After the first two races in the Ria de Pontevedra, the fleet has begun to take their positions on the general leader board, which promises to be extremely close. Bribon 500 in the Classics division and Momo in the Open are the first leaders in the general classification.

A first day of racing at the Xacobeo 6mR Worlds in Sanxenxo; an event which has gathered 40 teams from 15 nationalities to compete in the Ria de Pontevedra. On Tuesday the starting gun sounded for the first two races, which saw first place for José Bribon 500 in the Classics division and Dieter Schoen’s Swiss team, Momo in the Open, both fighting for the long-awaited world championship title.

As the weather reports had predicted, the first day of the competition was awarded with good wind conditions in the ria, allowing the Race Committee to set up the windward-leeward racing in the area in front of Sanxenxo. The south-easterly wind between 12 and 14 knots enabled completion of both programmed races.

Bribon 500 moves into the lead in the Classics

In the classics division, day one saw extremely competitive racing between the leading boats; with only two points separating the first two teams on the leader board.

In the first race, four boats completely dominated the fleet, fighting until the end for a partial victory, which was finally taken by Catalin Trandafir’s Rumanian team Esssentia. A good result for Alicia Freire’s Titia behind them in second place, with

Mauricio Sánchez-Bella at the helm, and a third for Louis Heckly’s French team Dix Août.

However, the second race saw three different teams on the podium. José Cusí’s Bribon 500, with Ross McDonald in charge, moved into the lead from the start, and maintained it until the end, to claim their first title, following a fourth place in the first race. Second place went to Finnish team Ossi Paija’s Astrée III, who were seventh in the previous race. Third place was claimed by British team, Andy Postle’s Nirvana, who had started the event in eighth.

©SailingShots by María Muiña Photography

As such, Bribon 500 take the lead with a total of five points in the Xacobeo 6mR Worlds, closely followed by Essentia and Dix Août, each with seven points in second and third place respectively.

“It has been a beautiful day, we had really good wind, and there were two spectacular races. I think everyone will be happy to have sailed with these conditions,” stated Jane Abascal (Bribon 500) at the end of the day.

“In the first race we weren’t too good. We got a little left behind at the start, then we recovered but had a problem with a boat, touched a mark and were penalized and that left us behind. Then in the second race we started well and were able to sail our race to win. We have realized that all the other teams are sailing well, and it is not going to be easy, but we are going to take it little by little,” Abascal concluded.

The Swiss dominate the Open with Momo at the head of the general

The Open category had a clear winner of the day with Dieter Schoen’s Momo proving quite unstoppable. The Swiss boat, which already proved its potential by sweeping the title of the Rey Juan Carlos El Corte Inglés Master Regatta, opened the competition with a comfortable victory in the first race and a hard fought second place, which makes Schoen’s team the first leaders of the world championships.

Following the race, Víctor Mariño, a crew member of Momo, affirmed that,

“For a World Championship, we have started very well. A first and second place is without a doubt what we dreamt of, but we are going to take it day by day and keep working hard to learn about this boat. It looks like the week will give us lighter wind and that is going to be more challenging, with more unstable conditions, but our goal is to keep learning as much as possible.” 

Behind them, North American team James Hilton’s Scoundrel are for the time being in second place, five points from Momo, with a seventh in the first race and first in the second, whilst the third place on the podium is provisionally for Swedish team, Johan Larsson’s Rebecca, with a fifth and third place under their belt.

The other two teams who have also begun the Xacobeo 6mR Worlds with a hard fight for first place are Swiss team, Jan Eckert’s Ginkgotoo and Portuguese Patrick Monteiro’s Seljm, who clocked up a second and third place respectively in the first race of the day.

Wednesday is day two of racing with races programmed for 13:00h.