January 3, 2011
2011 29er World Championship: day 1
Mar del Plata, Argentina
Challenging conditions greeted the competitors for the opening day of the 2011 29er Worlds held in Mar del Plata. With the starting gun at 11am, all 60 teams headed out in 18 knots of breeze and large swells to the two separate race courses.
The Argentine team of Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz started off winning the first two races and finishing 2nd in the final race for today. When asked about the conditions, Bettini commented that "we had steady winds but a big swell with waves breaking on the top. At the beginning of the downwind legs it was like surfing the Pipeline against pro surfer Kelly Slater! Our PRO Tino Mora did a really good job and we're happy with the days results. We're tied with Tavella and Greggi in points."
Belen Tavella and Franco Greggi, also from Argentina led the south course with the exact same finishes. The French team of Gael Jaffrezic and Julien Bloyet are 3rd with Argentine team Gonzalo Pollitzer and Jose Maria Diez 4th and fellow countrymen Juan Krevisky and Billy Lopez Segura rounding out the top 5.
Racing continues on Tuesday, January 4 with two more days of the qualifying series followed by three days of the final series. The prizegiving will be held on Saturday, January 8. Photos provided by renowned photographer Matias Capizzano, www.capizzano.com. Live reports and daily results: www.29erworlds.org; Facebook: 29er Worlds 2011 and Int 29er Class.
2011 29er World Championship
Another great day off the coast of Mar del Plata for the second day of racing for the 29er Worlds. Race Officials started at 11am to try to get quality races in before the strong winds forecasted for the day arrived. The crack race committee teams on both courses were able to run 3 races on each course to bring the total races to 6. Northeast winds began at 16 knots and with the waves getting bigger providing perfect conditions for high adrenaline entertainment with the final days races in the 20+ knot range.
The Argentine teams of Belen Tavella/Franco Greggi and Pepe Bettini/Fernando Gwozdz remain tied after the 6 race series with 6 points each. These two teams have not had the opportunity to race each other as they have been on separate courses each day, with the qualifying determined by the standings.
Gonzalo Pollitzer/Jose Maria Diez, an Argentine team that reunited for this event, had a strong day of 1-3-2 moving them to third in the standings with 9 points. The French team of Gael Jeffrezic/Julien Bloyet are the top foreign team and the top youth team sitting in 5th followed by Australians Byron White/Ash Rooklyn in 6th with Spanish brothers Florian and Lucas Trittel in 7th. The top female team is held by Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thursgard Olsen who are 17th out of the 60 boat fleet.
The return to Club Nautico Mar del Plata was hectic with a rescue underway at the harbor entrance causing the sailors a delay in returning to shore but with event photographer Matias Capizzano jumping in the water to save someone who had fallen out of a boat and was in need of assistance. We're happy to report that everyone returned safely to shore including the swimmers, with camera equipment and photos saved as well.
Racing continues on Wednesday, January 5 with one more day of the qualifying series followed by three days of the final series. The prizegiving will be held on Saturday, January 8. Photos provided by photographer Matias Capizzano, www.capizzano.com. Live reports and daily results: www.29erworlds.org; Facebook: 29er Worlds 2011 and Int 29er Class.
January 5, 2011
Tavella-Greggi Lead into the Finals
Belen Tavella and Franco Greggi will finally meet Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz on the race course for the beginning of the finals for the 2011 29er World Championship. These two Argentine teams have been tied for the first two days of racing and both are sailing excellent regattas. Today’s tie was broken with Tavella/Greggi sailing a 1-3-1 in the final 3 races of the 9 race qualification series. Discarding their two worst races (OCS and 3) they have a 2-point lead over Bettini/Gwozdz who finished the day with a 2-2-3. Commenting on her race day, Belen Tavlla said “we finished first in the qualifying series and we’re very happy – we hope tomorrow we will win. I think our course was easier than the other today.” Franco Greggi added; “I’m very confident and we hope tomorrow will be a very good day.”
The conditions were quite different then the previous days with lighter wind, a little rain and confused seas left over from the previous day. Changes in conditions kept everyone on their toes, including the race committee. The wind began at 16 knots but by the end of the day, both courses had velocity drops to around 11 knots. The wind also shifted to the southeast after serving up the morning easterly for the first race.
