Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima Day 2: RS:X & Finn sailors battle against the power of the Pacific

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 28 Aug 02:58 PDT 25 August - 1 September 2019
Big seas on Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima Day 2 © ailing Energy / World Sailing

The Men's and Women's RS:X and Finn fleet battled against the elements at Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima as wild winds and booming waves hit Sagami Bay.

As the seven remaining Olympic fleets were postponed early on in the day, the RS:X and Finn sailors hit the water and were put to the test in winds gusting 30 knots and waves 2.5m high.

France's Charline Picon, Rio 2016 Women's RS:X Olympic gold medallist, described the day as, "a bit of a war" with sailors expressions and body language reflecting that statement as they returned to shore following the racing.

Nonetheless, the 24 Finn sailors and 31 Men's and 24 Women's RS:X racers relished a new challenge on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic waters.

After two days of competition, Picon has demonstrated her all round excellence. On day one, in very light breeze, Picon expertly worked her board, using her physical strength to record three fourth place finishes. As the heavier breeze kicked in on Wednesday, the French Olympic champion took the challenge head and recorded a second and a third.

"It was amazing racing, with a lot of rain," commented Picon. "Sometimes there was ten knots with no planing and then it was up to 30 knots and a bit of a war.

"During the first upwind I only saw one sail up with everybody in the water. It was just a race fighting against yourself. But I enjoyed it a lot."

Picon became a mother after Rio 2016 and enjoyed time away from the RS:X. She made her competitive return in April 2018 and has been working to evolve her all-round skillset, "Since I had my baby, I have had to improve in strong winds. The key is to have pleasure in these conditions and have no fear. This year, since Palma [Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta], I've had a good sensation and taken a lot of pleasure in strong winds and this has really helped my results today."

Picon's second and third puts her one point off the Chinese leader, Yunxiu Lu, who won the opening race of the day.

Hong Kong's Wai Yan Ngai took the second race win and was followed by Emma Wilson and Picon. On the second race Picon commented, "It was a real battle. When somebody fell in the water, you'd have to avoid them and it was a real close race.

"I had a big crash and opened my leg. I finished the race and I hope it will be better tomorrow. At the upwind mark when I turned my sail round, I did a catapult capsize and don't know where I ended up.

"Emma and I then had a good battle on the final downwind which was great."

Yunxiu tops the leaderboard on 12 points followed by Picon on 13 and Peina Chen (CHN) on 16.

In the Men's RS:X, the fleet completed three races after the Women's RS:X as the breeze decreased in strength. Louis Giard (FRA) excelled winning two races and claiming a second. He holds the overall lead on 14 points. Pierre Le Coq (FRA) claimed a (5)-3-5 scoreline and is three points off Giard in second.

China's Kun Bi also found consistency in the strong breeze. A third, first and a second positions him in third overall.

Nicholas Heiner's (NED) face was lit up like a beacon when the Finn fleet returned to shore having completed a single race. When asked to describe the day in a word, he commented, "I'll go two - pretty awesome."

Heiner finished the race in second behind Spain's Joan Cardona Mendez who now holds the overall lead.

"It was amazing conditions, especially downwind," commented Heiner. "We were the only class out there having fun."

The Finn fleet were the first to hit the water and after some delays as the wind shifted, they got a race under way at 14:20 local time.

Cardona was a comfortable winner, leading from start to finish as Heiner moved up from sixth at the first mark to second at the end.

On what it took to succeed, Heiner commented, "At the top mark you had to find the groove in the chop and once you got going it was amazing fun. The best part was almost the trip back to the harbour at a great angle and going downwind in nice waves. It was an awesome day and a shame we didn't do more races."

The forecast was always for big winds and waves and Heiner prepared adequately, "You have to make sure you eat enough in the Finn when there's a chance of free pumping. But, to be honest, 12-14 knots is probably harder than these conditions because you're focusing more on steering the boat. I would almost say it was an easier day than a medium wind day but this was so much fun.

"For sure conditions were tough and it was a great battle against the elements. You've got to have fun with a big smile on your face then you'll go better in these conditions rather than sitting afraid."

Heiner's second puts him equal on points with Cardona Mendez who leads by nature of his race victory compared to Heiner's two second places. Greece's Ioannis Mitakis and Canada's Tom Ramshaw share the final podium position but plenty of racing remains.

Thursday sees an additional race added to every fleets schedule, minus the RS:X who will sail three. Racing is scheduled to start at 12:00 local time and the forecast is for a more favourable with 14-16 knots of breeze.

The 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS:X fleets will conclude racing on Saturday 31 August with their Medal Races. The 470s, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn will follow on Sunday 1 September at 12:00 local time. You can watch this all on the Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com homepages.

For more information visit wcs-enoshima.org.

Related Articles

Laser confirmed for Paris 2024
As Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy by World Sailing's Council At World Sailing's 2019 Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain, World Sailing's Council voted to retain the Equipment for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition. Posted on 11 Sep
World Sailing Presidential Newsletter: August 2019
August was a busy month event-wise with major continental Championships There was continued work on the Governance reform proposal, equipment selection for the Paris 2024 Olympics, and working on the development of the New Olympic offshore event and the information and learnings around this new event. Posted on 5 Sep
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima day 6
Three in a row for Belcher and Ryan Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won their third consecutive Men's 470 gold medal on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic waters as the Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima event in Japan concluded. Posted on 1 Sep
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima day 5
Surprises sprung as five podiums decided Five Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima champions were crowned on Saturday 31 August as the first day of Medal Races sprung some surprises. Posted on 31 Aug
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima day 4
Familiar fight in the Men's 470 A familiar fight on Sagami Bay is developing at Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima as Australian, Spanish and Swedish teams locked horns once again in the Men's 470. Posted on 30 Aug
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima day 3
The physical limits of the 496 sailors were pushed With thousands of miles of the Pacific Ocean to the East and South of Enoshima, coupled with deep waters around Sagami Bay, the waves have plenty of time to build to a rolling swell. Posted on 29 Aug
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima day 1
Perfect start for Grael and Kunze Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze got off to a perfect start in the 49erFX as racing commenced at the first regatta of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima, Japan. Posted on 27 Aug
Hempel World Cup Series - Day 1 morning report
496 sailors from 46 nations are racing across the all ten Olympic fleets Enoshima Yacht Harbour and the waters of Sagami Bay are primed and ready for race day one of Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima, the first event of the 2020 series. Posted on 27 Aug
Traditional welcome for Hempel Worlds sailors
A traditional Japanese welcome at Enoshima Before the dust can even settle on Ready Steady Tokyo, the Olympic test event, sailors have been officially welcomed to Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima, the first event of the 2020 series. Posted on 26 Aug
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima preview
A hard test ahead for the 496 sailors from 46 nations The 2020 Hempel World Cup Series is set for the lift off with 496 sailors from 46 nations ready to race across ten Olympic fleets on Sagami Bay in Enoshima, Japan. Posted on 26 Aug
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 2Melges 14 2019 FooterWindBot-COACH-660x82