Giles Scott (GBR) secured yet another victory after winning the medal race at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Iberostar in Palma to take the regatta by 25 points. As expected the other medals went to Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and Tapio Nirkko (FIN), Gaspic’s better medal race result giving him the silver.
Without a doubt this week in Palma has thrown the most changeable, shifty and often bizarre conditions at the sailors. That Giles Scott (GBR) managed to win despite these conditions and despite having to change boat mid-week after a collision rendered his own boat too damaged to continue, says a lot for the current world champion.
He said, “It’s been pretty trying to say the least, but I think actually it’s been pretty trying for a lot of us. Early on the conditions were particularly difficult and I think the scoreboard shows that with a lot of people being very up and down with the results. A lot of guys have had a bit of bad luck and I suppose I’m included in that.”
“It was good to see how I could go in a different boat. Finns are very personal, so to be able to use someone else’s and still come away with the regatta win, you have to take some positives from that and it’s all good practice. I feel that things haven’t really gone my way this week so to come away with the victory is pretty good.”
Today was, “just a great way to end off a tricky week. We had a lovely 14 knot steady sea breeze medal race, which I was able to capitalise on.” After a delay the wind to settle, Scott led at the first mark and never looked back, taking his third race win of the week.
Though he finished in ninth place in the medal race and dropped to tenth overall, Björn Allansson (SWE) was upbeat about his performance this week. “Finally we got a medal race and the wind was on, as most of this week. I had a good first lap but choose the wrong gate at the bottom mark. The fleet was real tight so it was 100 per cent intense the whole race.”
“For me Palma was a great start of the European sailing season.”
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) continues his good form and adds the silver here to the silver from the 2014 ISAF Worlds in Santander, also behind Scott. Six of those in the top 10 in Santander were also top 10 here. Whatever the conditions, whatever anomalies the wind throws at them, the same sailors always seem to rise to the top.
Bronze medallist, Tapio Nirkko (FIN), said, “It was a solid week for me in the tricky conditions we faced during the week. Basic things like coming out of the starts, boat speed and tactical big lines were working through the whole week that put me surprisingly high on the result list.” Nirkko only had one result in the top three, but was otherwise consistently in the top 10-15. “Being on the podium is always a good result in Palma. It's nice to continue from here for the rest of the season.”
For Scott, Palma is another victory on the long list of consecutive wins he is accumulating. But from here on in it’s going to get even harder. With the first major Sailing World Cup event of the season starting in Hyeres in just over two weeks, everyone will be looking to up their game to attempt to end his domination in the class before it is too late.
Results after medal race (medal race in brackets)
1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 65.8 (1)
2 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 91 (8)
3 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 95 (10)
4 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 103 (5)
5 USA 6 Caleb Paine 105 (6)
6 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 133 (3)
7 NZL 24 Josh Junior 135 (2)
8 FRA 29 Thomas Le Breton 141 (4)
9 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 143 (7)
10 SWE 6 Björn Allansson 151 (9)