Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

This is last year’s Olympic Silver medalist Zach Railey (USA) on the first day at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands. You can’t see him, but he’s in there somewhere. Having taken a break since the Rolex Miami OCR back in January, he is glad to be back Finn racing. "I’m happy to be back on the circuit. It feels really good to be racing again, though it is hard to be back in the boat physically. The Finn is very demanding, but being back out on the water sailing feels great. I really love what I do and sailing on the circuit is a lot of fun."

The regatta opened on Wednesday to big winds and big seas and perfect Finn sailing conditions. Junior Finn World Champion Giles Scott (GBR) won the first trace and is leading the 63 boat regatta, now at its mid-way stage. Following his opening score of 1-3-2, he maintained his lead on Friday with a third and a 10th.

Second placed Ed Wright (GBR), the current leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup (of which the Delta Lloyd Regatta is the fifth event out of seven), won the fifth race today and sits just seven points behind Scott.

Railey slipped up Thursday after getting the first beat all wrong in race three, but moved up to third place overall on Friday after posting a fifth and a third in more breezy conditions. "Other than the race where I finished 18th, I’m happy with my races. However right now, I don’t have expectations for a finish. I just want to get back in the groove of things and find out what I need to work on this fall during our training camps. I am sailing with the same gear right now as I used in China, but will also have to look at new gear this coming fall."

"The conditions were very tough today with 15 to 20 knot winds and higher gusts. Both sides of the course were paying at times so playing shifts was key. PJ [Postma] and Ed [Wright] were going fast and most of the top 12 – 15 boats were close with the final spots in races only decided on the last downwind."

The Delta Lloyd Regatta continues to Sunday with the medal races tracked live online through the event website. Text: Robert Deaves, IFA 2009 Photos : Sander van der Borch/Delta Lloyd Regatta Class website.