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Uusitalo makes move on day two at Allianz Regatta

Valtteri Uusitalo had a strong day in the ILCA 7, moving to the top of the leaderboard
Valtteri Uusitalo had a strong day in the ILCA 7, moving to the top of the leaderboard

Day two of the Allianz Regatta saw lead changes in three classes with the ILCA 7 looking like the tightest of all as it stands.

A pair of second-place finishes from Finland’s Valtteri Uusitalo was enough for him to move into first place overall, despite two wins for Willem Wiersema, who is now up to third.

And with just three points separating the top three – previous leader Duko Bos is second – it is the most evenly-matched class of the six so far.

Uusitalo’s performance means Dutch sailors lead in three of the six classes after two days, with pedigree telling in both the 49er and the iQFOiL.

Meanwhile, the kite continues to be a French affair, albeit with a lot of competition on the men’s side.

After four heats, it is all to play for in the ILCA 7, with Uusitalo leading the way on five points thanks to two more second-place finishes after a win on day one.

That was enough to overtake Bos and take top spot, with the Finn planning to stick with the winning formula as long as possible.

He said: “It was quite a tricky day compared to yesterday, with tricky conditions. My starts were not so good but I managed to climb up to the top on both races so I’m pleased with that. I will continue with my strategy so far, it’s been working well, so there is nothing to change for tomorrow.”

Wiersema is up to third, recording successive bullets for the first time since last year’s Under-21 World Championships, a big step-up from back-to-back sixth-place finishes on day one.

Meanwhile, in the ILCA 6, Maxime Jonker now leads the way with a second win in four heats to sit on four points.

Compatriot Marit Bouwmeester, who was victorious in Palma, was not in action on day two and will return at the weekend.

In a statement, her team said: “The past training period in Scheveningen, partly in preparation for the Allianz World Sailing Championships this summer, has been more physically demanding than previously estimated due to the weather conditions. In consultation with Marit, it was decided to take extra rest during the Allianz Regatta to prevent overloading. Marit will therefore only be in action in Almere on Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June.”

Germany’s Julia Buesselberg is up to second, three points behind Jonker after winning the opening heat of the day.

In the 49er class, Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken remain the team to beat. The world champions were not quite as dominant as on day one but are still eight points clear of second.

Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken continue to set the pace in the 49er class at the Allianz Regatta
Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken continue to set the pace in the 49er class at the Allianz Regatta

After finishing third in the opening heat of the day, they bounced back with a bullet before fourth in the final heat.

Their closest challengers are now Australia’s Thomas Needham and Joel Turner, who won the opener before finishing third in the other two heats.

And in the iQFOiL Men, home supporters were treated to more success, with the Dutch still maintaining all three spots on the podium.

While Luuc van Opzeeland is still top of the pile, he faces stiff competition from Olympic champion Kiran Badloe, who made his move on day two.

Badloe won two heats and finished second in another to sit just two points behind Van Opzeeland at the halfway stage of qualifying, with 14 points to his compatriot’s 12.

Huig-Jan Tak is down to third, six points behind Badloe.

The battle for supremacy in the Formula Kite Men is as tight as ever, with France’s Axel Mazella and China’s Qibin Huang still in control of their respective fleets.

Mazella made a slow start in the yellow fleet, finishing third and 11th, but then made up for that with two bullets to close out the day.

That leaves him on seven points, level with Huang, who earned two bullets of his own in the blue fleet, as well as a second-place finish in the opening heat.

Poema Newland (FRA) continues to lead the way in the Formula Kite Women, adding two more wins to sit on 10 points, five clear of second-placed Gisela Borrell (ESP).

Jessie Kampman (FRA) is up to third and could challenge her compatriot following two wins and a third in four races on day two, although she is a little way back on 23 points.