Optimist South American Championship
South American Champion title goes to Dante Cittadini from Argentina
Ivan Shestopalov (USA) wins the Open event
Despite the difficult conditions again yesterday, the race committee completed 3 races for all fleets and there were several changes in the standings.
Celebrations - Left: Dante Cittadini Right: Ivan Shestopalov
Ivan Shestopalov (USA) held on to the lead and won the Open event. Brazilian and Argentianian sailors dominated the next seven places, several with ties series results. Dante Cittadini (ARG) finished second overall and first South American sailor, followed by Facundo Monaco (ARG) who had been the early leader in the championship.
Race 5 for the red fleet was completed on Thursday and the first race of the final saries was sailed yesterday. Today is the last day of racing and, after two days of light and unpredictable winds on which only two races were completed, everybody is hoping for better conditions.
After a difficult day yesterday with light and shifty winds, the top positions in the ranking changed from the previous days. Once again the leader is Ivan Shestopalov (USA), who finished in fourth place in race 6. Facundo Monaco (ARG), leader of the fleets up to Thursday, didn't sail to his best and a 24th place pushed him to the 5th place overall. However, no one can predict the final result as there are just 6 points between the first and the fifth placed sailors.
Yesterday,usually the lay day, saw just one race for the red fleet so that all 3 fleets now have 5 races completed.
Going into the penultimate day, Facundo Monaco (ARG) has a clear lead ahead of Joaquin Andres Jimenez Ceballos (PER) and Ivan Shestopalov (USA) in third. Now that the discard has kicked in, there are only 4 points seperating the sailors in places 2 to 6 so these places will surely change in the next 2 days.
The forecast is for light winds once again which will be particularly challenging for all concerned.
Having won all their matches, Benjamin Fuenzalida, Santiago Ugarte, Dante Parodi y Felipe Fuentes (sailing as CHI 1) became Optimist South American Team Race Champions 2014. They arrived at the finals after beating Uruguay 3, Brasil 2, Argentina 1 and Uruguay 1 and once in the finals they won the first two races against BRA 2, with finishing positions 2, 3, 4 and 8; and 1, 2, 3, 4 respectively.
Photo © Matias Capizzano.
In the area where the Nations Cup course had been set, the wind was more stable and races finshed on time. Ivan Shestopalov, Zane Rogers, Emma Kaneti, Emma Cowles and Matt Logue, members of team USA 1, became the Nations Cup Champions 2014. USA 3 (Dylan Ascencios, Jack Corbett, Carrson Pearce, Shane Riera and Christian Ehrnrooth) were second and Julian van den Driessche, Mia Nicolosi, Teddy Nicolosi y Mateo di Blasi, from US Virgin Islands finished third.
Only one race for the three fleets was completed yesterday, as the red fleet couldn't sail the second race. The yellow and blue fleeters were able to finish their race in light and shifty winds but the sailors in the red fleet, whose start had been postponed, had to wait for the RC to re-set the course further from the Gorritti Island in an attempt to get fairer winds. However, the wind did not show up and sailors were sent to shore.
The red fleet will sail their 5th race on Thursday 17th and the rest of the races will continue as scheduled, with the finals taking place on the 18th and 19th.
Gabriel Lopes did not sail to his best yesterday and after an 11th place in race 4 he dropped to 3rd place overall, but only 2 points behind Ivan Shestopalov, 1st overall, and 1 behind Felipe Cosentino from Argentina, who is second overall and first South American.
Today are the team racing championships: the South American team racing championship (SAMTR), closed to teams from South American countries; and the Nations Cup (NC) for teams from North and South American countries.
There are 16 teams entered for the SAMTR: ARG 1, BRA 1, ARG 2, CHI 1, BRA 2, URU 1, PER 1, BRA 3, ECU 1, URU 2, CHI 2, ARG 3, URU 3, PER 2, ECU 2 y COL; and 12 for the NC: USA 1, USA 2, BER 1, MEX 1, USA 3, ISV, MEX 2, BER 2, CHI 3, PER 3, MEX 3 and ECU 3.
After two days of awful weather with winds reaching 45 knots that prevented the races to be sailed according to schedule,158 competitors could finally make it to the water and sail the first 3 races of the event. The day was not an easy one, neither for the competitors nor for the race committee, due to shifty winds and a strong current that made rounding the first mark a difficult task.
Flag U proved to be very effective: in 9 starts no general recalls were signalled and no sailors were penalised.
Gabriel Lopes from Brasil, who is South American Champion 2013, leads the ranking 6 points ahead of Ivan Shestopalov from USA. Third is Zane Rogers, also from USA. Among the girls it is Clara Penteado who leads the fleet, followed by Argentinian Clara Vignati, 10th overall.
Yesterday evening sailors, coaches, relatives and supporters, together with the regatta authorities, paraded through the harbour to the gardens of the Yacht Club Punta del Este main building. The flags and uniforms of 158 sailors and 42 officials representing 15 countries added a touch of colour to the grey cloudy evening.
The strong winds continued through to today, the first racing day of the championship and unfortunately there was no racing. The wind is due to decrease so hopefully the sailors will be on the water tomorrow.
Strong winds from the South West forced the port authorities to close the harbour yesterday, so training was not an option. Activities on shore did not stop though; and of course delegations kept on arriving. USA, Mexico, Ecuador and Bermuda joined the teams that had arrived earlier.
The measurement tent bustled with activity as the measurement team, led by Diego Freiria and Bernie Knuppel, carried out measurement with no major problems except for some sail numbers in wrong positions. 5 delegations underwent measurement and it is expected that only a couple of teams will be left to measure tomorrow.
Today is the official arrival day and the first official meal will be dinner at the club tonight.
All photos Matias Capizzano