Brazil scored a double victory in Mar del Plata on Easter Sunday, with their women’s and men’s match racing crews beating Argentina to qualify for the grand final of the Nations Cup in Middelfart, Denmark on August 6-10.
Skippers Henrique Haddad and Juliana Senft emerged victorious after another tough day of competition against the home team rivals. Both the women’s and open categories of the South American regional final of the Nations Cup, organised by the Club Nautico Mar del Plata, were tied 2-all after Saturday, but Brazil dominated Easter Sunday. With the first to score 4 points the winner, the pressure was immediately on.
The three Argentinian Silva sisters started the better in the first race of the day, clearly won the start and began to stretch away, but a sudden change of wind forced the umpires to cancel the race. When the race was re-run Argentina seemed to be in front again, but Senft attacked and managed to force a penalty against the Argentines, took the lead and held it until the end. In the next race the Brazilian team clearly won the start, gave no passing opportunity to her rivals and won the final 4-2.
In the open category there was even more suspense. The Argentine skipper, Juan Ignacio Grimaldi, and Haddad had an even start, but the Brazilian team defended the right of the course and were ahead at the first mark. In the run-in Grimaldi attacked and at the leeward mark Haddad received a immediate execution (red flag) penalty. The Argentines wonn the race to lead 3-2 overall.
In the next race Haddad was again in front, defending the right side of the course. A luffing duel during the first beat ended with another penalty for the Brazilian team, but this time they did not lose the lead. Haddad was able to hold on in the second beat an was still ahead, but Grimaldi's final attack in the downwind run to the line saw a photo finish. It was judged that Haddad’s bow was just 10 cm ahead at the finish line.
In the last race of the day, Haddad had a better start and defended his lead all the way without giving the home team any chance to sealing the final 4-3.
During the awards ceremony the international umpire, Marianne Middelthon, said that both Argentine crews may receive a wild card to go to Denmark, despite being second.
1: Brazil. Henrique Haddad (helm.), Guilherme Hamelman, Victor Demaison and Pedro Caldas.
2: Argentina. Juan Ignacio Grimaldi (helm), Vito Contessi, Andrés Grimaldi and Hernán Marino.
1: Brasil. Juliana Senft (helm.), Gabriela Nicolino, Luciana Kopschitz.
2: Argentina, Martina Silva (tim.), Ana Lucia Silva y Trinidad Silva.
Umpires: Marianne Middelthon (NOR), Flavio Naveira, Gonzalo Heredia, Gustavo Bernabei and Andrés Anca.
Race Officers: Herman Calcoen and Mario Laitán.Collaborator Yanina Calcoen y Franco Riquelme Antonetti.
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