Post Date: Friday, April 12, 2019
Costanzo's sailing in Stage 1 made all the difference in Stage 2. Photo © Amanda Witherell
3 dawned with a repechage for four Open Division teams and five Women’s teams,
all competing for the chance to continue racing in the World Sailing’s Nations
Cup Grand Final. Those two coveted spots were taken by Clare Costanzo (AUS) in
the Women’s Division and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZ) in the Open Division.
a testament to just how close the sailing has been, the Women’s Division teams
from Australia, Sweden, Finland, South Africa and Great Britain swapped wins
and losses, resulting in an unbreakable three-way tie. Stage 1 standings came into
play, allowing Costanzo to advance and leaving Johanna Bergqvist and Marinella
Laaksonen on the sidelines for the remainder of racing at St. Francis Yacht
finally feels like we got things under control and now it’s not enough,” said
Bergqvist, who lost her first race of the day then had a fantastic comeback in
a match against Laaksonen in which they battled tack for tack to the windward
mark, rounding and setting in sync. Bergqvist, slightly behind and to port, was
able to push Laaksonen off to the north enough to come ahead in the jibe and
lay the finish in a beautiful bit of boat handling.
Bergqvist leading Laaksonen to the windward mark. Photo © Amanda Witherell
Costanzo and Laaksonen with three wins each, all went on to win one against
each other, creating an unbreakable tie settled in favor of Costanzo due to her
higher ranking from Stage 1.
to have the opportunity to continue competing, Costanzo called the next stage a
“redemption round,” saying that she’d had close races with all the top women
she would now face again.
morning, it was everything to lose and now it’s everything to win,” said her
sister, Juliet Costanzo, who sails with her.
Open Division raced a knock-out round, with Ettore Botticini (ITA) beating Kohei
Ichikawa (JPN) 2-1 and Egnot-Johnson beating David Rae (RSA) 2-0, then going on
to nab two more bullets against Botticini to advance to Stage 3.
Nick Egnot-Johnson Photo © Gerard Sheridan
echoed the sentiment that the racing has been incredibly even and close.
“Anyone could win this regatta,” he said. With minimal experience racing J/22s
in breeze-on conditions, which are expected for the afternoon’s Stage 3, he’s
hoping to “just try and use what we learned this morning and take it into
racing this arvo.”
3 commences Friday afternoon with the top six competitors in each division competing
in the first of two round robins.
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