Two hours of waiting were worth it for Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei who solidified their lead on the fleet by eight points with a 6,2.
An unceremonious swim for Briton John Gimson and charging world champions combined to drop he and Anna Burnet to third place behind Italians Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti.
Tita and Banti won the day with a 1,4 climbing to second and were the first to figure out when to pop the Nacra onto the foils upwind in the building Seabreeze. “The goal today was to find the right place and the right moment to decide when to foil and when not,” said Banti.
The Italians acknowledged that there was plenty of racing left before the medal race. And their training partners, Ugolini and Giubilei, are not intimidated nor are they giving in, rather the pair from C.S. Aeronautica Military in Rome, have no intention of giving up their grip on first, in the regatta, nor for a nomination for the Olympics.
Giubilei was asked how important it was to be beating the reigning world champions. “I think it’s quite important,” said Giubilei who with Ugolini is a two-time silver medalist at the worlds. “Yes, and also for us to prove to ourselves where we are and what we have achieved.”
With only two races and a potential for seven more it’s far too soon to make bets on who gets into Monday’s medal race. It is no surprise, however, that the three medalist from Tokyo are sitting just below Ugolini and Giubilei, and only precious points between them and the next 10 places. Tita is now a veteran and knows this all too well. “It’s too early to think about medal race,” he said as the sun dropped. “It’s quite a long way away.”
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For more information on the 49er and 49erFX racing, visit the event page: https://49er.org/events/2023-european-championship/