The second day of the Xacobeo Six Metre European Championship at the Real Club Nautico Sanxenxo in Galicia got off to a regal start with a visit from Her Royal Highness Infanta Dona Elena of Spain.
The Infanta is a hugely experienced sailor herself including in the Six Metre Class, and not only toured the docks to meet and speak to the crews, but also went afloat to watch the racing.
On the water it was another incredibly tough day for both the sailors and the race committee. After an initial postponement ashore, the committee called the competitors to the outer race area, where there was a good breeze blowing. Sadly, that breeze could not make up its mind whether to blow from the north-west or the north-east and so the postponement continued until eventually the wind chose the north-east quadrant.
Although it settled sufficiently to allow racing to commence, it continued to regularly shift and change velocity from sub five knots to almost double figures as a series of dark rain clouds passed to the south of the fleet. To make the situation even more challenging there was a big swell running in off the Atlantic, which was particularly tricky to negotiate in the light patches.
With races three and four of the eight race series completed today, the rankings in both the Open and Classic divisions remain wide open. In the open division Thisbee (1987 Pelle Petterson) owned by Rainer Müller and helmed by Michel Teweles, moved up from third into a single point overall lead thanks to a second and third place.
Overnight leader Notorious (1986 Peter Norlin design with an Ian Howlett keel) owned and helmed by Claes Henningsson, struggled to repeat yesterday’s dominant form adding a seventh and fifth to her score card which dropped her down into second overall.
Open division boat of the day was Patrick Monteiro De Barros’s Seljm (1988 Pelle Petterson), which took full advantage of the local knowledge this Portugues team has gained through sailing regularly with the Sanxenxo based Spanish fleet. Seljm won race three after a closely fought battle and followed up with a fourth in race four to move into third place overall on the same points as Notorious.
Richard Göransson’s Filippa, (Petterson 1981), dropped from second overall to fourth having added a fourth and eighth to her tally. The day’s other Open division race winner was Phlippe Durr and Rainer Müller’s Junior (Petterson/Howlett), which won race three and took fourth in race four to leap up the ranking from tenth to fifth overall.
After racing Michel Teweles said, “The day’s forecast was very difficult, but the race committee did a very good job. It was a good day for us, we finished second in the first race and until fifteen metres before the finish of the second race we were first, but finally we finished third, which puts us into the overall lead. Now our strategy is changed as the weather is changing a lot of the time, so now our objective is to finish every race in the top five if we can. We will see.”
In the Classic division Ossi Paija’s Astree III (Bjarne Ass 1959) continued to sail super consistently, leapfrogging over Juan Carlos Eascotet and Francisco Botas’ Aida (1936 Bjarn Ass), to take a four-point overall lead at the mid-point in the regatta. Miguel Lago Cereceda’s Alibaba II (1948 Tore Holm) took third in race three and went on to win race four by taking full advantage of a massive wind shift on the last run, moving up from fifth to third overall and on equal points with Aida.
Javier Manzón’s Caprice (1948 McGruer) had a day of mixed fortunes winning race three and finishing seventh in race four, and as a result they drop from third to fourth overall, two points adrift of Alibaba II and Aida.
Astree III’s Ossi Paija summed up the day’s conditions perfectly saying, “It was a very interesting day, we were having a lot of shifts, a lot of wind strength changes so we were changing our foresail maybe 7 or 8 times during the day, and typically we selected the wrong headsail initially and were struggling on the first upwind.
“But we managed to stay alive and we’re super happy with the second and fourth, so we are looking forward to tomorrow. It’s a very challenging regatta, the competition is super hard with very competitive boats and crews around you, so you have to watch out.”
After racing the competitors assembled on the Real Club Nautico Sanxenxo’s terrace where they were treated to a tasting of Galician delicacies created by chef Kike Piñeiro of the famous Horta d’Obradoiro restaurant in Santiago de Compostela, all washed down by a selection of wonderful local wines and beers and accompanied by live music from Chroma.
Four races remain to be sailed to complete the championship which concludes on Saturday September 18. Weather permitting two races are scheduled for Thursday followed by one a day on Friday and Saturday.
For the full results, see: https://6mreuropeans2021.com/en/results