Ugolini and Giubilei win three races on Day 2
Nacra 17, Ugolini and Giubilei win three races on Day 2
Gigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei enjoyed their first perfect day at international level as the duo earned three bullets in the Nacra 17.
That was enough to open up a six-point lead at the top of the standings over Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer (GER), the overnight leaders.
Ugolini and Giubilei lead the way on 12 points from six heats, with Kohlhoff and Stuhlemmer level on points with Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson (NZL) in the chasing pack.
But while it was a perfect second day of action for the pair, they are well aware of how much work is still to be done.
Ugolini said: “This is the first time for us (winning every race in a day), we are quite happy but it’s the second day and it’s quite long until the end. It was a strange day, we waited a long time on shore. We were able to do all the races so we will rest tomorrow.
“The conditions were tricky, we started with 12 knots and then went to eight, six at the end. The wind went up and down so it was really tricky and nice to find a good set-up for the boat. We had a fast boat that gave us a chance to have a good day.”
van Aanholt / Duetz (NED) dual Bobeck / Netzler (SWE) in repeat of 2022 Worlds
In a repeat of the dual that went down to the wire at the 2022 World Championship, the Dutch and Swedish teams have won 5 of 6 races so far and could be the making of a wonderful rivalry though the next year to Paris.
Day 2 was a strong day for the Dutch in the 49erFX as Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz won the second and third races of the day to move into first overall.
Those victories, after coming just 22nd in the opening race of the day, allowed the world champions to jump ahead of training partners Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler (SWE).
And on a day where not everything was easy, Van Aanholt and Duetz were delighted to bounce back from a sticky start.
Van Aanholt said: “It was a very interesting day, it was not straightforward and we didn’t make it straightforward. But we are happy to end it with two very nice races.”
The Dutch sit first on 14 points after six races, four points clear of the Swedes, who are level with Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (USA), with Duetz aware that there are plenty of challengers for their title.
She said: “They are our training partners so we know they are fast. But we know we can be fast as well, so we are just trying to focus on ourselves. There are a lot of good boats so we are not only focusing on the Swedes.”
Six winners from six races in the 49er
The most unpredictable class of the competition so far has been the 49er, with six different winners in as many races.
Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie (NZL) took the final win of the second day of action and that was enough to move into top spot, ahead of Sébastien Schneiter and Arno De Planta (SUI) on countback, with the pair both on 27 points.
However, with the next four teams all sitting between 30 and 32 points, including third place for Mihovil and Sime Fantela (CRO), the 2018 world champions, the Kiwis are well aware of the precarious nature of their position heading into the rest day.
McHardie said: “It was a super tricky day, it was unbelievably shifty with big puffs and big lulls so it was all about getting off the start line, it was a bit of a left-hand track so you needed a good start and then go left, that made for an ok race.
“I’m sure there will always be a target on the back but we’ll go out there and race our best. It’s not a bad place to be coming into a rest day. It was always about coming here to do the best we can, so to come into a lay-day in first, we’re pretty stoked.”
Excitement is building about the prospect of the Mistral conditions expected on on Thursday. That could bring fireworks for the FX fleet, who have three races scheduled. The teams must prepare for all conditions in Marseilles. Perhaps tomorrow will reveal who can handle the breeze best.
49er and Nacra 17 fleets have a scheduled day off as the 10 fleets share 4 course areas in this Field of Play Test.