Photos by João Ferreira
On a day marked by high winds, which reached 22 knots, the athletes were forced to their physical extremes and the experience and technical mastery of the veterans showed in the finals. Vilamoura Sailing offered live streaming of the racing again today for races 9 and 10 of the European Continental Qualification for Tokyo.
In the ILCA 7 fleet, Great Britain’s Michael Beckett maintained his lead over the fleet despite difficult races today. Brazil’s two-time Olympic champion Robert Scheidt had a solid performance, working his way back into second place. “With a wind that reached 22 knots and big waves, it was a very physical day. I am very happy with the way I sailed today. I made a big mistake in the first race, but the second went much better. Despite the conditions, it was a very good day,” Scheidt said. After 10 races, Scheidt sits just five points ahead of German Philipp Buhl, who climbed into third overall. With such a strong fleet, the points are all very close and continue to shift around. It will make for an unpredictable final day of racing. See full results here.
Of the 12 countries still competing for the two Olympic slots in the men’s class, Spain reinforces itself as a top candidate for Tokyo while the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy are still fighting fiercely for the second slot.
With the two Olympic spots in ILCA 6 fleet already confirmed for Israel and Portugal, the attention is now focused on the fight for the podium. After two more top-five finishes today, Olympian Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark continues to protect her lead over the fleet by a large margin. A new name on the leaderboard, Josefin Olsson of Sweden has maintained top-ten finishes over the last four days of racing, and that consistency has put her second place heading into the final day. Olsson says it was due to “two good starts and a lot of work in the face of this big swell. It was good to have a strong wind, big waves, different from the other days.” In third place sits Manami Doi of Japan, who finished in 11th and 7th place in today’s races. See full results here.
Saturday is the last day of the ILCA European Continental Qualification in Vilamoura, with two races scheduled and forecasts indicating strong wind and big swells. Tune in for live streaming of the racing here.