Slovenia’s Zelko dominates in Laser Standard


Laser Standard is headed by Slovenia, but the Spanish sailors are leading in Laser Radial at the first event of the Europa Cup, currently being held in Gran Canaria. Martina Reino, number one on the Spanish ranking, is holding onto first place in the girls’ category and Luis Cabrera has taken the lead in the boys’.

The Regata Internacional de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is kicking off the Laser Europa Cup series this year. It’s the first of 23 regattas in the series, which will be held at 23 venues throughout Europe.

A 12-14 knot northwest wind and a long, slightly tricky wave typical of the area were the predominant conditions today on the second day of competition, in which 150 sailors from 19 countries are taking part.

Slovenia’s Zan Luka Zelko notched up three firsts after six races in Laser Standard and has a lead over Lithuania’s Martis Pajarskas and Gran Canaria’s Joel Rodríguez, who are currently heading for the podium. The second placed Spaniard is 16-year-old Mallorcan sailor Joan Cardona (RCN Palma), who’s eighth in the overall classification.

Rodríguez had no comments about his disqualification on the first day. He said that this isn’t a crucial regatta and he’s hoping the wind will intensify on Sunday, the final day, to secure him a place on the podium. The 14 sailors competing in Laser Standard are from 10 countries.

Martina Reino (RCNGC), current number one on the Spanish ranking, is holding onto the lead in women’s Laser Radial, after a first place in the 6th regatta, the final race of the day, finishing neck and neck on 12 points with Poland’s Agata Barwinska. The second Spanish sailor is Silvia Morales, from RCN Tenerife, with 28 points and a third place as her top result. The 25 sailors in women’s Radial are from Denmark, Great Britain, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

The Spanish dominate in the men’s Laser Radial, with seven sailors in the top eight places. Luis Cabrera (RCNGC) took first place in the classification with a two-point lead over fellow club member Ismael Iess. In third place on the podium is José Cabrera, who’s also from the host club. The 25 competitors in this category are from seven countries.

Although Cabrera’s happy after taking the lead, he’s not sure he’ll keep it. “There are lots of strong sailors behind me”, he said back on shore. Cabrera would like the wind to ease on Sunday so he can secure his place. Jorge Martínez (RCNGC), in sixth place and just two points from finishing third, is also a contender for a spot on the podium.

Lanzarote’s Alejandro Bethencourt continues to lead in 4.7. He’s notched up four firsts in the six races held, although Ivo Marrero (RCNGC) is just one point behind him, with two firsts and three seconds. In a field of 17 competing sailors, 15 are from the Canary Islands.

In the women’s Laser 4.7, where 11 of the 14 competitors are Canary Islanders, local sailor Carlota Sánchez (RCNGC) has taken the lead with two firsts and three seconds, five points ahead of Marina Martín (RCN Arrecife) and Nelly González (Club de Mar Radazul de Tenerife).

Points won by Laser sailors will also count for the Regata de Carnaval, which includes 2.4 mR (Paralympic), catamarans (Nacra 17 and F18) and from today, 420 and 29er.

In 2.4 Rm Sweden’s dominating, with Hans Asklund in first place. The fleet in this class is nearly all Scandinavian. Only two of the 14 sailors in 2.4 Rm are Spanish; eight are from Sweden and four are from Finland. Canary Islanders José Guerra and Javier Ugarte, members of the recently created RCNGC Paralympic team, are battling it out in 10th and 13th position.

Racing in 420 and 29er started today in the Regata de Carnaval, with entirely local fleets. Jorge Cantero and Nestor Vega, current Canary Islands champions in 29er, won two of the three races and are in first position. 420 is headed by Patricia Medina and Lara Martínez, who won two of the three races.

Sunday is the third and final day.

The prize giving ceremony will be held at 17.00 hours.

Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath

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