Words by by Camille El Beze for Yacht Boat News

The wait was a bit long, but it was worth it. The 73 crews of the Nacra15 World Championships could not leave the car park until around 2:45 p.m. First for lack of wind, then because the latter came in suddenly, a little too strong, giving the race committee some hesitation.

Finally, only one and only race could be launched shortly before 4:00 p.m., in a good north-west of around 20 knots. The 73 crews were divided into two groups, ie two starts of 36 and 37 competitors staggered by 5 minutes.

You had to like the breeze, be a good Nacra15 technician, sail cleanly and not desalt to get by today. Two qualities that were not lacking in the winning teams of the day.

The race of the “Yellow” group was marked by a change of hierarchy in the second tacking between the ten tandems who were fighting at the forefront. In the top 5, we saw in turn the Swiss Guignard / Mazuay, Vitel / Winssinger, Grandjean / Fehlman, the Dutch Van der Veen / Van Rooijen, the English Williams / Clarke, the Italians Hirsch / Orsolini, the French Rigaud / Mustard, Coville / Liot, Gueslin Grimaud / Declef. It is ultimately the latter who prevail at the end of the second close-hauled leg, which they negotiate on the left of the stretch of water.

In the “Blue” group, on the other hand, it was almost a single rider of the Barcelona Rondeau / Garcia crew - the only Spanish competitor in the fleet - who led the race far ahead.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, the whole organization wants to put more regattas on the clock, hoping that the weather will not be a spoiler again. The bay of Aigues Mortes is stuck in the middle of an area disturbed by two opposing regimes. The wind may remain weak all day.

all photo © Didier Hillaire

2021 Nacra 15 Worlds at La Grand Motte day 2 –
It was shifty and tricky all through the day. That was to be expected due to the weather situation on Tuesday. With the Bay of Aigues Mortes at the confluence of two wind regimes, the race committee had to set and rest the courses several times while the sailors had to stay patient. All day long, the wind fluctuated in direction and pressure, from 8 to 18 knots. The challenge was to stay on your game, focused and lucid, especially to tackle the last race of the day after more than six hard hours on the water.

Some of the team members of this world championship are still very young (the youngest, the Hungarian Samson Litkey is only 9 years old!) And many are not yet familiar with this intensity and duration of high level racing.

Winning moves

Others were visibly more comfortable and dominated the day. Among the strong crews, the Proust / Clabon duo were a sensation winning the three races for the yellow group. In the blue group, the Swiss Grandjean / Fehlmann won twice, while the Belgian Borghijs siblings (coached by Sébastien Godefroid, 4 times Olympian and silver medalist in Finn in 1996) caught the attention with 3 podiums on the 3 races. The French Geslin Grimaud / Declef complete the list of winners for the day.

No wonder we find these names at the top of the provisional general classification led this evening by the Swiss pair.

For everyone, it will be important to recover well this evening before attacking the third day of this worlds. Tomorrow, Wednesday, the northwesterly wind (12-17 knots) should be well established and provide magnificent sailing conditions.

They said:

Thomas Proust and Eloïse Clabon (FRA): “We did three races and we won all three! So we are happy! It was necessary to have regularity between the light and medium wind, to stay fast, without forgetting the strategy, because the wind had turned a bit in all directions. It was a little complicated, but we did well.”

Kwinten and Lieselotte Borghijs (BEL): “It was a very nice day. It started with light winds and ended with a lot of wind. We had a great day, thanks to our great team spirit. The important thing today was to find the pressure because the wind was not the same everywhere. And do not miss the start. We’re not that tired. We had a lot of time to rest in the water!”

SUI 270 Axel GRANDJEAN/ Noémie FEHLMANN, 12pts
2 BEL 300 Kwinten BORGHIJS/Lieselotte BORGHIJS, 12pts
3 FRA 222 Thomas Proust/ Eloise Clabon, 15pts
4 FRA 167 Manolo GESLIN GRIMAUD/ Marion DECLEF, 16pts
5 SUI 196 Clément GUIGNARD/ Marie MAZUAY, 18pts
6 NED 134/ Bart KOOIJMAN BEUK, 19pts
7 GER 028 Leonard BEYER/ Zoe COERS, 23pts
8 ESP 140 Max RONDEAU/ Mar GARCIA, 24pts
9 FRA 175 Camille RIGAUD/ Julien MOUTARDE, 26pts
10 FRA223 Clément Martineau/Lou Mourniac, 30pt

Full Results