The crews tried to make the most of it on the second day without racing at the Barcelona International Sailing Center’s facilities. All races on the fourth day of the Nacra 17 European Championship were cancelled due to the lack of wind. On day 3 there was too much wind and on day 4 there was not enough. With about 4 knots of wind on the race course in Barcelona, the 42 teams from 23 countries participating in this European competition had to stay ashore without racing.
At the top of the leader board are British Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves, tied on points with Australians Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis. The provisional podium is completed with French Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim, six points ahead of Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco, who are in a provisional bronze position.
The day started with the usual weather briefing, a gym session, relax in the chill-out area of the Barcelona International Sailing Center and a lot of chatting with press and the media team of the Europeans. An inevitable subject is talking about the mixed crews, because, besides from its speed and being very spectacular, one of the characteristic features of the Nacra 17 is that it has a mixed crew. It’s the first time in sailing were mixed crews compete.
The case of Franck Cammas is even more special: “For me it`s not about how different is to sail with a woman or a man. It`s my first Olympic campaign with a crew member, whether is male or female. So if I compare my experience in the Volvo Ocean Race, what I see is that the relationship with a man is more direct. You can let out negative opinions directly, however with a woman you have to watch the tone in which you say things”. Together with Sophie De Turckheim, Cammas is currently in third position at the Nacra 17 Europeans in Barcelona.
According to Iker Martínez, what makes the difference is the physical condition: “In this class, ideally the girl is lighter and would take the helm with a heavier guy as crew. We do it the other way around, so for my crew [in this race, is triathlete Julia Rita, the physical demand is very important. Moreover, because of my weight, my crew has to be relatively light and strong at the same time. Everything else is quite the same, although it is true that with Xabi [Fernandez, his nacra17 crew for ten years] I had a very close relationship, while with a girl maybe you need a bit more privacy”.
In fact, some mixed crews share rooms, especially when resources are limited. And then there are exceptional cases: like Yamil and Andrea Saba from Venezuela who are brother and sister, or Pablo Defazio and Mariana Foglia from Uruguay who are husband and wife.
“We stay in the same room and we spend all day talking about sailing. It’s easier because we are family. But I can imagine this must be more difficult when there isn’t a family relationship”, says Andrea Saba. At the same time Mariana Foglia added: “I’ve got used to live in small spaces with my husband, on the boat, on a plane, in a car … But it does happen that after a championship we are tired and have enough and we can drive ten hours without saying a word. We have a six year old daughter, and the rule is that at the table we don’t talk about sailing.