Windsurfing Men - Mistral - One Race Completed With four abandoned starts, the Men’s Mistral fleet eventually got one race completed today on a day that saw the lead change in the fleet with the arrival of a new race winner in the form of Ricardo SANTOS (BRA).
By 18:50 local time this evening the sea breeze had settled into one fairly steady direction and course officials on race area B managed to set the fleet off after the 49ers had finished for the day. A clear start meant that the full 34 board fleet would contest race four.
Early leader proved to be Australian Lars KLEPPICH, who has had an up and down regatta so far. In race four he sailed an intelligent first beat to round the windward mark in the sub 10-knot conditions a mere five seconds ahead of Carlos Julio FLORES PEREZ (VEN). Flores Perez had himself sailed a blinder of a first beat and appeared to have picked his game up from a disappointing first few races.
Sailing the inner loop trapezoid and limiting racing to one lap, the fleet remained close in the dying daylight of the Saronic Gulf and by the second mark, a leeward gate, Kleppich had extended his lead to just under 20 second. Flores Perez maintained his second place on the run but up the following beat, as the breeze died off a little up the second beat, the Venezuelan lost his second place advantage. Santos got hold of a big ladder to hoist himself into second by the time they got to the second rounding of mark one, before heading off on a reach.
Behind Kleppich and Santos the fleet were settling somewhat, but at the front, superior speed enabled first the Brazilian and then Spanish windsurfer Ivan PASTOR to overtake Kleppich. Santos had in-fact managed to turn a ten second deficit into a 17 advantage over the man from down under.
The top two remained at the head of the fleet on the final two legs to the finish as the breeze picked up a little but behind it was the turn of Chinese athlete Yuanguo ZHOU to pull through to third, recording his best result of the day.
Overall, Santos has picked up the lead from Gal FRIDMAN (ISR), who had a fifth place today. Pont MIARCZYNSKI (POL), not known for his light wind speed finished fifteenth but still holds third place, on equal points with Nikos KAKALAMANAKIS (GRE), who had a disappointing birthday, finishing fifteenth.
In order to catch up with the schedule further in the Mistral class, a race is scheduled for tomorrow.