420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011 day 1

420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011 Day 1
The 420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011’s first day dawned with an overcast sky, the first for several weeks in Tavira, Portugal, before the usual blue sky kicked in, whilst the wind struggled to sustain itself.

With a final entry of 77 entries in the Open fleet and 62 entries in the Ladies fleet, both divisions have been split into a blue and yellow fleet. After each day's racing in the qualifying series the fleets will be re-seeded, before being allocated to gold and silver fleets for the final series which gets underway on 27 July 2011.

After race one had been completed for all fleets, it was then a waiting game as the 139 teams mingled around patiently until the wind increased and stabilized. By this time the current had changed direction and there was lots of jostling as the boats tried to keep themselves the right side of the start line, with the Race Committee resorting to the black flag rule to keep order.

420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011 Day 1
In the Ladies racing action, a perfect scoreline of two race wins for France's Jennifer Poret/Louise Chevet puts them at the front of the fleet and with a clear mission now on their minds of what they can achieve.

Other race winners were Adriana Rodes/Lucia Brugman (ESP) and Tsuf Zamet/Stav Brokman (ISR), although their wins were countered by results in the teens. Francisca Barros/Filipa Barros (POR) end the day in second overall, with Paulina Rothlauf/Madlen Geisler (GER) third.

A good measure of form is how the teams who have come straight from the ISAF Youth Worlds to the 420 Europeans delivered on day one, and so far all is going well for Germany's Rothlauf/Geisler, who along with a third overall are so far the top performers from Croatia here in Tavira.

Silver medallists at the ISAF Youth Worlds, USA's Morgan Kiss/Christina Lewis, are not dwelling on their success in Croatia, but are focused on the here and now and the transition from one event to the next. Kiss commented, 'The 420 Open Europeans is definitely an adjustment we have to make, and we are most focused on keeping our performance levels high at this event.

420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011 Day 1
It is hard to move off another international event, but we are excited to try to do our best here. We will take each day at a time and focus on each individual race and not try to stress about the entire event as a whole.' Lewis added, 'There is good competition and it is really important for us to keep trying.'

An unfortunate day for the Czech Republic team of Johana Koranova/Lenka Mrzilkova saw them in the protest room against the British team of Eleni Morus/Henriette Brand after an incident in race two caused damage to their boat, as Mrzilkova put it concisely, 'We have had a bad day. A boat came into our butt!' And for tomorrow, 'We will sail better and without holes.' The British team were subsequently disqualified and will be keen to get rid of this result when the discard comes into play after five races, but it also leaves them with little room for another bad score.

In the Open fleet, not quite such consistency with different teams claiming the finish gun each time. Spain's Luis Benítez-Inglot/Jorge Ramirez lead the fleet with a 4,2 posting, but only just on countback over Mike Wood/Hermione Stanley (GBR) whose 3,3 scoreline puts them in second. Spain's Xavier Antich/Ramon Lleonart finish the day in third.

euro42011-capizzano-1955 - 420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011 Day 1

Pre-Championship favourites and 2011 ISAF Youth World Champions Jordi Xammar/Alex Clavillé (ESP) had an unlucky thirteenth finish in race one, but expertly converted their performance into a win in race two. Starting back from the fleet on the committee boat end of the line did not initially appear to be a good manoeuvre, but it enabled them to be the first boat to tack onto port and find a clear track up the right hand side of the course.

Whilst the boats choosing to take the left hand lanes appeared to have better pressure and the advantage of minimising the risk of overstanding the layline in the current, Xammar/Clavillé knew exactly what they were up to and with perfect accuracy tacked for mark one.

420 Open and Ladies Open European Championships 2011 Day 1
Xammar/Clavillé rounded a good 20 boat lengths ahead of the next boat, Luis Niza/Paulo Baptista (POR) and almost from this point it was a two-boat race for the gun between Spain and Portugal.

As they went through the downwind gate, the boats split and went back up opposite sides of the track, with the Spanish again heading right – a decision which won them the race, and gave them a sixth overall after two races.

Whilst the pressure is already on at the front of the fleet, for other teams the Europeans marks their first 420 Championships and is all about gaining experience. Cafer Cicibiyik (TUR), who is sailing with his brother Caner, reflected on their first race day. 'It was bad because our starts were very bad and it was a crowded startline.
Tomorrow I will go for a clear area and find a space for more speed' commenting on their objective Cicibiyik continued 'We have no experience so we don't expect anything, just to enjoy the racing.'

Day two of the Qualification Series continues on Sunday 24 July 2011.

Open day one results:
1ESP 53873Luis Benítez-Inglot, Jorge Ramirez, 21 Junior6,042
2ESP 52781Xavier Antich, Ramon Lleonart, 17 Junior10,028
3FRA 53868Clovis Leroux, Aymeric Paruit, 2610,064
4GBR 53967Tim Gratton, Ed Riley, 31 Junior12,057
5ESP 53835Jordi Xammar, Alex Clavillé, 20 Junior13,0121
6POR 54213Gonçalo Pires, Nuno Bajanca, 1 Junior13,085
7GRE 51581Alexander Kavas, George Kavas, 44 Junior17,0116
8ITA 52905Matia Ugrin, Mirko Juretic, 53 Junior17,0611
9POR 52909Gonçalo Pinho, Miguel Hipólito, 3 Junior18,0171
10ISR 53972Gal Cohen, Hadar Moran, 50 Junior19,0118

Women's day one results:
1FRA 53540Jennifer Poret, Louise Chevet, 18 Junior2,011
2GER 54433Paulina Rothlauf, Madlen Geisler, 38 Junior6,042
3ITA 54206Cristina Celli, Silvia Morini, 498,026
4POR 53150Francisca Martins, Ana Oliveira, 59,063
5ESP 52373Aura Miquel, Marina Cano, 1110,082
6FRA 54198Sabine Pebrier, Laura Pebrier, 22 Junior12,093
7SUI 53468Linda Fahrni, Maja Siegenthaler, 5412,057
8ISR 54121Tsuf Zamet, Stav Brokman, 43 Junior13,0121
9FRA 54265Clélia Bourgois, Aude Compan, 2413,085
10ITA 53893Veronica Maccari, Marta Lenotti, 46 Junior14,0212

420 Open European Championship website

420 Sailing website