Giles Scott (GBR) stormed to the top of the Finn fleet after two emphatic races wins on the third day at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca. In the increased wind he displaced Thomas Le Breton (FRA) from first place, while Deniss Karpak (EST) remains in third.
While the forecast was for wind later in the day, the fleet was again kept onshore with an early postponement, followed by a further wait afloat when they were finally released. However it was worth the wait with an onshore 12-16 breeze allowing the fleet to stretch their legs. Scott moves into a one point lead from early regatta leader Le Breton while Karpak sits a further 12 points back with five races still to sail. Behind them it couldn't be tighter with the next seven boats all within eight points.
The harsh reality of the mid week split hit home this morning as the 92 boat fleet was separated into gold and silver fleets for the next stage of the regatta, the finals series. The top 40 boats went into the gold fleet, with the remaining 52 trying to salvage some honour in the silver fleet.
In the Gold fleet Scott dominated race 6 for a big win from world champion Jorge Zarif (BRA) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA). Regatta leader Le Breton posted a 12th but just held onto the overall lead for another race. Zarif had so far failed to produce much form this week, so a second place in strong winds will be an encouraging boost. Scott then made it a double to win race 7, this time from Josh Junior (NZL) and Ioannis Mitakis (GRE).
In the silver fleet, Tomas Vika (CZE) of the newly established Czech Sailing Team won from Junior European Champion Peter McCoy (GBR), and world junior silver medalist Jake Lilley (AUS). Much more was expected of these two juniors this week so they will both be disappointed to be sailing in the silver fleet. Vika also won the next race with 2012 Junior World Champion Martin Robitaille (CAN) in second and Lilley again in third.
Junior described his day, "Today we had very challenging conditions which meant a lot of hard work upwind. Though once we had rounded the top mark there were some great rides to be had on the way down."
"I struggled up the first beat of race 1, but found some good waves on the downwind to claw my back to finish ninth. Then I had a good start in race 2 and protected the left. And again I had good pace on the downwind and found myself in a comfortable second place. I am very happy with my day, and am looking forward to the next few days of racing. Bring it on." As a result of today's form, with a 9,2, Junior moves up to fifth overall.
World No 3 Björn Allansson (SWE) hasn't had the best start to the week but started to make amends today with a 6, 11. "The week had a rough start, but today I managed two solid results, which brings me back from the dead in the results. Sailing in the breeze was good fun and I look forward to the upcoming races. It's a long week and everything can still happen."
"In the first race I made an OK start at the left of the line and had good speed in the increasing wind. I was able to play the left which paid off well. In the second race I had a nightmare start and had to fight real hard to find a good line and try to positions myself tactically against the fleet." Allansson now moves up to 22nd.
After a disappointing event in Miami, Caleb Paine (USA) posted two seventh places today to sit in ninth overall. "I felt the conditions were moderate with massive pressure differences, though no real huge changes in direction. My results were good but improvements on my downwinds are a must. I found it hard to stay in the groove."
"In terms of equipment I am using, the sail I'm using seems to go well in a variety of conditions and my 2010 boat seems to be a bit stiffer than my 2003. Overall better confidence with my gear is making it easier for me to perform."
New regatta leader Scott summed up his day. "We had a long wait, and then very quickly 16 knots filled in, and we had two nice stable breeze races. I was very happy to get two race wins. I felt pretty happy with my boat speed which was nice."
"The first race was very windy with a slight right wind shift resulting in most people sailing out to just below the port lay line. I managed to round first hold the gap on Lobert downwind and cover the fleet. Race two was a little more shifty. With early right paying, however the leader came from the left. I rounded fourth and got past Piotr Kula (POL) downwind. Josh was a bit of a threat on the left up the second beat."
The Finn fleet has four more races scheduled in the finals series, before the medal race on Saturday. Forecasts are for a lot more wind at the end of the week, so there could be a lot more still to come.
Results after 7 races
1 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 18
2 FRA 29 Thomas le BRETON 19
3 EST 2 Deniss KARPAK 31
4 GBR 11 Edward WRIGHT 33
5 NZL 24 Josh JUNIOR 34
6 SLO 573 Vasilij ZBOGAR 35
7 FRA 112 Jonathan LOBERT 35
8 POL 17 Piotr KULA 39
9 USA 6 Caleb PAINE 39
10 CRO 524 Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC 41