Please select your home edition
Edition
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90

2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final at St. Francis Yacht Club - Day 1

by Amanda Witherell 10 Apr 20:17 PDT 9-14 April 2019

It was picket fences for both French teams top-ranked Women's skipper Pauline Courtois and Open Division skipper Maxime Mesnil, as well as defending Nations Cup Women's Champion Nicole Breault (USA) after the first day of racing at the 2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club.

Competition commenced with 10 women's division teams from around the world facing off in round robin format on two east-west race courses. Ripples of current snaking across the courses made for challenging conditions for first-timers to San Francisco Bay sailing. "It was really difficult with the current, but my team did a really good job," said Courtois, of her Match in Pink Normandy Elite Team of Maelenn Lemaitre, Loise Acker and Sophie Faguet. "We had really good, close matches in difficult conditions. There were no surprises, but it is important to keep focused and watch the water and the current."

Anna Östling (SWE) currently in third place with three wins echoed the sentiment to stay focused: "Our first race with [Juliana] Senfft (BRA) we had a penalty at the start and were able to wipe it and give her one right at the finish line. It was one of those races where you think, think, think and finally get the win."

"It was a really fun start to the event," she added. "This is the kind of sailing we love."

Defending Women's Champion, and Bay local, Nicole Breault, raved about the caliber and tightness of competition. "You have to capitalize on their mistakes, because they're capitalizing on yours."

Asked if she had any unforgettable moments on the racecourse today, she called up her match against fellow USA skipper, Allie Blecher.

"We were trailing around the leeward mark, but really close. We rolled into a tack, got our bow forward and I realized we'd rolled over our spinnaker sheets." With the drag of the sheets slowing them down during the short second beat, Breault's bow Hannah Burroughs was all over the deck recovering and retying them. "We rounded, tucked to the inside, got control of them, and had the most perfect spinnaker set. We ended up passing them and winning the race."

The morning's light northerly winds eventually clocked to the west and built to the high teens delivering more robust afternoon conditions for the nine Open Division teams. The tail end of a strong flood tide pushed competitors close to shore seeking relief and moments of lift in reversing ebb. This made for fantastic viewing from StFYC's clubhouse of a series of dial-downs between David Rae (RSA) and Henrique Haddad (BRA) in a match ultimately won by Haddad. By day's end, the ebb had shortened the average match times from 16 minutes to 11, noted World Sailing's Technical Director and PRO David Campbell-James.

"We had a very nice day," said Maxime Mesnil (FRA), sailing with Match In Black Normandy Elite Team members Hugo Feydit, Yann Chateau and Yves-Marie Pilon. "Last week we were at Congressional Cup and today we had more wins than all of last week. It was a very good start to the event." A neck-and-neck match against Pearson Potts (USA) had spectators out of their seats as the two boats rounded the windward mark, raised their chutes for the downwind with Mesnil quickly luffing Potts to the north, their hulls careening wildly in the building seas. "I thought I had a penalty," Mesnil explained, "So I was trying to penalize him, but my team said no, we are fine." Eventually bearing off, Mesnil sent it for the finish line and squeaked out the win.

Tomorrow, he'll be up against Haddad, who also had a strong day, and Ettore Botticini (ITA) who's hoping for more wins than he scored during his first day sailing in San Francisco. "Today was hard. We lost, not the most important matches, but the ones we wanted to win," he said. "We improved a lot through the day, but tomorrow we need to do better."

Racing recommences Thursday, April 10 with Open Division skippers competing in the morning and Women's just after midday.

Results available here.

Related Articles

2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final overall
French sweep Women's and Open Divisions in San Francisco Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Maxime Mesnil (FRA) took top honors respectively in the Women's and Open Divisions at World Sailing's Nations Cup Grand Final, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Posted on 15 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 4
World Sailing Nations Cup Semifinals Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Pearson Potts (USA) lead the Women's and Open division after two flights sailed in the semifinals at World Sailing's Nations Cup, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Posted on 14 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 3
Pauline Courtois leads Women, anyone's game in Open Pauline Courtois (FRA) ran a picket fence during Day 3 of racing at World Sailing's Nations Cup at St. Francis Yacht Club. Nicole Breault (USA), went into the day's racing undefeated, but suffered a loss to Anna Östling (SWE) in the first match Posted on 13 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 2
Mesnil leads Open, Breault remains undefeated in Women's Division Maxime Mesnil (FRA) dominated the Open Division during the second day of racing at the 2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final. In the Women's Division Nicole Breault (USA) and Pauline Courtois (FRA) continued to rack up wins through the afternoon Posted on 12 Apr
2019 Nations Cup Grand Final to be sailed in J/22s
Ten Open and ten Women's skippers set for St. Francis Yacht Club St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA has been selected by World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, to host the 2019 Nations Cup Grand Final. Posted on 19 Jan
Nations Cup Grand Final heads to San Francisco
10 countries represented in the Open, and 8 in the Women's category St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, USA has been selected by World Sailing to host the 2019 Nations Cup Grand Final April 9-14, 2019 and will use its matched fleet of J/22s. Posted on 17 Jan
Marine Resources BOTTOMMelges IC37 2019 FooterZhik 2018 Hyeres 728x90 BOTTOM