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Hempel World Cup Series - Allianz Regatta Day 4

by World Sailing 5 Jun 10:30 PDT 2-13 June 2021

The Medal Race line ups have been confirmed at the Hempel World Cup Series - Allianz Regatta after a windier day of racing for the ILCA 6, ILCA 7, Nacra 17 and Men's and Women's RS:X in Medemblik, The Netherlands.

As the qualification series concluded, Laila van der Meer and Bjarne Bouwer (NED) confirmed gold in the Nacra 17 and, barring any final day disasters, ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 gold will go to Marie Barrue (FRA) and Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR).

It remains wide open for the remaining medals in the ILCA 6, ILCA 7 and Nacra 17. Meanwhile, in the Men's and Women's RS:X, a fight will be on for the medals in Sunday's double points Medal Race.

The wind picked up on Saturday in Medemblik, with a 9-12 knot breeze from the north west warmly received by the sailors.

The seven-boat Women's RS:X fleet has featured close-knit racing all week long. All seven competitors are heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the athletes have welcomed the test against their Olympic rivals.

Marta Maggetti (ITA) blitzed Friday's racing, taking all three wins to grab the lead. She held on to that lead on Saturday with a 1-2-(3) scoreline and will take a slender one-point advantage over Katy Spychakov (ISR) into the Medal Race.

Spychakov sailed consistently on Saturday, posting two seconds and a race win, and with just one day remaining, she has loved the competition at the first Hempel World Cup Series event of 2021.

"It's been quite tight all week together with Marta and Lilian," commented Spychakov.

"It's been exciting to have such tight racing. I thought that because there were not that many girls here there would be gaps in the fleet, but we've raced so close and it's all on tomorrow."

Light winds can often test the physicality and perseverance of RS:X windsurfers, with pumping required to propel them along. It can be gruelling on the body but Spychakov recognises the importance of preparing in these types of conditions, "It's been light wind all week and we've not had much training in this. Today was a little bit better on the downwinds though.

"I was quite happy with this light wind because our last event, the World Championships, was quite windy. In Japan we can have a big swell from the sea and here we don't have that, but racing is racing so that's good."

Spychakov sits second on 13 points, one off the leader Maggetti. Lilian de Geus (NED) is third on 20 points heading into the Medal Race, with Patricia Freitas (BRA) fourth on 32 and Blanca Manchon (ESP) fifth on 39.

In the Men's RS:X, Piotr Myszka (POL) regained the lead from Italy's Mattia Camboni but just two points separate them heading into the Medal Race. They have a significant points buffer between themselves and Angel Granda Roque (ESP) in third place so, providing the Polish and Italian racers are towards the front and middle of the pack in the Medal Race, whoever comes out on top will clinch gold.

Pedro Pascual (USA) will head into the Medal Race in seventh overall and will be targeting a strong finish as he prepares for his second Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020. Like every racer in Medemblik, he has enjoyed preparing for the Games against high-quality opponents, "The fleet has filtered out, so now only the people that are going to be at the Games are here. It's an event that's going to be pretty similar to Tokyo.

"I had a rough start but I've been climbing up all week so I can't complain."

Olympic experience can often pay off at the grandest of stages for the sport of sailing and Pascual will be using that to his advantage at Tokyo 2020, "I'm going to take what I learn in Rio and use that for something positive. I'd love to be fighting for a medal. It's a pretty high goal but you never know. I still have a month to give it all I have. It's helpful to have that experience. At my first Olympics I didn't know what to expect. It's completely different to anything else I'd done."

In the ILCA 7, Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) needs to finish ninth or better to confirm his gold medal. In the second day of gold fleet racing, the British sailor snapped up a race win and a third to open up a 18 point lead over Croatia's Filip Jurisic.

It is unlikely that Jurisic will fight Chiavarini for gold in Sunday's Medal Races as he has Joel Rodriguez (ESP) three points behind him and Niels Broekhuizen (NED) six points off. Jeemin Ha (KOR) and Stefano Peschiera (PER) are also in medal contention and will be sure to put up a fight.

Marie Barrue (FRA) has dominated the ILCA 6 all week long and also has a strong lead over the fleet. On 39 points, she is 17 points clear of Maria Erdi (HUN), and a top performance in the Medal Race will confirm gold.

Erdi is just six points ahead of the third-placed Agata Barwinska (POL). Ekaterina Zyuzina (RUS) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) are in contention for the medals but will need to put several boats between themselves, Erdi and Barwinska to overturn the deficit.

In the four-boat Nacra 17 fleet, home nation favourites Laila van der Meer and Bjarne Bouwer have dominated the fleet all week and sealed the deal with a day to spare.

Two points split Jesse Lindstadt and Jill Paland (GER) and Andrea Spagnolli and Alice Cialfi (ITA) in second and third, so whoever crosses the finish line first on Sunday will clinch gold.

Medal Races will be held one after the other on Sunday and are scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time.

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