The most exclusive club at this European Championships today must be the top three in the Nacra 17 fleet. A dizzying 39 points clear of the fleet and 11 points between them, the British duo with two italian teams chasing delivered a masterclass in championship precision and resilience.
Leaders John Gimson and Anna Burnett won the day with an impressive 1,2,1,1 to sit in first with 41 points. One place behind with 49 points is Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti, and Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei with 52 points. The three teams are virtually assured of medals if they stay in touch with the fleet despite the potential for two fleet races before tomorrow’s medal race.
“We’ve had quite a lot of wins this week but also the odd 13 and 14 so it’s nice to put a full day together,” said Gimson who revealed that they have been training with Tita and Banti and will continue working with the Italians through this winter. “It’s nice to go int the winter with our group feeling pretty solid.”
A careful review of the scores shows that Tita and Banti have the least to lose going into the last races discarding only a 9 at the moment versus 14s for their top three counterparts. This means that if Ugolini and Giubilei, and Gimson and Burnet have races into the teens there may be enough of a points swing to let the Tokyo gold medalists past.
The best of the rest was the Austrian team Lukas Haberl and Tanja Frank are in fourth more than 20 points ahead of fifth and are the clear leaders for country Olympic selection.
It’s no surprise that the British, silver medalists from Tokyo and the Gold medalists Italians, are heading into the finals in strong form. But Ugolini and Giubilei, despite a 13 in today’s final race, are hungry for a first win over their rivals.
Austria team of Haberl and Frank already managed to secure the nations ticket for the Olympic Games in Paris, with one day to spare before the medal race! See the latest post here