Aida and Notorious, undefeated leaders at the start of the Xacobeo 6mR Europeans
Sanxenxo, 14th September 2021. Day 1 of the Xacobeo 6mR Europeans. The event kicked off on Tuesday with two races in the Ría de Pontevedra. 31 teams from eleven nationalities compete for the continental title, but two teams clearly dominated the day: "Aida," skippered by Javier de la Gándara in the Classics, and Swedish team Claes Henningsson's "Notorious" in the Open division. Both teams claimed their first two victories in the championship.
It was no easy task. A lack of sailing conditions at the programmed start time (12:00h), meant that the Race Committee were forced to postpone racing, and the teams forced to remain on the docks at the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo (RCNS).
Finally, Eolo made an appearance at around 14:00h, with a north-westerly wind of between six and seven knots, enabling the 31 teams to officially open the continental event, with the first two races. However, it was a tough afternoon for the teams, with light and unstable winds dropping over the course of the day on the racecourse located just in front of the Montalvo beach.
A great start for "Aida" with two victories in the Classics
The first race for the Classics division was almost entirely dominated by an unstoppable "Aida," with the experience of Javier de la Gándara at the helm. The Real Club Náutico de A Coruña boat, gave their rivals no options and achieved their first partial victory ahead of Ossi Paija's "Astrée III" (from Nyländska JK) in second, and "Caprice" from the Club Marítimo de Canido, skippered by Laureano Wizner, in third.
The second race began with Pedro Campos's "Bribon 500" leading, closely followed by another RCNS representative, Santiago Campos' "Stardust," and Finnish team "Astrée III." However, "Aida" was able to make a comeback and cross the finish line with another great victory ahead of Ossi Paija's team, who repeated their second place, and title defenders, Bribon 500" in third.
"Aida" thus becomes the first leader of the event, followed by "Astrée III" in second, and "Caprice", completing the provisional podium in third.
"We were expecting a rainy forecast, and it was a marvellous afternoon, with sun and wind between six and eight knots," de la Gándara explained on return to the dock, "Two quite lengthy races, with an upwind leg of a mile and a half. It went well for us, because we had good speed, our manoeuvres went well, and we were able to make the most of the others' errors. It is only the first day, however, and there are four or five other teams who are very strong."
Double victory for "Notorious" in the Open
In the Open category, the first day of the Xacobeo 6mR Europeans started extremely equally. Although Violeta Álvarez's "Stella" (RCNS) began by leading the opening leg, closely followed by Patrick Monteiro's "Seljm" (Clube Naval de Cascais), in the second half of the race, the fleet became extremely compressed and saw continual position changes, until finally it was Swedish team "Notorius," skippered by Claes Henningsson, that swept the victory. Second place went to fellow Swedish team, representatives of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Richard Göransson's "Filippa," and third place to Swiss team Michel Teweles' "Thisbe" (Club Nautique de Versoix.)
A little less intense in the second race, where "Notorious" positioned themselves at the front of the fleet from the beginning, and practically led the race from the get-go, holding on until the end to clock up their second triumph of the day. Behind them, "Filippa," repeated their second place, with Patrick Monteiro's "Seljm," taking third having previously disputed leadership of the leg with the Swedish team.
Henningsson thus becomes one of the first leaders on the leader board, with a two-point victory over "Filippa," and six ahead of "Thisbe," in second and third places respectively.
On Wednesday, day 2 of the event, two races are programmed to begin at 12:00h.