Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria has taken the gold in the three premier classes of the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela: Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo in 470, Joaquín Blanco in Laser Standard, and Kevin Cabrera in Laser Radial. In the new Paralympic class, the gold went to RCNGC sailor José Guerra, who’s about to embark on a challenge that will take him to 15 regattas throughout continental Europe in 2015.
Sailors from 23 countries have taken part in the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela, the first event on the new Spanish Olympic series. Spanish Royal Sailing Federation President, José Ángel Rodríguez Santos, and pre-Olympic team manager, Tony Ripoll, travelled to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to attend the competition.
The participation of representatives from 23 countries was one of the strong points stressed by Mimi González, City Councillor for Ciudad de Mar (Sea City). She said that Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council, one of the main supporters of this project, values the way the presence of these young sailors and their coaches and the ripple effect of the social networks help to promote the city as a tourism destination.
Sailing on the final day of this year’s Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week was once again characterised by strong wind and sea conditions, which allowed all the scheduled races to be run on time.
Joaquín Blanco (RCNGC) has been one of the key figures in the competition. He’s a member of the Spanish Pre-Olympic team, which dominated the field from start to finish. Blanco barely stepped down from the podium. “Today conditions were very stable and that allowed me to secure the victory. A home win is always very special”, he said.
In 470, Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo (RCNGC), eighth in the international ranking, are ending the year with a victory they fought the two Russian crews for right up to the last minute. The Russians took second and third spot on the podium.
In the women’s 470, the win went to Mallorca’s Marina Gallego and Fátima Reyes. Russians Alisa Kirilyuk and Lyudmila Dmitrieva came second and the bronze went to Spain’s Ángela Pumariega (Asturias) and her crew member, Gran Canarian Patricia Cantero (RCNGC).
Kevin Cabrera, from RCNGC, took the gold in Laser Radial after a very even battle with Holland’s Benjamin Wempe. Third place went to another member of the RCNGC team, Luis Cabrera, one of the three sailors distinguished at this event by the Spanish Olympic Committee. During the Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week award ceremony, Cabrera, Gustavo Martín and Patricia Reino received the medals awarded last year by the Spanish Olympic Committee in recognition of their sports achievements.
In the women’s Laser Radial, Lithuanian Viktorija Andrulyte had a strong win. Martina Reino, an RCNGC youth sailor, took the bronze medal. The silver went to Poland’s Agata Barwinska.
Races were held in three categories of board sailing. In RS:X 9.5, Club de Vela Formentera led the field, with Joan Cardona first and Sergio Escandell third. Second place went to Holland’s Matthijs Van’t Hoff.
In the women’s RSX:8.5, the victory went to Pilar Lamadrid, from Club Puerto Sherry (Cádiz), ahead of her two Dutch rivals.
In RS:X 8.5 junior, the Dutch took first and second place, leaving the bronze for Ángel Granda, from RCNGC.
The Olympic Sailing Week closed with the invitation to the 420 class, which included local competitors. The final placings were Elías Aretz/Elio Hoyos (1st), Wichy Hernández /Guillermo López (2nd) and María Caba/Carla Díaz (3rd).
F18 and Nacra 17 were dominated by the Germans.
The award ceremony was held this afternoon.
Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath
Just four points separate two crews fighting for first place in the 470 class of the 16th Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week, due to end on Monday in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s harbour. Russians Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov lead the race with 22 points, closely followed by Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo, from the Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria sailing team, on 26 points.
Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria is the organiser of this 16th Olympic Sailing Week, which has brought 200 sailors from 24 countries to the bay in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Palmas City Hall (Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas), Cabildo de Gran Canaria and private companies Anfi and Naviera Armas are backing the event.
The weather conditions have played a starring role in the first three days of racing. The sea and wind conditions have been very favourable and all the races scheduled have been held. The weather’s expected to remain the same for the fourth and final day tomorrow. Contestants faced 6-10 knot northeast winds today, with some shifts and a swell without strong waves.
Another Russian crew, formed by the Sheremetyev brothers, is just three points behind Barreiros and Curbelo, increasing the tension for Monday’s final.
Back on shore, the Gran Canarian sailors explained they’d suffered “too many shifts in the wind” and had problems with the second close hauls in the two races on this third day of sailing.
In the women’s 470, the Spanish crew of Marina Gallego (Club Náutico La Rápita) and Fátima Reyes (Club Náutico Arenal) moved up to first place. Spain’s Angela Pumariega, from Asturias, and crew member Patricia Cantero, from Gran Canaria (RCNGC), are holding onto second place.
