Grael Claims Victory in Decisive Downwind Leg - Kiwis Win Again!
Martine Grael (BRA) and Ida Nielsen (DEN) were each looking to win here in Palma with only 4 points separating them and three 10 minute races to compete. The first race solved little with Grael pulling an extra 2 points ahead, and then in one decisive downwind leg, a 2 minute run, Grael shot from ninth to third, passing the Danes, and sealing her victory! The entire race was an intense affair for Grael, as she was twice prior in great position to seal the victory only to be bounced back in the fleet each time. There was no denying her however, as she and Kahena Kunze claim their first regatta victory of 2014. The races were broadcast live, and the second race is about 1h 44 minutes into the video below.
Charlotte Dobson and Sofie Ainsworth (GBR) sailed a consistent series today to lock up their Bronze medal. This is the second podium performance in a row for the British Sailing Team, but it was team mates Frances Peters and Nicola Groves in Miami. The duo train together and are able to each other throughout their training.
Palma finally delivered the type of weather all the sailors came here for as the sky cleared, the sun came out, and the sea breeze formed. There were some delays to the race schedule as the Northerly winds died out making way for the typical westerly winds. The Race Officers and their team did an excellent job re-configuring the course so the racing got under way as soon as the wind allowed.
In the 49er fleet, things were not quite as tense as in the 49erFX. Gold, Silver, and Bronze were statistically locked down, even if that matters little in sport. Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign did their best to put the pressure on second place Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang, but a couple poor downwinds in the second and third races relegated the Brits to Bronze.
Most of the attention this week was rightly placed on the New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Since winning the 2013 World Championship they were signed by Team New Zealand and they showed their class this week winning half the races, most of which by a fair margin. In 2 weeks time we’ll see if they are able to beat the 2012 Gold Medalists, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, which will be the first time in 2014 these teams have gone head to head in the 49er.