Friday, April 08, 2011

 

The first major of the year in Europe has wrapped up for the Canadian contingent. The Medal Race competition remains on tap for Saturday but unfortunately for the Canadian faithful we came up a little short today.
Palma deliver yet another stellar racing day with the sea breeze arriving after only a short delay ashore. The breeze steadily built throughout the day with racing taking place in 9-14 knots. It was anything but straight forward though as the gradient was in the same direction as the sea breeze creating some instability which translated into private lanes for some and not such good fortune for others.
Lee Parkhill in the Laser class came up only 4 points shy of cracking the top 10 and a medal race date. His 2nd in the first race of the day pulled him into contention but his fortunes turned south in the final race of the series where he posted his drop race, forcing him to settle for an 11th in the overall standings. Fellow Canadian Dave Wright also came our strong in the final day, posting a 6 in the 9th race of the series and providing an opening to move into Medal Race contention but Dave also suffered through the final race of the day and ultimately wound up 14th overall.
Elsewhere, Zac Plavsic had a trying day in RSX land dropping from 10th to 16th overall, an unfortunate turn of events after spending the majority of the week in the top 10, Nikola Girke in the women’s RSX fleet was the top Canadian finisher winding up 18th. Other early scores included a 23rd for Lisa Ross in the Laser Radial fleet and a 27th for Isabella Bertold, while Claire Merry put up two quality finishes to wind up 1st in Silver fleet of the Radial event.
Full scores and awesome pictures can be found at www.trofeoprincesasofia.org . Stay tuned as the Canadian team moves on to Hyeres, France and the next stop on the World Cup Circuit.
Feature photo credit: Nico Martinez 
Thursday, April 7
With a day’s sailing remaining before the Medal Race’s the Canadian squad finds itself with one athlete in and a trio of others needing huge performances on the final day to squeak into the top 10 and further racing on Saturday.
It could have been mistaken for “groundhog day today” as the typical morning NE breeze dominated, only to shut down and be replaced by a tricky sea breeze. Only difference today was that the committees kept all the sailors ashore until the sea breeze settled in. It was likely the best call as the NE breeze although present never really filled the race areas. After waiting through the noon hour and into the early afternoon, the fleets finally embarked on the days challenges depending on the course ranging from 1300 to 1400 hours.
The sea breeze although solid was temperamental in its early stages, with a big range in direction, and variance in strength across the course areas.
Back to the Medal Race challenge; currently Zac Plavsic sits 10th in the RSX men’s class with 6 points separating him from 9th and an equal 6 point lead on 11th. In the Laser fleet, David Wright and Lee Parkhill sit 15th and 16th consecutively, and are 13 and 14 points out of 10th, doable for either or both as they have demonstrated the ability to challenge the front runners throughout the event. In the Laser Radial Lisa Ross powered her way back into contention with a 3 – 18 for the day, and currently is 15 points in arrears of 10th place, but based on her demonstration in today’s first race it might just play out.
Two races are schedule for all fleets Friday with the 49ers slated to have 3 races to wrap up the respective series. More to come as the challenges unfold Friday.
Above picture: CST Laser sailor Dave Wright (Photo credit: Jesus Renedo)

For full results go to: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/portada.php

Wednesday, April 6
The conditions for the third day of racing here in Palma were much the same as day 2, only with a few more variables thrown in, a little less wind velocity on average, and the odd sad face as the Gold Fleet splits came into play for classes sailing in split fleets.
The day once again started off with a North Easterly breeze, ranging from 8-13 knots. More accurately during race time for the Laser’s and Radial’s it ranged from 13 to next to nothing by the end of race one. For all but the blue fleet in the Radial class the breeze stuck around long enough to squeeze in one trying race, for those in the Blue fleet in the Radial the race was mercilessly abandoned as they had suffered the worst of the morning’s conditions.
After a short wait, the sea breeze filled in and racing was again underway in 6-9 knots of SSW breeze. A similar pattern played out across the entire bay, affecting each race area but ultimately providing suitable racing conditions for everyone.
Canada’s top performers on the day included Lee Parkhill in the Laser class who posted a 6 – 3 on the day and sits 21st overall, not to be outdone, Dave Wright also put up a pair of quality finishes (4 -6) and sits 16th. The front of the Laser pack is a tense three way battle between 2008 Olympic Gold Medallist Paul Goodison of GBR, 2010 Laser World Champion Tom of AUS, and Goodison’s countryman Nick Thomson. A scant point separates each of the combatants.
Other Canadian’s putting up solid scores on the day included Lisa Ross in the Laser Radial fleet, who scored a 5th in the days first race and sits 26th overall. Zac Plavsic continues to perform and sits 10th in the men’s RSX class, while Nikola Girke had a difficult day sliding back to 18th overall.
Racing continues tomorrow with similar conditions forecast and the push for the Medal race positions on in earnest across all of the fleets.
 

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The day started off promising with 8-12 knots from the NE, but the forecasters were saying all sorts of things about dying breeze, building sea-breeze and a mirage of other potential scenarios. As it all turned out we had two distinctive days. Day one saw us race in 12 to 6 knots, yes slowly diminishing towards the finish. Then everything shut down, and Day two started, with a revitalised sea-breeze, that filled quickly and enabled the respective committees to get subsequent racing in.
Canada’s day on the circles collectively again saw some glimmers of positive and unfortunately also some inconsistency. The top performers amongst our crew today included Lisa Ross in the Radial fleet with an 8 -7 to sit 25th overall. The Radial fleet is being dominated presently by Paige Railey of the US, who has a quartet of 2s which is testimony to her skill set with the variety of conditions we have faced. Erin Rafuse of Halifax had a personal top score today with an 8th in race one to boost her confidence and demonstrate that she has the speed skills to compete with the front of this fleet.
On the Laser circle, Paul Goodison the 2008 Gold Medallist showed stellar form with a 1-1 on the day, to move into second place behind 2010 World Champion Tom Slingsby of Australia who continued on form with a 3-1. David Wright of the RCYC is the top Canadian performer sitting 26th, after a 16 – 7 on the day, while Lee Parkhill made the biggest move amongst the Canadian Laser sailors with a 5 – 12 and currently sits 28th.
The RSX fleets put a further two races in the books with Zac Plavsic again showing he can perform amongst the leaders racking up a 3rd in the first race of the day, but unfortunately did not stay on form for Race 2 falling to 22nd to sit 14th overall. Nikola Girke similarly started the day well with at 7th, before scoring a 25th to sit 13th overall. The 49er team of Jonathan Ladha and Daniel Inkpen, made a 10 place gain on the day putting up a 12 – 11 – 15 score card to sit 37th overall.
Racing continues through Friday with tomorrow marking the end of the split fleet qualifiers and Saturday the all important Medal Race Day. A single drop comes into play after 5 races so tomorrows scores will see significant movement in the respective fleets, with the Canucks jockeying for position.