0

18
18.0

 

30

 AUS  217

WALKER Evan
 GILBERT Annalise 

OR

131.00

168.00

DNF
37.0

13
13.0

21
21.0

34
34.0

20
20.0

23
23.0

 

31

 FRA  078

LAUGIER Flora
 BELLET Valentin 

OR

131.00

146.00

11
11.0

12
12.0

15
15.0

33
33.0

32
32.0

19
19.0

 

32

 RUS  227

SEMENOV Maksim
 SHCHETINKINA Alina 

OR

135.00

155.00

20
20.0

15
15.0

12
12.0

24
24.0

37
37.0

25
25.0