Women’s Senior Fleet Fight It Out
The third day of the 2015 RS:X European Championships dawned unexpectedly overcast with a light rain – not ideal sunbathing weather for the athletes who remained ashore but today at least allowed them some extra time to contemplate the days ahead.. But there’s only so much strategic thinking to be done on the shore with the real test lying out on the racecourse so everyone was keen to get back to racing.
So, the reserve day today found only the women’s senior fleet competing – they still had to complete the qualification series and the anticipation was tangible as the fleet prepared to for the start of the race and another day on their long path to potential Olympic glory.
Finally the clouds cleared and the more typical Sicilian sunshine made an appearance. But unfortunately the winds remained shifty making it extremely difficult for a course to be laid and after numerous attempts from the race committee, the fleet were sent back to land to wait it out.
Eventually their patience paid off, as the breeze arrived and delivered gusts of up to 20knots – the champagne conditions everyone was hoping for.
In the blue fleet, last year’s European Champion Charline Picon from France made a clean start and stole the show, delivering a great performance and scoring 2 bullets. However in the third race she pushed to hard at the start and was over the line early. This time the standout performer was Lilian De Geus who looked composed and stylish throiughtout, scoring a 3rd, a 9th and went on to claim the final bullet of the day.
In the yellow fleet Spanish Marina Alabau didn’t perform at her usual level – perhaps the stress of the event was getting to her. On the other hand, the other top gun from Spain, Blanca Manchon was refusing to cave in to any pressure, maintaining a good performance amongst varying conditions. It was a good day for Italy as Flavia Tartaglini scored two seconds and a 6th. There were also smiles from Brazilian Patricia Freitas after scoring a bullet and keeping within the top ten.
After a long but exciting day the RS:X Women’s Senior fleet once again returned to shore, painting the Mondello beach with their red sails. Tomorrow the Championship enters into the final series of races and the tension is building. Stay tuned!