Bettini and Gwozdz raced on the north course for today’s racing and, crew Fernando Gwozdz commented that they “had a good day but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win the qualification series, but it’s alright, because tomorrow a new regatta starts. We will go with everything we have.”
Argentine teams currently hold the top 6 positions going into the finals with Australians Byron White and Ash Rooklyn being the top foreign team. The Aussies liked the lighter conditions and sailed to a 3-4-4 putting them in 7th overall. The French team of Gael Jaffrezic/Julien Boyet who are also the top youth team, had a tough day sailing their two drop races but keeping a 6th and they stand in 8th overall. The top female team of Ida Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgard Olsen stand in 19th overall.
Wednesday evening the sailors were treated to a talk by Santiago Lange, multi-World, Olympic champion and America’s Cup veteran who is also competing in the 29er Worlds as a crew for his son Klaus. Afterwards, a traditional Argentine asado fed the sailors who were also entertained by some authentic music and of course the Tango.
Tomorrow’s finals will have the top 25 teams in the gold fleet on the north course. The silver fleet will consist of the remaining 35 teams who will compete on the south course.
Racing continues on Thursday, January 6 with three days of the final series. The prizegiving will be held on Saturday, January 8. Photos provided by photographer Matias Capizzano, www.capizzano.com. Live reports and daily results: www.29erworlds.org; Facebook: 29er Worlds 2011 and Int 29er Class.
Tavella-Greggi Continue on Top
Belen Tavella and Franco Greggi continued their winning ways by being first across the finish line in 2 of the 3 races for the day. Rivals in the series continue to be Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz who remain 2 points behind in second, but who also won a race for the day.
The showdown on the water proved that Tavella and Greggi are a touch faster and so far have managed to remain leaders despite the high winds and waves that have challenged most of the fleet.
Conditions for both race courses today had the wind from the north beginning at 13 knots and increased through the day to 16 knots with a small front that brought 20 knots with puffs to 22. High seas, again quite confused, required a high level of skill for the competitors as well as great race management skills.
Victoria Reali Etchart and Gaston Terrab of Argentina posted a 4-2-2 to move them into third for the second day of the gold fleet racing. French sailors Gael Jeffrezic and Julien Bloyet continue to be the top youth team with Ida Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen as the top female team.
In the silver fleet Spaniards Luis Rodenas Lorda and Juan Martinez Ruiz are leading the 35-boat fleet.
Racing continues on Friday, January 7 with two more days of the final series. The prizegiving will be held on Saturday, January 8. Photos provided by photographer Matias Capizzano, www.capizzano.com. Live reports and daily results: www.29erworlds.org; Facebook: 29er Worlds 2011 and Int 29er Class.
January 7, 2011
TIE FOR FIRST GOING INTO LAST DAY
A better story for the final day could not be written. The top two teams who have dueled back and forth for the top spots during the 2011 29er Worlds are tied even going into the last day. Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz turned on the heat and made up the 2-point deficit in today’s racing and are now tied with Belen Tavella and Franco Greggi.
With offshore winds, the swell layed down a bit, but were still quite confused, blowing directly into the swell. In the first race of the day, Tavella/Greggi had a bad start and used their 10th as the discard. Bettini/Gwozdz were leading the race, but overstood the layline and capsized loosing the lead to Australians Byron White and Ash Rooklyn who took the win with the top youth team Gael Jaffrezic and Julien Bloyet crossing second. In the second race of the day, Tavella/Greggi won the race to make up the point lost earlier. Bettini/Gwozdz had to settle for 5th.
The wind increased with puffs recorded in the 27-knot range, but this did not stop racing on the gold fleet course. Bettini/Gwozdz came on strong and led the race to the finish while Tavella/Greggi could only manage 7th. Francisco Consentino and Tomas Wagmaister crossed second in this race and now sit third overall with a possibility to unseat the top two. Nahuel Martinez and Axel Vugdelija are fourth overall and had a brilliant day of 3-3-4 and also with a chance for the last day.
On the silver fleet course, conditions were quite tough and the Race Committee decided to send the sailors in after two races. Spaniards Luis Rodenas Lorda and Juan Martinez Ruiz continue to lead.