Kröger dominates to take 2.4m Norlin OD gold as Margaron and Ducruix also triumph
Heiko Kröger sealed gold in the 2.4m Norlin OD with a day to spare at the Allianz Sailing World Championships, while Olivier Ducruix and Ange Margaron also secured top spot in the RS Venture Connect.
Kröger has won all but two races so far in The Hague, with the German ensuring he will finish top of the podium with a bullet and two second-place finishes on Monday.
It means he cannot be surpassed heading into the final day of competition in the Netherlands, with closest competitor Davide Di Maria (ITA) seven points behind.
There was also gold for French duo Ducruix and Margaron, who sealed victory with a bullet in the final race of the day having come second in Monday’s opening two races.
The pair had won all six races up to that point, and now have an unassailable lead heading into the competition’s final race.
They were the only medals decided on a day of difficult conditions, with no racing taking place in the iQFOiL Women and ILCA 7.
However, there was still plenty of action elsewhere as Formula Kite Men and Women and iQFOiL Men competitions got under way while the battle for medals intensified in the 470 Mixed, Nacra 17 and ILCA 6 competitions.
But the day belonged to the Para Sailing events, being held alongside the Olympic sailing classes for the first time at the Allianz Sailing World Championships.
RS Venture Connect
Margaron and Ducruix sealed victory on countback despite an end to their winning run on the third day of competition.
John McRoberts and Scott Lutes (CAN) became the first to beat out the French pair, winning the day’s opening yellow fleet race, with Pedro Reis and Guilherme Ribeiro (POR) taking victory in the blue fleet race.
The Canadian duo then repeated the feat, again beating Margaron and Ducruix, with their results lifting them to third in the overall standings after a second-place finish in the final race of the day.
Reis and Ribeiro then took second in the second blue fleet race of the day but, with the third unable to start, they are unable to catch Margaron and Ducruix.
“From the first race to the last, it was so nice to say we are here,” said Ducruix. “We are so happy with the result.
“It was a perfect week. Every race was interesting and we had such good races. It was amazing to be here, it gave us so much pleasure.”
2.4m Norlin OD
It was also joy for former Paralympic champion Kröger, who continued his superb form to make sure he will finish top of the podium in The Hague.
Kröger won the day’s final race after closest competitor Di Maria won the first two before finishing fifth in the third as Kröger sealed victory.
Di Maria could be joined on the podium by compatriot Antonio Squizzato, with the Italian now sitting third after posting finishes of second and third.
“Today was very tricky and very challenging because the wind went up and down,” said Kröger.
“We had some major wind shifts and patches on the water and that was not easy to sail.
“My speed was pretty good and the conditions over the week were very good. For me it was a great week. Tonight I will have a drink or two.”
Formula Kite Women
Daniela Moroz took the early lead on a disrupted day of action, with the American winning two of the three races that got under way.
Moroz opened her account with a pair of bullets before an eighth-placed finish in the third amidst difficult conditions.
Great Britain’s Madeleine Anderson took victory in the other yellow fleet race of the day, while the blue fleet saw compatriot Katie Dabson and Spain’s Gisela Pulido Borrell take wins.
“It was surprisingly simple for me,” revealed Moroz. “I have kited in a lot of current in San Francisco, where we will get five knots of current a lot of time, so I was pretty used to that.
“I had the speed, I executed my strategy pretty well and everything came together, at least in the first few races. I was really happy with everything. I think my speed is really good and I am enjoying the conditions.”
Formula Kite Men
Three consecutive bullets each to open proceedings sees Max Maeder (SGP) and Toni Vodisek (SLO) make the early running.
Maeder won the first three yellow fleet contests before Jannis Maus (GER) took victory in the fourth, with Maeder second.
Vodisek also won his first three races in the blue fleet before Cypriot Denis Taradin won the fourth, with Vodisek third behind Maks Zakowski.
Poland’s Zakowski sits fifth in the early standings, with Italy’s Riccardo Pianosi and Axel Mazella (FRA) third and fourth after the pair split red fleet victories.
Pianosi bookended his day with wins, with Mazella recovering from a 16th-place finish in the opener to win the next two.
Sebastian Kordel (GER) and Luuc van Opzeeland (NED) lead the way after the first day of competition, as both picked up a pair of bullets from their four races.
Kordel started the morning with a 35th-place finish in the first blue fleet race, but bounced back in style with a third-place finish before winning both of the final two of the day.
Van Opzeeland opened his campaign with a win in the opening yellow fleet 4, before recording fifth and third-place finishes either side of another victory.
It means the pair lead France’s Thomas Goyard by four points, after his hat-trick of third-place finishes while Nicolo Renna (ITA) and Nacho Baltasar Summers (SPA) are a further two points back despite the Spaniard taking victory in the first and third yellow fleet races.
There was also a double bullet for Israel’s Tom Reuveny, who won the first two blue fleet races while compatriot Yoav Cohen took the third.
Defending Olympic and world champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti continue to lead the way despite a difficult day for the Italian pair.
The duo recorded finishes of ninth, 12th, and fifth across the day’s three races, ending their five-race win streak.
They lead by eight from British pairing John Gimson and Anna Burnet, who won the day’s first race before finishing 20th and 4th.
Hot on their heels are Sweden’s Emil Jarudd and Hannah Jonsson, with the pair moving ahead of Germany’s Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer thanks to a win in the final race of the day as well as finishes of second and third.
Kohlhoff and Stuhlemmer are joined on 46 points by the day’s other race winners, home duo Laila van der Meer and Bjarne Bouwer (NED) heading into the final three races.
“It was mostly down for us to be honest,” said Kohlhoff. “The key to getting it right for us is having good speed awareness and knowing what an alright result is without having to attack any further, consolidating when possible.
“Three quarters have been very good but it is about consistency and other people are doing that better right now. We are looking for more consistency.”
Giacomo Ferrari and Bianca Caruso of Italy closed the gap to Japanese pair Keiju Okada and Miho Yoshioka at the top of the standings with victory in the day’s only yellow fleet race.
The Italian pair are now eight points off the top alongside Tetsuya Isozaki and Yurie Seki (JPN), who finished third, one place ahead of Okada and Yoshioka.
Victory in the blue fleet contest went to Martin Wrigley and Bettine Harris, as the British pair moved up to 15th in the overall standings.
Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort (GER) are also eight points off the lead after a third-place finish behind Spanish pair Pablo Ruiz Ponce and Maria del Mar Gil Roig.
Hungary’s Maria Erdi pulled clear at the top of the standings thanks to a third-place finish in the day’s opening yellow fleet race on a day of mixed results for the top contenders.
Erdi leads Carolina Albano by a point after the Italian finished fourth and 22nd in the two blue fleet races, with Marilena Makri (CYP) and Maud Jayet (SUI) taking victory.
The yellow fleet races were won by Patricia Reino Cacho (SPA) and Marie Barrue (FRA), with Olympic gold medallist Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) rising to third thanks to finishes of eighth and third in the yellow fleet.
Home favourite Marit Bouwmeester (NED) sits sixth after a mixed day that saw her finish seventh and 11th, while Emma Plasschaert (BEL) responded from a 30th-place finish in the day’s opening race to grab a second-place finish in the blue fleet’s second race