The 33rd edition of the Delta Lloyd Regatta started with great competition across seven classes. Many Olympic sailors raced their first event since Rio. There were also a number of sailors, training here in Medemblik, aiming for Tokyo 2020. The conditions on the water were great, with a nice breeze and plenty of sun.
It’s like what Australian Laser sailor, Matthew Wearn, said: “Days like today with a good wind and the sun out, are going to be enjoyable.” The Lasers have the biggest fleet this week, with 98 boats at the start. Wearn, won the Delta Lloyd Regatta two years ago, and is now back to take the gold medal again.
“It’s always good to race here. It’s one of the better regattas we have wind wise, and it’s good to be back in some big fleet racing - it will be enjoyable. It’s going to be tricky as well, you have to set a good result every race. At the end, the best sailors always come out on top. I’m always there to win. Looking forward to getting on the water and to start racing.”
After day one, the Australian is in fifth place. However, the results are really close - number one, Elliot Hansen (GBR), has a gap of five points with Wearn.
Laser Radial sailors focus on World Championships
Focus for the Laser Radial sailors is mostly on the World Championships in Medemblik later this year. It was strong start from Britain’s Alisson Young, with two first places. It’s also the first event back in the boat for gold Olympic medallist and Dutch favourite, Marit Bouwmeester.
“I’m trying to get back into the rhythm of racing again and to prepare myself for the World Championships.” Bouwmeester currently sits in third place after the first day of racing.
German 49er sailors try to stay calm
After the first day of racing we find Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf, team Germany, in the lead.
“This event is more training for us. We’re in the lead after the first day, which we didn’t really expect. It has been a really good day after all. The next few days will probably be trickier. We just have to stay calm, sail well and get a good result to get into the medal race.”
The biggest competitors for the German team are their fellow countryman, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, who sit in fourth place after the first day.
“They came third at the Olympic Games last summer. It would be great if we can keep up with them this week.”
The competition in the 49erFX is very close. Croatian, Enia Nincevic, transferred from the 470 women to the 49erFX and is training with Igor Marenić, three time Olympian and gold medallist at the summer Olympics. Nincevic mentions: “It’s really close racing in the 49erFX this year. The British and German teams are very competitive. For me it’s just a training event, as Marenić is actually coaching me.
“Today was a good day, but we still have a long week ahead with 3 races a day and a medal race on Saturday.” The Croatian team is sitting in first place after day one. Dutch duo, Dewi Couvert and Annette Duetz, are in second place.
Close racing in 2.4mR
For the 2.4mR, the wind was pretty strong and the waves really short.
“That’s pretty heavy for a small boat like the 2.4mR,” reacts Britain’s Megan Pascoe, last year's gold medallist at the Delta Lloyd Regatta.
“Every year I have to get used to those short waves again. At first it’s always like: ‘oh yeah, that’s how it goes here’.” This is the 8th time Megan Pascoe participates in the Delta Lloyd Regatta.
“It’s really exciting this year; my biggest competitor is probably Carol Dugdal (GBR). However, her pump broke down in the second race, so she didn’t finish. But it’s all really close racing because of the shifty winds.” Nev Millard, also from Great Britain, is in second place.
Combined field in 470 men and women
In the 470 men and women (a combined class), the Russian guys, Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov, finished in first place twice today. The combined class is exciting, especially for the women. The Swedish duo, Olivia Bergström and Lovisa Karlsson, just started racing in the 470 women. Last year they sailed the regatta in the Laser Radial.
“The men are more aggressive sailors at the start, and at pumping. In the strong winds, like today, it’s good for us to see how the guys are doing it and learn from it.”
Lots of young talent in RS:X men
In the RS:X, most guys are saving their strength for the medal race. Dorian van Rijsselberghe explained: “We now sail under a new format. This week we just have to end up in the top 12 to get to the quarter finals, semi-finals and grand finals.” The competition for Dorian and his training partner, Kiran Badloe, is unpredictable.
“We see a lot of young guys, with probably five or six real competitors. However, maybe some of the younger ones will stand out this week,” said Badloe, who ended up in second place today.