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470 European Championship in San Remo, Italy - Day 2

by Andy Rice 16 May 2023 11:15 PDT 14-20 May 2023

Day 2 of the 470 European Championship delivered some wacky races but ultimately no new results on the scoreboard in San Remo, Italy.

The blue and yellow qualifying fleets came tantalisingly close to completing a race in the maddest of wildly varying conditions. After already experiencing breeze from 0 to 26 knots, depending on whether boats were in the streak of lull or the streak of gust, the final nail in the coffin came on the final run to the finish when the breeze reversed more than 110 degrees from its original direction.

Spinnakers down, the 470s now heading upwind towards what had been the leeward end of the course, and the race committee decided to blow abandon the racing and send the fleet back in to avoid further frustration.

Lovisa Karlsson smiled, laughed even, at her misfortune of leading the yellow fleet race. She and helmsman Anton Dahlberg (SWE) are the defending European Champions from last year's event in Turkey. "We still enjoyed the sailing even if we didn't get a result," she said. "It was crazy conditions and the right call to abandon, although it would be nice to have got the race done."

After winning their opening race on day one but following up with a lowly 22nd in the next, the Swedes sit in an uncharacteristic 17th overall. Today's potential victory would have been really useful.

Also fighting near the front of yellow fleet were the young French team, Matisse Picaud and Lucie de Gennes (FRA), and the Italians, Giacomo Ferrari and Bianca Caruso (ITA). "We were very happy to be leading the race for a while, and still be in the fight all the way round the course," said Ferrari.

Caruso was relieved to have come ashore and not be pushing for more attempts at racing in such weird conditions. "There's no point in trying for the sake of it, and the forecast looks better for the coming days," she said.

Nia Jerwood (AUS) looked freezing cold as she came ashore, but still pleased that she and Conor Nicholas had managed to hold their own near the front of the pack. "We stuck to our game plan," said Jerwood, "which was get a safe start and play the left hand side of the course because we thought there was a left-hand shift at the top. Then stay upright on the downwind!"

When it was often wind against waves, kicking up short, sharp chop fit for burying the bow of a 470, staying upright was actually quite tough, even for the most seaworthy of all the Olympic classes. "Luckily we managed all our goals, kept the boat going nicely, good boatspeed, but no result to take away. Which is a pity because we needed that result to launch us into gold fleet."

Like everyone else in the 67-boat fleet, the Aussies live to fight another day. With just two races completed, there has to be a minimum of four races to complete qualifying before the fleet gets divided into gold and silver.

In the blue group, Austrians Lara Vadlau and Lukas Maehr held a pretty healthy lead ahead of the Spanish team, Silvia Mas and Nico Rodriguez, until the race was abandoned. Like the other leading lights of the day, the Austrians were philosophical about losing a potential race win. They sit in 14th overall with plenty of opportunity to break into the top ten.

By contrast, with an 8th and a DSQ from day one, the reigning 470 World Champions from Germany, Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth really need a good remainder of the qualifying phase to ensure they make it through to gold fleet. Instead it's another German crew, Theresa Löffler & Christopher Hoerr, who maintain the overall lead after winning both their races on the first day.

Wednesday was meant to be the start of gold fleet but with today's lack of races, day three will be all about trying to finish off the qualifying phase. Three races are scheduled to start at 1100 hours local time.

Event website with live blog (provides race updates throughout the day): 2023europeans.470.org
Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/155406587@N08/albums/72177720308298360

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