Germany’s Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf got off to a perfect start in the Men’s Skiff – 49er as the first ever Hempel World Cup Series event in Italy commenced in Genoa with racing in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17.
In a split 65-boat 49er pack, the Germans won both of the day’s races in the blue fleet and were the standout performers across the three Olympic events on the water. Meanwhile, in the yellow fleet, New Zealand’s Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie picked up a race win and a second to occupy the second podium spot in the early stages of the event.
Sweden’s Julia Gross and Hanna Klinga lead after two races in the Women’s Skiff – 49erFX and in the Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17, Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface (GBR) and Italy’s Lorenzo Bressani and Cecilia Zorzi share top spot with a win apiece.
Following racing, World Sailing President Kim Andersen joined the Mayor of Genoa, President of FIV and other local officials in the famous Piazza De Ferrari to officially open the event.
Sweden’s Gross and Klinga top the 49erFX leaderboard on four points after a third and a first in the blue fleet. Fellow blue fleet racers, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), sailed their way to a second and a sixth which positions them in second. Helene Naess and Marie Rønningen (NOR) took the remaining blue fleet race win.
Wins in the yellow fleet went to Stephanie Roble and Margaret Shea (USA) and Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht (AUT).
In the Nacra 17, the yellow fleet completed two races with one in the blue. Saxton and Boniface took the blue fleet win and Bressani and Zorzi the first yellow. The second yellow fleet race will apply once the blue race is completed on Tuesday. The race win in the second yellow fleet went to Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL).
The qualifying series in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 continues on Tuesday at 11:00. The Men’s and Women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial and the Finn will also start their opening series. — Daniel Smith – World Sailing