Nacra 15: the Swiss show clockwork consistency heading into
After another tough, challenging day of racing at the Nacra 15 World Championship off La Grande Motte in the South of France. New faces came to the forefront on all of four races which were contested in a nice west-northwest wind and choppy seas.
Only the Swiss mixed duo Axel Grandjean / Noémie Fehlmann seems to have found something of a state of grace, posting three more race wins today. In the general classification, the Swiss lead two French teams: Thomas Proust / Eloïse Clabon and Manolo Geslin Grimaud / Marion Declef going into the Finals phase which starts tomorrow.
Under grey skies which in fact were quickly chased away by the building north-westerly wind in the afternoon (up to 18 knots) and still a lot of choppy water, the 73 crews were able to complete four more races. This third day saw new winners taking their finish guns for first, including Noémie Payet and Lorcan Johnson (race 5 blue group), Eliott Coville and Gustave Liot (race 6 blue group), Nathan Charon and David Goleminov (yellow race 7), or the Swiss Clément Gignard and Marie Mazuay (blue race 7 and 8), all excelling.
The Swiss are like clockwork
Among the duo which have shown themselves to be strongest so far are the Swiss Axel Grandjean and Noémie Fehlman who have an almost metronomical consistency (1, 1, 2, 1) which strengthens them in their position as leaders on the General Classification just one point ahead of their pursuers Proust / Clabon (FRA) and 6 points over third-placed Manolo Gueslin Grimaud / Marion Declef. Behind it is very close with very small gaps from 3rd to 10th place.
The tension has also increased within the fleet as the stakes become clearer. Several collisions between boats caused some slight damage and a minor injury to the Italians. Indeed many protests seem set to keep the Jury busy into the night.
The final stages
From tomorrow Thursday, a new race begins at a much higher level with the titles at stake. The fleet will now be divided into two groups, with the best crews ending up in the gold fleet. The fight promises to be particularly intense in the top 10! As for the weather, the forecast is uncertain for this penultimate day of competition. It will be sunny, but the northwest flow will be potentially weak.
They said :
Axel Grandjean and Noémie Fehlmann (SUI): "Our secret? Eat raclette and fondue! No, more seriously, you have to be confident and go fast. They say speed makes you smart. So you have to be quick. And then you have to do things simply. And in general, it works. Anyway, it worked today. For the rest, we will stay quiet, without getting excited ... and of course the championship is far from over! "
Jolann Neiras, Breton team coach: "We had a good day, with 4 races, but quite complicated on the water. The wind was very unstable, it was necessary to remain attentive to the variations. And there were a lot of waves with a fairly high and fairly tight chop. You have to have powerful sails to be able to pierce the waves on this boat, which is ultimately not very big. And then a few annoyances for us following a collision between two boats, one of our crew has a damaged hull. But it's not just us: an Italian crew were also injured today ".
TOP 10 after 8 races (including 2 discards) before jury
1 SUI 270 Axel GRANDJEAN/ Noémie FEHLMANN, 11 pts
2 FRA 222 Thomas Proust/ Eloise Clabon,12 pts
3 FRA 167 Manolo GESLIN GRIMAUD/ Marion DECLEF, 17 pts
4 BEL 300 Kwinten BORGHIJS/Lieselotte BORGHIJS, 19 pts
5 SUI 196 Clément GUIGNARD/ Marie MAZUAY, 20 pts
6 ESP 140 Max RONDEAU/ Mar GARCIA, 22 pts
7 NED 134/ Bart KOOIJMAN / BEUK, 22 pts
8 FRA 175 Camille RIGAUD/ Julien MOUTARDE, 24 pts
9 FRA 210 Eliott Coville/Gustave Liot, 25 pts
10 FRA 223 Clément Martineau/Lou Mourniac, 27 pts
The Nacra15 in brief
The Nacra 15 is a 4.7-meter catamaran equipped with curved daggerboards (first stage before the foils) reserved for mixed crews in the U17 to U19 categories. Little sister of the Olympic Nacra17, it is recognized as an international series by the World Sailing (International Sailing Federation) and is the youth class for World Sailing events (international championships) and for the YOG, Youth Olympic Games. It is now the pathway series before the switch to 17-footer.