A week that started with a cold northerly blast ended in sublime conditions at the 2016 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik. Of the six Olympic classes present, the Dutch sailors took gold in three of them as they begin final preparations for the Rio Olympics. In the other fleets, Poland, Spain and Italy took the golds in a final day that delivered great conditions, great weather and tense competition.
Here’s a complete rundown of the action on the final day in Medemblik.
First Dutch glory went to Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED), who ended the week as he began it – by winning the race. With five wins in the 39 boat fleet he has dominated all week, never outside the top 10 and only twice outside the top four, and ending up with a points margin of 41.
A fifth in the medal race for Paul Rozier (FRA) was enough to retain the silver and a third for Aichen Wang (CHN) left him with the bronze. So no change to the top three after the medal race.
Van Rijsselberghe said, “I am very happy with this week. We had a lot of different conditions and young kids who were hunting me. I am very pleased with the last race. It was the best race I did here.”
Zofia Noceti Klepacka (POL) had taken the lead on the fourth day after Lillian de Geus (NED) pulled out with a suspected foot injury. Klepacka went into the medal race with a seven point lead and led round every mark to secure the victory.
Peina Chen (CHN) moved into second on the first downwind to secure the silver while the bronze went to Stefania Elfutina (RUS) after placing sixth.
Klepacka commented on the week, “I am very glad with this win. Two years ago I won. Last year I was second. Now I am top again. I am not going to Rio. My goal is the Europeans in Helsinki in July, then I am finishing my career next year after the worlds in Tokyo. We had a week of tough competition in Poland before we came to Holland. So I am very happy but also exhausted.”
Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA) and Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti (ITA) went into the medal race locked on equal points after matching scores all week. Barring big mistakes, the gold looked to be heading to Italy. The medal race proved as tight as the rest of the week, but a mistake from Ferrari/Calabro cost them the title even though they crossed the finish line one second ahead of their rivals.
In a very tense race Ferrari/Calabro led their rivals at every mark, but as Kosuta explained in the end their rivals didn’t take down the spinnaker when taking a penalty so were disqualified.
He went on, “For sure I have to first congratulate our sparring partners. They did a great week and also the medal race was a great race for them. They were in front all of the race, but made two big mistakes, and at the end they were disqualified because they didn’t do the penalty right.”
Farneti added, “The win is the win. We were a little bit lucky today, but it was a great week for us.”
About racing in Medemblik, Ferrari commented, “It’s a great race. I am very happy about the organisation. It’s nice to see everyone organised, better than some Worlds Cups. It’s a great thing here.”
Ferrari/Calabro slipped to bronze while Sosaku Koizumi/Shinnosuke Mitsumori (JPN) snatch the silver.
The second Dutch win of the day went to Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED), but he didn’t have it all his own way in the decisive medal race. The Laser fleet was one of the closest fleets of the week with Jeemin Ha (KOR) winning three races. However Ha didn’t get the best of the medal race to place seventh to take the silver. Juan Maegli (GUA) gave himself the best chance of a medal by leading the medal race from start to finish, but Luke Elliott (AUS) hung on for second to secure the bronze.
Van Schaardenburg said of his third Delta Lloyd Regatta win, “I have done three regattas in a row, so was I was tired when I arrived here. I didn’t have much sleep, but you have to perform under all circumstances, and that’s what I did here this week in Medemblik. In Rio at the Games you have to be sharp every moment of the day so this was really good training to keep up with the Korean, Ha. My goal was to win here and I achieved it.”
“My only plan today to stay close to the Korean. It was a pity to have a restart [after a ship entered the course area] because we were both at the end of the field and that was much easier for me.”
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) had already done enough to take gold but took the lead on the first downwind in the medal race to record her sixth race win of the week. A third place for Emma Plasschaert (BEL) was enough for the silver while Manami Doi (JPN) took Japan’s second medal of the day with a seventh place finish.
Bouwmeester said, “I have had two great weeks. One of the them I spent training with the Dutch youth and this week I raced against them. I try to learn every day on the water and I need to find race rhythm, so I am also going to Weymouth next week.”
“In the last few years I have been so much in Rio I know it very well, and if you have to do something in Rio at the last moment then you did something wrong preparing for the Games.”
“As a sportsperson you are always working to be the best. I don’t have sleepless nights about Olympic gold, but me and my whole team are doing a good job, and firstly focusing on performance and, secondly on the medal.”
Diego Botin/Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) had already secured the gold medal, but a second place in the medal race extended their lead to 28 points to have totally dominated the fleet this week. For them the Delta Lloyd Regatta win is only part of the story as the event was the Spanish Olympic selection event, and with the win here they also win their ticket to Rio.
The medal race was won by Erik Heil/Thomas Ploessel (GER), but it wasn’t enough to make the podium. A fifth was just enough for Justus Schmidt/Max Boehme (GER) to take silver while two points back, Pavle Kostov/Petar Cupac (CRO), had to settle for bronze.
Botin said, “It was a very good week for us. It was great to finish the week with a good medal race and we are very happy to win the week and the Olympic selection.
On their Rio plans, “The plan is to go out on 15th June and try to be as prepared as we can and keep working. We’ve been last summer for the test event and also in December. We really like the place and hope we have a good time.”
A third and a fourth was enough for Ben Koppelaar (NED) to win the Moth class by just one point from Sven Kloppenburg (GER) and Sven Coster (NED) in a quite small fleet.
The next generation of Dutch sailors also enjoyed near perfect day on the water in Medemblik with twelve 29ers and 36 Optimists turning up for race a series of short races with a medal race at the end.
Pieter van Leijen/Daniel Bramervaer (NED) won the close 29er fleet from Bart Lambriex/Odile van Aanholt (NED) and Manon van Dijk/Svea Karsenbarg (NED), while in the Optimists, Olivier Jaquet (NED) won from Thomas Westerhof (NED) and Jacobine Leemhuis (NED).
All the results are here: Results
Check out the event website www.deltalloydregatta.org for lots more stories, photos and videos of the 2016 Delta Lloyd Regatta and the Delta lloyd 2016 Para Sailing World Championships.