Cantero explained that after the first close haul in the first race, the wind shifts had been tough on them, but in the second heat the wind had let up and things went a lot better.
The considerable Russian presence in this competition, as seen both in the results and the number of contestants, is due to coach Mikhail Zabolotnov’s conviction that “Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria is the best club in Europe”, as he told television company Panorama Vela. The company has brought a team of professionals to the island to make programmes about the competition for Spanish and international audiences.
In Laser Standard, Joaquín Blanco is not only holding the lead after six races, but is also facing the final day 12 points ahead of his closest rival, Holland’s Yuri Hummel. World youth champion, Joel Rodríguez (RCNGC), is fighting from fifth place.
As in the men’s 470, the difference is minimal in the top places in Laser Radial. Holland’s Benjamín Wempe is just one point ahead of Kevin Cabrera, from Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria. In third place is Lithuanian Viktoria Andrulyte, who took two firsts on Sunday.
Racing has finished in the Paralympic class, with a victory for local sailor José Guerra, who won seven of the nine races held, taking the victory from his Finnish and French rivals.
In RS:X 9.5 the lead has gone to Joan Cardona, from the Balearic Islands, who’s two points ahead of Holland’s Matthis Van’t Half. The final could go either way.
The Dutch continue to lead in RS:X 8.5. They’re closely followed by Ángel Granda, from RCNGC, who’ll be starting the last day in third place in the overall classification.
In 420, the guest class, the lead has changed. Elías Aretz and Helenio Hoyos (RCNGC) are first equal on 22 points with María Caba/Carla Díaz. Wichy Hernández and Guillermo López have dropped to third place after a penalty for a false start.
Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath
Monday is the last day. Two races are scheduled for each class. Trophies will be awarded at around 17.00 hours, depending on how the day at sea goes.
Sailors from 23 countries will be taking part in the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela (Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week), which was launched on Tuesday at Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria. The skills level and the number of sailors registered for this iconic race in the Spanish series were deemed “a success” by the Club’s sports manager, Francis Bautista, who highlighted the attendance of sailors who’ve already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and countries such as Russia, whose entire teams will be taking part.
The Russian, Lithuanian, Spanish and Portuguese Olympic teams and the Norwegian, Dutch and Turkish youth teams have brought all their members to the event in Gran Canaria.
The Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela is the first event on the Spanish calendar that will count towards entry into the Spanish Pre-Olympic sailing team. Several of the Club’s sailors, such as Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo in the 470 class, Joaquín Blanco in Laser Standard, and Martina Reino in Laser Radial, will be working for their places over the long weekend of the race.
Lucas Bravo de Laguna, Head of Sports with the Gran Canaria Cabildo, and Mimi González, City Councillor for Ciudad de Mar (Sea City), were at the launch to represent the two local bodies sponsoring the race, described as the “the Club’s most important event of the year” by Club President Óscar Bergasa, who led the press conference.
The Olympic Sailing Week is the longest-running event of the four races in the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme. After this race, which will be held from 4 to 8 December, the Gran Canaria club will be holding the Optimist Trofeo AECIO (26-29 December), Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria (9-11 January) and the Regata de Carnaval (13-15 February).
One of the main innovations this year is the decision by European Region of International Laser Class Association (EurILCA) to start the Europa Cup series with the Regata de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This has boosted the interest of Europe’s top teams in taking part in the final race of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme.
The RCNGC President announced that, for the first time, the Club is including Paralympic sailing in its winter races. The Club already has its team, comprising sailors Javier Ugarte and José Guerra, and several other European crews have confirmed they’ll be competing in Gran Canaria this winter.
City Councillor Mimi González, who sailed at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, highlighted the Council’s support for the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme and its importance for the city, which is promoted as a winter sailing base.
González said that the 2013 Olympic Sailing Week, in which 374 sailors took part, had brought in half a million (489,780.72) euros to the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. For the 2013 Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, 689 sailors from around 20 countries came to Gran Canaria and the city earned 900,000 (892,747.62) euros, in figures announced by the councillor.
“At the Gran Canaria Cabildo we’re delighted to support the Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela, which has become a well established event”, said Lucas Bravo, who added that “the idea of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme is fantastic for promoting the island abroad”.
In addition to defining Real Club Náutico as a symbol of Gran Canaria, Bravo reiterated the support of the Cabildo and confirmed the ongoing collaboration of the public institution.
Sailors from 23 countries have registered.
Races will be run in two race areas:
The Olympic Week races will be held from 5 to 8 December, with three races a day starting at 11.00 hours.
(Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath)