Olympic Test Selection Pressures Telling at the Sofia Iberostar

Olympic Test Selection Pressures Telling at the Sofia Iberostar

A brisk, NW’ly mistral wind, blowing offshore required contenders at Mallorca’s 50th anniversary Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar to do their best to deal with big changes in wind direction and strength. 
Such unpredictable conditions added further stress for sailors for whom this annual European season curtain-raiser is an observed event counting towards selection for the Olympic Test regatta.  Wind speeds varied from 6 to 26 knots during the same race for the Laser and Nacra 17 classes. And with one day of racing left to determine which sailors will make the cut to Saturday’s medal races, there were already a few disappointed faces when the fleets came ashore from the Bay of Palma.

Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Frederik Bergstrom maintain a comfortable margin in the 470 Men with a 3,3, today ahead of GBR’s Luke Patience and Chris Grube. Aussies Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are on the prowl, climbing to fourth with a seven-point day. There is no change at the top of the Women's fleet either where Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz of France lead Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre of the British Sailing Team.

Keeping his own focus - controlling the controllable as the coaches are fond of saying - and trying not to concern himself with the performance of his selection rivals, is clearly working for the young USA sailor Chris Barnard who stepped to the top of the giant Laser fleet today. His main selection rival is 2016 Olympian Charlie Buckingham who lies eighth after today. 

The trials for the one GBR Laser spot have five serious contenders. At the end of today, three are in the top seven, Elliot Hansen vaulting into third overall as Lorenzo Chiavarini - who started the day in second - had a bitterly painful day, scoring a 34th and then a DNF which drop him to seventh overall. Past world champion Nick Thompson of GBR won the first race and now lies fifth while young Irish sailor Finn Lynch holds on to second, two points off the lead.

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