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Brits on Xcellent snap victory at the 4th SB20 Cascais Winter Series

by SailCascais / Clube Naval de Cascais 15 Mar 04:14 PDT 29 February - 1 March 2020
SB20 Cascais Winter Series 2020 © Anna Zykova

Cascais is heating up ahead of the 2020 World Championship later this year - for the fourth event of the winter season 42 boats lined up at the start.

It was the British team Xcellent of John Pollard who topped the leaderboard with two bullets under their belt. This result puts them fourth in the overall Winter Series, the winner of which for the second consecutive year will receive the perpetual Tony Castro Trophy!

First day of the fourth Cascais Winter Series the wind varying between NorthWesterly and Westerly oscillating between 10 and eight knots. Europe's most active SB20 fleet completed three races that had been scheduled for the day.

Team #GameChanger of Julia Freespirit, Ben Saxton, Semen Dmitrenko and Pavlo Matsuyev were the leaders at the end of the first day, followed by John Pollard's team Xcellent with only two points behind the leader. Closing the podium after Day 1 was Vasco Serpa's team PussPuss/SailCascais.

The Ukrainian team sailed very consistently, opening the event with winning Race 1 and scoring a three and a two in the following two races in this highly competitive fleet. The biggest difficulty of the day was getting off the starting line well and getting to the right handside of the course, which was the paying one.

The Comittee end of the line was in high demand! And the team from Kiev got it perfectly in the first two races. It was more impressive to watch Race 3 when after a bad start thanks to amazing boat handling and speed they managed to finish in second.

"We had another great day in mysterious Cascais and were happy to sail in so strong, super competitive and truly international fleet. Considering light wind conditions we wish we were 20 kilos lighter," - comented happy Julia Freespirit.

British team Xcellent of John Pollard, Jack Wetherell and Steve Procter were trailing the leaders closely with 8 points after three races scoring 4, 1 and 3.

"It was a fantastic day racing, really tight racing. Exactly what we came here for. Tomorrow we will just try to stick to our routine and keep it simple. What will be, will be." said John Pollard.

Chasing a bit further behind in third place was the local team PussPuss/SailCascais of Vasco Serpa, Pedro Costa Alemão and João Matos Rosa who scored 7, 2 and 6th.

On the second day of the fourth Cascais SB20 Winter Series, the fleet found an oscillating South Westerly of 8 to 13 knots. The fleet only managed to sail two out of the three races scheduled caused by the two general calls between the first and the second races of the day.

Xcellent opened the day with a bullet tying them with the #GameChangers of Julia Freespirit that scored 3rd on the race, but they had an advantage on the tiebreak. As the next start got delayed, it was obvious that only two races were going to be sailed this day and that meant the #GameChanger had to beat the British team and score a third or better on Race 5.

The story of that race was not anything like that as the leaders took the left on the first beat and that was not the place to go!

Team Victoria of 49er sailor Vadim Pushev, Ivan Gromov and Alexey Kolobanov from St Petersburg, Russia took the gun, followed by their country fellows of MST of Vasily Grigoriev Maxim Kuzmin, Mikhail Markin and team Seven Seas of three times World Champion - Geoff Carveth sailing with Frank Dobbels, Katrien Vandaele, Noemi Wouters, that allowed these three teams to brilliantly finish Race 5 in first places.

After five tough races, John Pollard's Xcellent with Steve Procter and Jack Weatheral won the event tied with the second best team - Julia Freespirit's #GameChanger with Ben Saxton, Pavlo Matsuyev and Semen Dmytrenko. Closing the podium, in third place overall was team VIS Sailing from St Petersburg of Timur Sabirzianov, Alexandr Mihailov and Andrey Solokov who sailed a very consistent event.

So who will win the perpetual Tony Castro Trophy this month? Vasco Serpa's PussPuss/SailCascais remains in the lead with a three point advantage over Vasily Grigoriev's MST followed by Dom Pedro Hotels of José Paulo Ramada.

Cascais SB20 Winter Series after four events: (top five, overall standing here)

1. PussPuss, Vasco Serpa - CNCascais, 8 pts
2. MST, Vasily Grigoriev - Pirogovo, 11 pts
3. Dom Pedro Hotels, José Paulo Ramada - CNCascais, 16 pts
4. Xcellent, John Pollard - Royal Torbay YC, 20 pts
5. AM Rusarc, Anastasia Morozova - YC SPb, 24 pts

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