I am really happy. It was fantastic sailing, commented 2003 Mistral World Champion Pont aka Przemek MIARCZYNSKI (POL-126) on returning to the beach yesterday after what he could only describe as fantastic wind for day three of the championship.
However, what was fantastic for Pont was a nightmare for other athletes in the European Championship, now entering the halfway stage of competition in Sopot, Poland. As time went on in the morning the breeze progressively increased to around 35-40 knots, as this happened the Race Committee decided to postpone racing for the junior sailors.
Julien BONTEMPS (FRA-6), whoâ€™s one goal it is this week to win the European Championship, commented on the big wind after his second and third place finishes kept him firmly in the running for the continental title. Sailing here is very difficult because of this offshore wind, it is necessary to keep everything under control and not to take many risks.
With his two good results yesterday, Bontemps leads the overall standings, but the results of the day go to local sailor and renowned big breeze sailor Pont MIARCZYNSKI, who scored two bullets. Another sailor who clearly likes the breeze is German athlete Toni WILHELM (GER-319), he emulated Bontempsâ€™ scores and as a result has lifted himself from 16 overall to lie sixth overnight last night.
Some of the girls seemed to struggle in the epic battle against gale force offshore winds and first race winner, young Spanish sailor Blanca MANCHON (ESP-1) summed up what it was like out there. I was close to giving up!
Fench Lise VIDAL (FRA-24) had a good day at the office, scoring a consistent third and fourth place finishes, but it was Australian Alison SHREEVE (AUS-911) who won the last race of the day in fantastic style.
Tomorrow is layday and sailors are desperatly looking forward to it.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.