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Lanzarote International Regatta – The wind was there, but it wouldn’t play ball

The sunshine was out and the northerly breeze was blowing, but the direction was all over the place on day seven of the Lanzarote International Regatta. Sailors have come from around the world to train and race out of Marina Rubicón in the south of Lanzarote, but even the most reliable of sailing venues has its ‘off days’.

Great for training, not so much for racing

Many of the 470, 49er and 49erFX sailors have stayed on a few extra days and weeks to continue training after their part of Lanzarote International Regatta concluded on Monday. Today was a good training day with sailors pitting their wits against the swirling northerly breeze. But the wind was too unreliable for fair competition and the experienced race committee were left with no choice but to cancel today’s racing for the Nacra 17 and iQFOiL fleets.

It’s on days like these when it helps to have some of the world’s most experienced race officials running the show. Only in its third year, the ambition of Lanzarote International Regatta to become one of the top-level events on the Olympic circuit is obvious. Ricardo Navarro has been flown in from Brazil as the Principal Race Officer. Hugely experienced in Olympic competition, with race officer experience from two Olympic Games, he will be World Sailing’s technical delegate for Paris 2024.

Top sailors deserve top race management

“The sailors and the coaches here are operating at a very high, professional level,” says Navarro. “They invest a lot of money and they expect the best service, so our sport now requires officials also operating at a professional level, with the experience to make the right decisions.

“So we have Pinar Coskuner Genç from Turkey, who will be the principal race officer for the Paris Games, as well as the Worlds later this year in The Hague and at the test event in Marseille this summer.

“Then we have David Campbell-James from the UK, a very experienced sailor who competed at the Olympics before moving into race management. He has attended multiple Olympic Games including Qingdao and London.

“And then there is Andres Perez who has been involved in a lot of Olympics and round the world races, and he is chair of the international jury for The Ocean Race. So we have a very highly qualified group of race officials and I hope we can provide a very good service for the sailors.”

Gunning for perfection

Oscar Gunn (NZL) is one of those who was out training off Playa Blanca a few days after winning 49er silver with his helmsman Logan Dunning Beck. It’s been a good trip. It was a long journey from New Zealand, but it’s been really worthwhile getting over here early in the season and putting in some solid weeks of good training in a range of conditions and some awesome waves.

“Marina Rubicón has been an epic training base and we’ll definitely come back. It’s a pretty cool venue for next year’s World Championship as well, so we are looking forward to coming back for that.”

Friday is the final day of the regatta when the medals will be decided in the Nacra 17 and iQFOiL fleets.

OVERALL RESULTS (Top 3 in each class)

Nacra 17 (after 6 races)

1. Besson/Ancian (FRA), 13 points
2. Majdalani/ Bosco (ARG), 14 points
3. Wilkinson/ Dawson (NZL), 20 points

iQFOiL Women (after 6 races)

1. Tibi (ISR), 18 points
2. Kantor (ISR), 18 points
3. Spychakov (ISR), 27 points

iQFOiL Men (after 6 races)

1. Sills (GBR), 23 points
2. Koerdel (GER), 23 points
3. Goyard (FRA), 27 points


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