After a short postponement ashore on the opening day of the 470 European Championships, the sea breeze kicked in and racing got underway around 1325 hours.
The renowned Bay of Palma delivered shifty racing conditions, proving to be nirvana for some, more of a challenge for others.
Both 470 Men and 470 Women fleets are split into yellow and blue fleets for the 5 race qualification series. Two races down on day 1 in the 470 Women sees Austria’s formidable pairing of Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar control the two races with back to back wins. Three races in the 470 Men puts Argentina’s Lucas Calabrese/Juan De La Fuente at the front of the leaderboard.
The US Sailing Team Sperry’s Stu McNay and Dave Hughes submitted strong opening scores of 1,7,3 as they seek to repeat their 2015 Europeans victory. The veteran pair is now tied for second overall in the 69-boat fleet.
“Today was definitely a good way to start,” said McNay, a two-time Olympian. “Even though we won last year, we are treating this as just another regatta. We need to stick to our typical routine and processes, and focus on the details.”
The Europeans, the final event to select the US Women’s 470 team for the 2016 Olympics, saw US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Annie Haeger and teammate Briana Provancha get off to a quick start with scores of 2,9 on the day to sit in 7th overall in the 57-boat fleet.
“We executed our starts pretty well,” said Haeger. “There were a few mistakes, but we bounced back.” A strong first race set a positive tone for the rest of the day. “We gained a bit on every leg,” said Provancha. “It was a good day overall. We’re excited to get some scores on the board.”
Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), entered the event just two points behind Haeger and Provancha in the Olympic selection series, and scored 14,16 on the first day at Europeans. “We are feeling good, and there is a lot of racing left,” said Bolger. On a shifty day like today, analyzing the course effectively is a key factor, explained Shevitz. “We felt like we were seeing things well out there, but were not implementing the best strategies to take advantage of our data,” said Shevitz.
Racing continues daily to April 12.
more info …… 2016europeans.470.org