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Factor Energía, commanded by Barcelona 1992 Olympic gold medalist José María van der Ploeg, stayed at the top of the leaderboard of the J80...

Barcelona – Factor Energía, commanded by Barcelona 1992 Olympic gold medalist José María van der Ploeg, stayed at the top of the leaderboard of the J80 European championship after three days of competition. Three races were staged today at Club Náutico El Balís’ waterfront. French champion of the J/80 class Interface Concept, skippered by Simon Moriceau, sailed better and ranks second overall, only one point behind the leader.

Barcelona’s Maresme welcomed today a wind from East which reached a speed of 14 to 21 knots, allowing the 52 boats and the more than 250 sailors from 10 different countries to complete three races. Under the heavy wind there were many incidents, for example sails failing to the water.

José María van der Ploeg, J/80 class world champion in 2012 and world’s second place in 2011, held the overall lead with two days remaining in the event. The team from Club Náutico El Balís registered today two fourth places and finished 14th in one race. This result will be excluded from its score (once six races have been recorded in the event, the worst single result of every team is not taken in consideration). Van der Ploeg closest follower is the French champion of the J/80 class, Simon Moriceau, who skippered Interface Concept today to one second and two fifth places, closing the gap to Factor Energía to only one point.

Carlos Martínez’s Movistar, European champion four years ago, remains third after finishing today’s races in eighth, second and sixth place. The team from Murcia is six points behind the leader.

The introduction today of the elimination of the teams’ worst single result and the fact that three races were staged resulted in big score variations. The weather change allowed many crews to perform at their top level.

France’s Ev Cataschool, commanded by Quentin Delapierre, was one of the main teams today in the water, recording two first places and finishing fifth in the other race to jump all the way to the fourth overall spot.

Bribón Movistar of Marc de Antonio and Sofía Bertrand had a sensational day as well, moving up 10 places in the general table. The team from Real Club Náutico of Barcelona finished amongst the top three boats in all the races staged today, registering a first, a second and a third place to join the top five of the event, ready to fight for the overall lead. With two days remaining in the competition, Bribón Movistar is 19 points behind the leader.

New Territories, skippered by Portuguese Hugo Rocha, can’t be eliminated from the hunt. The current world champion of the J80 class is improving as the event goes on. The boat from Club Náutico Arenys de Mar is already sixth overall, after finishing today’s races 16th, 10th and third. After the elimination of its worst result (a non-finish of the second day), Rocha is seven points behind Bribón Movistar.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast indicates again strong winds at Club Náutico El Balís’ waterfront for the fourth day of the J80 European championship. The first start is programmed at 13:00 and three to four races will probably be completed. The event finishes on Friday.

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