RS:X Europeans - Snakes And Ladders

Nick Dempsey still reigns supreme in the men’s fleet and Shaw is has climbed to second in the women’s. In the youth women Saskia Sills has dropped to second, Noelle Finch is in third and Imogen Sills fourth. Whilst in the youth men Keiran Martin is in fourth place.

Results after 6 races: Men and Women, Youth men and women.

Nick Dempsey, racing in Brest yesterday.
Nick Dempsey, racing in Brest yesterday.

As today is a lay day (no racing!) it seems many of the Brits have taken to opportunity to reflect on the competition so far, here’s some of our favourite updates:

Saskia Sills

“Tuesday was the first day of racing with 13-19 knots (I think) I won the first 2 races, catapulted in the 3rd and managed to get a 4th! I was happy with my speed upwind and ravin yesterday.

“Yesterday the wind had switched direction and become really, really gusty and shifty. The conditions were like what we had at our youth nationals in Largs! The first 2 races went badly for me, I just kept getting on the wrong side of each shift, the 3rd race went better (finally!) Hahaa. In the racing there was definitely a bit of luck needed!”

Connor Bainbridge

DAY 1: After doing my usual praying to the wind gods for planing conditions the night before I was blessed with a solid 14 knots when we arrived to the club on the Tuesday morning. And with three 20 minute races planned I rigged up with the usual apprehensive feeling that comes with the first day of any event. After hitting the water nice and early, avoiding the chaos of over 100 sailors sharing a small slipway with the local hobie cat and canoe club I had a quick tune up wind to the start line. The 3 races went nice and smoothly with not too much waiting around and a fairly stable breeze I managed to clock a 7th, 9th and 11th so needless to say I got ashore feeling pretty happy with my performance especially as I rounded top 5 in two of the races and only lost out due to poor fitness (which I was expecting). I finished day one in 17th position, which left me in good standings for the final day of qualifying for the 35 man gold fleet.

DAY 2 wacky races: With a good windy forecast I followed the same routine as day one getting on the water early and tuning up to the start line only to find a completely different day with the wind coming off the tanker port and anything from 4-15 knots it was shaping up to be a hard, hard day. And as expected we had 3 races of snakes and ladders up and down the course with some big gains and even bigger losses to be made. With my goal firmly set on gold fleet I managed to get a 16th in the first race of the day but then finished the day with a 27th and a 30th but with one discard and a lot of people also putting big numbers on the board I finished the day in 24th place getting me safely into gold fleet!!

Izzy Hamilton, in action yesterday.
Izzy Hamilton, in action yesterday.

Izzy Hamilton

Day 1 and 2 of the Europeans!

Brest Europeans Regatta has started. We have finished 6 races in the first two days and so the third day (today) is a rest day! Fortunately for me as I have caught a local virus going around, making me feel really sick. I found out that tablets are really cheap in France, also not sugar coated like the British ones and taste really gross! 6, 3 times a day!! Hopefully this virus is quick to recover from and will mean I have only raced for one day while being sick.

I am currently in 16th position. Tomorrow the fleet will split and just the top 25 race together. Two days of this and then the medal race day!

The regatta is going so quickly!!

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Results after 3 races: Open MenOpen WomenYouth MenYouth Women

Things are going well for the Brits over in Brest at the RS:X Europeans. Dempsey is currently leading, ahead of the Olympic Bronze medalist from Poland. Younger racers Tom Squires and Connor Bainbridge are also doing very well, in 10th and 17th respectively.

Over in the women’s fleet Bryony Shaw is in a strong 4th position with two 2nd places currently counting, we’re sure she will shoot up the fleet even further when a discard comes into play. Izzy Hamilton is also racing well in 16th.

In the youth fleet there is yet more success to report, with Keiran Martin in second position in the boys fleet and Saskia Sills currently leading the girls, Noelle Finch in 2nd and Imogen Sills in 5th! Check the full results above and we look forward to hearing more from the riders very soon!

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The RS:X Europeans kick off today in Brest, France where the UK’s top racers and the ones to beat…

RS:X Europeans, Brits have the yellow jerseys!
RS:X Europeans, Brits have the yellow jerseys!

Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey will be in action at the RS:X Europeans at Brest, France (2-7 July) in a bid to add European Championship gold to the world title he won in Brazil back in March, when he became the first man in history to win the RS:X world crown twice.

Dempsey, 32, has had a low-key 2013 competition schedule, with the Sail for Gold Regatta the only other event he’s competed in since his World Championship triumph. At the Weymouth and Portland event, he fended off the challenge from former training partner Elliot Carney to claim the top step of the podium and round off a week of what he described as “perfect preparation for the Europeans”.

Nick Dempsey at Sail For Gold 2013
Nick Dempsey at Sail For Gold 2013

He’ll be racing in a 77-strong fleet across the six day event, with Poland’s Piotr Myszka, Spain’s Ivan Pastor Lafuente and Israel’s Nimrod Mashiah among those on the entry list likely to pose a challenge for European honours.

Dempsey’s training partner Tom Squires, plus Podium Potential squad members Sam Sills, Connor Bainbridge, Joe Bennett and Ali Masters will also be flying the British Sailing Team flag.

In the women’s fleet, world number one Bryony Shaw will be aiming to continue her impressive podium streak this season. Silver at the World Championships in March was the catalyst for a run of four further podium finishes at ISAF World Cup and EUROSAF Champions Cup competitions over the past three months.

Confidence will be high in the 2008 bronze medallist, although perennial rivals Flavia Tartaglini (Italy), Blanca Manchon (Spain) and Charline Picon (France) will among those looking to stop the British party, with fellow British Sailing Team member Izzy Hamilton also out to make her mark in major competition.

The RS:X Open Youth Europeans also runs alongside the senior European Championships, with RYA Volvo Team GBR’s Kieran Martin and Saskia Sills in action and looking for some last minute silverware in Brest before heading to Cyprus for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships later this month, where Sills will aim to defend her 2012 crown.

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