Britain’s elite sailors rocketed up the rankings on day three of the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta as they excelled in the blustery conditions blowing through the Bay of Palma.
Rio 2016 gold medallist Giles Scott took control of the Finn class with another display of consistency to go into the fourth day of racing with a significant 20-point buffer on second-placed Tapio Nirkko of Finland.
A win in the final 49er race of the day was enough for reigning world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell to keep the top spot safe, while in the Laser Radial fleet Alison Young shot to third overall with her first race victory of the regatta.
An impressive heavy weather performance from three-time RS:X youth world champion Emma Wilson saw her post her first race win then follow it up with a second-place finish.
The 18-year-old’s efforts were rewarded as she jumped up the leaderboard into eighth with two more days of fleet racing still to go.
“Today was a really good day for me, I am really happy,” said Wilson, from Christchurch, Dorset. “I was quite relaxed and just went out to enjoy it and try to keep it simple. I had good speed so that helped a lot.
“Normally I like the lighter breeze but we have been out here for three weeks now and have had some pretty windy days so I think I’ve improved a lot in it.
“There’s a long way to go still so I’m just going to keep giving my best and enjoying it.”
In the women’s 470 fleet, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre’s 2, 3 moved them into the runner-up spot behind France’s Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz.
“It’s been a really tough week so far but it’s been good – we’ve had a real mix of conditions and we’ve learned a lot each day,” said Cardiff’s Mills, who has a silver medal from London 2012 and a gold from Rio 2016.
“We didn’t get our approach right on the first day and made a few mistakes but since then we’ve been a lot more proactive on our mindset, our priorities, our approach. So far so good, but there’s still two more days of fleet racing to go.”
McIntyre, from Hayling Island, added: “Our results today look good on paper but we feel like we could have done better. That’s a nice place to be though, with plenty more learning to do.”
Mills and McIntyre are in good company at the top of the 470 fleet – the British Sailing Team’s Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter and Jess Lavery/Flora Stewart end the day in fifth and seventh respectively.
Meanwhile in the Laser Standard fleet, rising star Michael Beckett lies in seventh overall with Rio 2016 Olympian Nick Thompson in ninth.
“My legs are really feeling it after today!” an exhausted Beckett, of Solva, Pembrokeshire, said. “There were some big waves rolling around the bay and plenty of breeze too. So far in this event I’ve just about managed to stay consistent which is keeping me in the top ten, and I’m happy with that for now.
“The next two days are going to be tricky racing with plenty to lose or gain, so hopefully I can avoid any big scores to stay up there.”
Full results are available on the Princess Sofia Trophy website.
Competition resumes with the penultimate day of fleet racing tomorrow at 1100 local time (0900 GMT).