After a mixed up, shifty day at the Delta Lloyd Regatta, race wins for Ed Wright (GBR) and Zach Railey (USA) have set up a five way battle for the ttle in Sunday's medal race. After seven races, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) has a five point lead over Rafa Trujillo (ESP), who has a four point lead over Railey.
Both Wright and Marin Misura (CRO) can also win the regatta. A day of shifty, moderate winds brought high and low scores across the board. The first race of the day, race six, went to Ed Wright from Rafa Trujillo and Zach Railey.
Railey explained the conditions, “There were big shifts with a lot of shuffle in the results all the time. You could be in the top five boats when things looked good on your side or be way back if they looked bad. Overall you just had to pick the correct shifts and hope you were making the right decisions.”
Railey then completed an almost perfect day by winning the race seven from Kljakovic Gaspic and Bryan Boyd (USA). Boyd said, “Another crazy day. We had puffs rolling down both sides of the course all day. The tricky bit was working your side and getting back across the fleet without your puff fizzling out. You could easily get out to a side, catch a shift and look like you were winning only to have it cave in and be lucky scraping back across in 15th.”
“The second race was more left than the first race, and we ended up with a 90% port tack beat. I won the pin and tacked to lay the mark. There were a couple right shifts all the way at the top, but the left still held and I rounded the top in first. The guys brought pressure down the run to close things up, and it was all to play for on the next beat.”
“I worked the left again, while Zach took the right. I figured I had 20 degrees of righty covered, but it turned out to be more like 30 with some private pressure. Zach rounded the top in the lead with me and Ivan close behind. We had some yo-yo lead changes on the run as the puffs rolled down. In the end I came out on the short end as Zach held the lead and Ivan nipped me at the leeward for second.” Railey concluded, “It went well for me overall today with good starts and I was able to pick the correct side of the course on each of the first upwinds. It looks like it will be an exciting medal race with points being really close.”
This leaves the medal race line up as:
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) – Just won his second European title and confident and relaxed. Has to be the favourite to take the week
Rafael Trujillo (ESP) – 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2007 World Champion. Led the fleet into European Championship medal race and ended up fourth overall, so will be really trying hard for a podium place.
Zach Railey (USA) – 2008 Olympic Silver medalist. Won the medal race in Hyeres and sailing fast and smart. Edward Wright (USA) – Won Miami and Palma and last year's SWC and current leader in the 2010 SWC. Has a history of winning medal races but needs some luck as well to take the gold here.
Marin Misura (CRO) – Won Hyeres and 5th in the Europeans. 15 points off gold, but only six off silver so plenty of chances to get on the podium again
Gasper Vincec (SLO) – His best regatta since third in Miami this year. Can only take bronze but still a long shot.
Giles Scott (GBR) – was sitting in third until some high scores on Saturday. To take a medal he needs to win with Railey last and the others out of the picture.
Mark Andrews (GBR) – He must be so happy not to have finished 11th again...
Tapio Nirkko (FIN) – First medal race for Nirkko since last year's Europeans where he finished as runner up, but too much to do here to take a medal.
Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) – First year in the Finn for the ex-Laser sailor and showing signs perhaps of greater things to come. Always near the front but lacking in consistency.
The medal race for the top 10 is scheduled for 12.10 local time and can be followed live online with 3D tracking through the event website at www.deltalloydregatta.org or at www.deltalloydregatta.tv.
The final race for the rest of the fleet is scheduled for 10.30. Results after seven races, one drop
1 CRO524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 20
2 ESP100 Rafael Trujillo 25
3 USA4 Zach Railey 29
4 GBR11 Edward Wright 30
5 CRO25 Marin Misura 35
6 SLO5 Gasper Vincec 46
7 GBR41 Giles Scott 47
8 GBR88 Mark Andrews 58
9 FIN218 Tapio Nirkko 66
10 SLO573 Vasilij Zbogar 67