Elite group of teams remains close to Tita and Banti despite an impressive start

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) have won five of their six qualifying races thus far, leaving the fleet no doubt as to who they are gunning for. The Tokyo gold medalists came second in the only race they didn’t win, yet they remain only two points ahead of second place and there are five teams within ten points of them still. Such is the nature of qualifying racing when there is an elite group.

Tita and Banti sail to the horizon – Credit: Sailing Energy / World Sailing. 12 August 2023.

Kolhoff and Stuhlemmer (GER) had a 2,1,2 in the other group and sit on only seven points. Gimson with Burnet (GBR), van der Meer with Bouwer (NED) and Kurbay with Keskinen (FIN) each took single races and remain in the hunt for the overall win.

The fleet was noticing the Finish pair’s performance, as they started the day with a 1, 2, and then managed a seventh in the final race despite capsizing on the downwind. The racing was extremely challenging due to the high chop, meaning the Nacra fleet was constantly re-accelerating to foiling on the upwind. The Fins were, at times, the fastest upwind and would have loved to redo their mistake in race three.

Mateo Majdalani with Eugenia Bosco (ARG) are in sixth and seem destined to knock the godfather of the fleet, Santiago Lange, out of Olympic contention. The Argentine qualifiers are four regattas, two of which already happened in Palma, Spain, and Hyeres, France, earlier this year. In each of those regatta, Majdalani with Bosco trounced Lange with Travascio. A further internal win here at the Worlds could see the young Argentinian win both a place for Argentina and themselves despite the final qualifier to come in November.

Majdalani and Bosco in the zone downwind – Credit: Sailing Energy / World Sailing. 12 August 2023.

Santiago Lange is a legend of the sport. With two bronze medals under his belt, one in the 470, and one in the Tornado, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in the lead up to the Rio Olympics. He fended off cancer and then won the gold medal in dramatic fashion at the age of 54 years young. He is also the president of the Nacra 17 class, and no doubt will not be giving up before it is over.

Lange and Travascio (ARG) battling upwind. Credit: Sailing Energy / World Sailing. 12 August 2023.

Qualifying continues through day three when the fleet will be split into gold and silver fleets.

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