Luuc van Opzeeland (NED) went on the attack, using the three-board final to try to grab the gold medal from Andy Brown (GBR). Although the Dutchman bettered the Scotsman as they exited the start line, Brown battled back to take the lead and secure his first victory on the Hempel World Cup Series. Nicolò Renna (ITA) stormed through for silver, relegating van Opzeeland to third place.
Andy Brown (GBR), winner of iQFOiL Men:
“I had a consistent week and that made the difference. The French and Dutch guys were really gunning for me and I think that I was able to respond. I like to think I respond well to pressure and I did when I messed up. I got a bit of redemption there. So next time I will start well and put myself under less pressure. It was shifty day and tricky today and so we were not sure if we would race in eight knots or 30 knots. It was all over the place and so you just had to get ahead and stay between the other guys and the upwind mark. This is a great confidence boost. I want to go to the Olympics and win and so I needed to start winning some time and now it feels good I have.”
Luuc van Van Opzeeland, bronze medallist iQFOiL Men "The pressure was on today. I raced a great semi-final in which I managed to take the win pretty big lead over the rest of the guys. In the finals, I had another great start but wasn't able to bring it home. The other two guys just had the better gusts, unfortunately. But all in all, I'm satisfied with how it went this week. I'm proud that I showed myself at the top of the leaderboard again. I'm there now, again and again, event after event, and that's making me proud. At the same time, it's painful because I have the feeling that it would have been able to grab the gold today."
Hélène Noesmoen (FRA) had led all week, dominating the regatta through to the final day. With the finals format of the iQFOiL format designed for the possibility of an upset, Pilar Lamadrid (ESP) seized her moment and went on the attack. However, Noesmoen was not to be bettered and kept hold of the gold medal, with Lamadrid taking silver and bronze going to Maja Dziarnowska (POL).
Hélène Noesmon (FRA), winner of iQFOiL Women:
“It is such a nice feeling to come here and win. Today was very intense as the wind was up and down in the one race I had to win. And we had to wait for a long time on the water and that does not make it easy and keep the nerves under control. And this is another good step for me on the journey to Marseille and the Olympic Games.”
Top 3 iQFOiL women:
Helene Noesmoen - FRA
Pilar Lamadrid - ESP
Maja Dziarnowska - POL
Top 3 iQFOiL men:
Andrew Brown - GBR
Nico Renna - ITA
Luuc van Opzeeland - NED
Full results: https://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Pictures: Sailing Energy