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The Nations Trophy – Spain moves smoothly into the lead

by Event Media on 13 Oct
Day 2 – 28 Swan One Designs from 11 nations racing in Palma – The Nations Trophy © Nautor's Swan / Studio Borlenghi
It was another light air day at The Nations Trophy 2017, but competition was no less intense than the first day. The fleet of 28 Swan One Design yachts from 11 nations completed two more races in slightly more consistent pressure than yesterday.

Once again, the racing demanded attention, commitment and precision to maintain boat speed and position. With the event at the midway point, Spain is the leading The Nations Trophy standings, with Italy in second and Germany in third.

The contest in the championship fleets remains close-fought. Niramo (GER) now heads the 11-boat ClubSwan 50 Europeans on countback from Cuordileone (ITA) after posting an impressive 1,2 today. Porron IX (ESP) commands the nine-boat Swan 45 Worlds, in spite of Samantaga (BEL) getting the better of the day’s results with a 4,1. Nadir (ESP) now fronts the 8-boat ClubSwan 42 Europeans posting a 2,1 score-line.

With a weather forecast virtually identical to yesterday, crews were forewarned of a difficult day. They gave the impression of relaxing quickly into some unexpected ‘extra-time’ ashore as the Race Committee held the crews off the water to allow pressure to build.

The Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP) is renowned throughout the Mediterranean for its hospitality. Swan One Design crew are equally renowned for their willingness to leave their combative persona onboard the yachts and to enjoy each other’s company ashore. The hour or so saw the crews from the three fleets mixing on the RCNP terrace and enjoying the moment.

ClubSwan 50 European Championship
Niramo’s excellent results in the ClubSwan 50 fleet were sufficient to leap to the top of standings. Double Olympic gold medallist Jesper Bank is the tactician for the week: “We started the first race really well at the Committee Boat at full speed with nice separation to leeward. With the breeze filling in from the right we were in the right spot at the right time. That gave us a jump and we could play the shifts and control.”

Bank said an important element they had picked up on the practice day was that this championship would be all about pressure rather than wind angle: “Bridging the gap between pressure is critical.” It is also an event to learn each and every lesson quickly. In the second race, Niramo went hard right and met Skorpios (RUS) on the layline to the mark coming from the hard left: “That just showed us no playing in the middle, which we did on the second upwind and we lost out to the Russians. Now we know!”

Swan 45 World Championship
Philippe Moortgat, owner of Samantaga the Belgian Swan 45, was delighted with his crew’s work today: “It’s good news to see we are boat of the day in our class. We had a good day. Definitely we were in a good mode, a nice groove and the crew were fantastic. Everyone enjoyed the racing and this meant we were very comfortable especially in the second race.” Moorgat’s crew has four new crew on board for this week and it has taken a couple of days to gel: “We had a lot of things to do well and one thing in particular was to give our tactician (Tim Davis) a nice birthday present. We all worked on it together.”

ClubSwan 42 European Championship
Nadir took boat of the day in class by virtue of a tie-break. Andrea Rossi’s Mela (ITA) matched the impressive 1, 2 score, with Nadir breaking the tie by virtue of winning the second race. Pedro Vaquer, the owner of Nadir, was particularly pleased with the consistency he and his crew have shown so far: “We learnt a few things in the light winds of yesterday that we were able to use today. Set up was really important.” Vaquer’s performance so far is impressive since this is only his first season sailing One Design in the class: “We have sailed together all season, some for many years. I started One Design racing this year and we are really enjoying it.”

Racing at the 2017 Nations Trophy continues tomorrow, with more windward/leeward racing. The first race is scheduled for 12 noon.

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