The gusty winds have tested the sailors’ ability to read the Lanzarote regatta course, so strategy has prevailed over speed, with the debut of the Bocaina being a challenge to advance towards Tokyo.
Canary Islander Tara Pacheco stands out among the best strategists, advancing to third place in the Nacra 17 flying catamaran, as did the pair of Diego Botín and Iago López in the 49er class. However, the island has put the women’s duo of Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barceló to the test.
The wind dropped significantly on Monday. The sailors risked a lot at the start in order to be able to sail with free wind. Monday has been a strategic challenge, a very technical race that has managed to bring out the nerves. However, Tara Pacheco from Gran Canaria and Florian Trittel from Barcelona were able to read the course to move up three positions, although they hope “to have a better chance tomorrow on the first upwind leg, so that we can be in front from the start”. In general there has been little pressure, “the boat could hardly fly downwind, which means that the speed differences between the boats are huge”, explains Pacheco.
Their direct rivals for the Olympic Games are the French Delapierre and Audinet, current European runners-up and second in the Lanzarote International Regatta, while the German duo of Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer are still in first place. It should be remembered that some European countries such as Holland (currently in eighth position with Järudd Emil and Jonsson Cecilia as sailors) or Finland (with Sinem Kurtbay and Janne Jarvine in tenth position) are competitng for the Olympic spot.
For their teammates in the men’s 49er, Diego Botín and Iago López, the easterly winds allowed them to advance to third place. “It was all about going left on the race course, almost the whole fight was decided at the start, at the beginning it was difficult, but we managed to come back, it was a very good day for us”, said the Cantabrian sailor. Despite having come back three positions, the British take the lead on the second day of racing as the best readers of the Lanzarote wind: Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell, third in the World Championship held in Auckland (New Zealand) and gold in the European Championship in Weymouth (United Kingdom) in 2019.
In the women’s 49er FX, Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barceló have not been so lucky, they have decided to take risks at the start and it is of little use to have the boat perfectly tuned, new sails and the crew trained to the best level if you go over the starting line of a regatta, and this fact has characterised the day for the women’s boats, and also for the favourites to be champions of the Lanzarote International Regatta after the world gold medal, as they will have a hard time recovering from the 16th position, after two disqualifications for being out of line. On the other hand, the Norwegians Helena Næss and Marie Rønningen have taken the first place.
Lanzarote: a precedent for Olympic qualifying events in the Canary Islands
The competition, a European and African qualifier for Tokyo 2020, sets the precedent for positioning the Canary Islands as a sports tourism benchmark and safe destination in the world with the support of the Canarian government’s Department of Tourism, Industry and Trade led by Yaiza Castilla. For the first time, the islands are the continental passport to compete in three modalities of Olympic sailing: Nacra 17, 49er and 49er FX: The results can be followed live on the official website of the Lanzarote International Regatta.
by Lanzarote International Regatta