Trofeo Sofia Iberostar~ Finn Fleet compresses behind Josh Junior
osh Junior (NZL) holds the narrowest of leads after the third day of racing at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Iberostar in Palma.
With redress now granted for race four, Giles Scott (GBR) is just 0.8 points back in second, while Jonathan Lobert (FRA) drops one to third. Races wins went to Zsombor Berecz (HUN) and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO).
It was another boisterous day on the water with wind increasing but still very shifty in an offshore breeze that kept everyone busy.
Zsombor Berecz (HUN) won the opening race from Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) and Björn Allansson (SWE). Berecz said: “In the first race I had the best start at the committee boat and from that moment I took the lead all the way to the finish. The conditions were still crazy, but today we ‘only’ had 20 degree shifts, but at least the strength of the wind was stable.”
He almost took a double win. “In the second race I was also in the front but I fell in the water after a tack, which put me back to ninth. Everybody is having ups and downs, as you can see on the results. We hope the best for the next couple of days and keep fighting.”
Berecz is part of the Dinghy Academy training group and is also sailing one of the new D-Fantastica hulls from Devoti Sailing. “I’m really happy with my boat speed with the new boat and also the work what we put in with the team is paying off.”
The win in race six went to Ivan Kjlakovic Gaspic (CRO) from Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and the current Junior World Champion Anders Pedersen (NOR).
After a port-starboard incident yesterday, which severely damaged his boat, Giles Scott (GBR) ended up using the boat of Peter McCoy (GBR) who has had to retire from the regatta after becoming injured on Monday.
He said, “My boat needs to go back to Poland to be properly fixed by Devoti Sailing. I decided to continue racing today because Pete McCoy kindly let me borrow his boat.”
Scott placed 12 and fourth to move up to second overall “It took a little getting used to but once I had it set up my speed was OK today. It was tricky day with big shifts in the offshore breeze, so to come away with two reasonable races was, I think, a good day.”
Scott has received redress for the race he was unable to complete yesterday, which will be based on his results over the first four days of the regatta.
Jonathan Lobert (FRA) picked up a 17, 7 today, but is still upbeat about his performance. “Today was again very shifty but with a good breeze from the land. It was not easy but was a fun day on the water. I am pretty happy to still remain in the top three. And we’ll see what the rest of the week looks like.”
Lurking just outside the top 10 is Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN), the silver medallist from London 2012, who has made Palma his comeback regatta. After the 2012 Olympics he has almost decided to retire from Olympic sailing, but turned up in September at the ISAF Worlds in Santander to qualify Denmark for the Rio games. “Almost is the important word. I did use Santander to see if I missed it enough to come back, but I have learned never to say never about sailing. I have been eight times in the gym every week since January, but I have not sailed since Santander.”
What does he expect from his fourth campaign? “The whole fleet has gotten much fitter, so I needed to start on a higher level. It will be a constant fight between pushing myself without breaking. 12-15 years in the boat with some massive breaks puts it tolls on the body.”
After six races, Høgh-Christensen sis in 12th place, just two points outside the top 10.
Despite being a generally high scoring week the points at the top are incredibly close as the regatta reaches its half way stage. There is just 11 points separating the top five so there is still a lot of racing yet to come.
Racing continues in Palma until Saturday 4 April, when the medal race for the top 10 will be sailed.