Shahar Tibi (ISR) takes over lead in iQFOiL Women’s fleet | Sebastian Koerdel draws level with Sam Sills (GBR) in the iQFOiL Men | Besson & Ancian (FRA) move to the front of the Nacra 17s
The first northerly breeze of the week brought flatter water and shifty, offshore wind conditions. Compared with previous big wave days at Lanzarote International Regatta, day six was a completely different challenge.
Over the four races in the iQFOiL women’s fleet, Pilar Lamadrid (ESP) put down the most consistent performance. It was a strong comeback after the Spanish rider had been forced to pull out of racing on the previous day.
“Yesterday was not the nicest day for me,” said Lamadrid. “I was not feeling good physically. Yesterday with the big waves I felt absolutely destroyed. I finished the first race but not very well. The second race, I couldn't even even do it. So I came ashore early and I got some good rest and sleep last night. The flatter water was much better for my back and my body today, and at least I managed some better races.”
With scores of 2,8,1,1, Lamadrid had the best day on the water and moves up to fourth overall. However, it’s Israel Shahar Tibi (ISR) who moves into first place overall on equal points with her teammate Sharon Kantor.
“It was nice racing, a lot shiftier than other days,” said Tibi. “Everything was always on the move, the wind always changing by the second. In these races you can gain a lot and lose a lot. I was probably tacking more than anyone else out there, sometimes up to five tacks on one leg, which is unusual for iQFOiL because tacks are expensive. But today they were worth it. So it's really interesting racing, really intense.”
Tibi only moved on to the iQFOiL a few weeks after representing Israel at the Tokyo Games in the 470. “As a youth I did windsurfing and even when I was racing the 470 I was still windsurfing in my spare time, so that helped make a quick transition to the iQFOiL. But I’m still really happy I have made such good progress on the board. We have a really good squad of girls training together in Israel. Here in Lanzarote we have four girls in the top five.” Lamadrid from Spain is the only non-Israeli in the top five.
In the iQFOiL men, Sam Sills started the day well but slipped in the later races. The British rider hangs on to the leader’s yellow bib by the skin of his teeth, as the reigning World Champion from Germany, Sebastian Koerdel, draws level with Sills on points.
“The first couple of races were pretty good,” said Sills who scored 1,2 at the start of the four-race session. “But my next races were pretty shocking.” It’s true that Sills’ later results of 17,23 were nothing to write home about but he’ll analyse the mistakes this evening and work out a different approach for the coming day. The learning curve in this new Olympic class remains very steep.
Sills enjoyed some close battles with Nicolas Goyard (FRA) who scored 2,1,1,17 and moves up to third overall. “I had an epic battle with Nico on the first race,” said the British rider. “We were neck and neck the whole race, swapping positions all the way. We were really fighting, and my heart rate must have been 200. It was so extreme. Actually when we rounded the last top mark my board was almost touching his, and we had this amazing fight until Nico makes this crash, which made it easy for me [to win].”
Goyard was also buzzing from an adrenalin-filled day on the water. “It was really tight all the way around the course, and I had some good and some bad races, like everyone. Some of my starts were not so good but we’re all learning quickly about what works and what doesn’t work.”
There’s a new leader in the Nacra 17 catamaran with the French team of Billy Besson and Noa Ancian moving to the top after three more races.
China’s Huicong Mai & Linlin Chen (CHN) put in an excellent performance in the first race of the session to get the winner’s gun, a result that lifts the Chinese to 13th overall. In the overall standings Mateo Majdalani & Eugenia Bosco (ARG) are just a point behind the French leaders while winners of the previous day, Micah Wilkinson & Erica Dawson (NZL), slip to third.
After a sunny, shifty afternoon on the water, the sailors are resting up and getting ready for a big final day of qualifying racing on Thursday, before Friday’s medal day showdown. Racing starts at 11am in the morning, with four races for Nacra 17 and six races for the windsurfers.
This international event organized by Marina Rubicón with the support of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation is possible thanks to the institutional sponsorship of Promotur Turismo de Canarias with the financing of the REACTEU Fund and Tourism of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), as well as the public collaboration of the Yaiza City Council and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas & Cabrera Medina (Cicar).
Andy Rice, event reporter
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