Conquer the title with overwhelming authority in the waters of Lekeitio ahead of Orio and Donostiarra, while Arraun Lagunak revalidates the women’s wound
Urdaibai recovered the Basque scepter in Lekeitio after five years and did so by launching, in case anyone had any doubts, a clear warning of his potential to his rivals -abysmal differences over Orio and Donostiarra, second and third, the latter rowed port starboard alongside the Biscayans – and also announcing to the four winds what their most immediate intentions are: «Now for the League», was heard clearly in the toasts of the ‘Bou Bizkaia’ shortly after crossing the finish line. We’ll see if he succeeds because Hondarribia has a five-point advantage.
The regional winding was clearly marked by the conditions of the sea -propitious for seasoned skippers- but, above all, by the incidence of the northwest wind that caused the outer lanes, along which Zierbena and Hondarribia rowed in the round of honor and Getaria and Kaiku in the first series, were a real ordeal. Almost, almost it was better to stay on the ground because the chances of doing a good job were practically nil. Ask them if not to frontiersmen and sestaotarras who, although they did not present their best thirteen, much less, gave up a world with respect to the winner.
The ‘txos’ already demonstrated the weekend in the estuary, despite not obtaining any prize, that they are a rival made of reinforced concrete and this Monday, with that luck that eluded them the previous days in the beacon draw as an ally -the street corresponded to them one that was one of the best-, they became a true steamroller that carried away everything in its path.
Those led by Iker Zabala scored the best partials in the four lengths and added the seventh Basque wound to their record, which places them together with San Pedro and Hondarribia as the most successful club in the championship. A dynasty that wants to perpetuate itself. The Bermeotarras technician made three changes to the crew compared to the day before to face the third regatta in three days and everything went off without a hitch. With Orio’s time in the previous series as a reference to follow -the ‘eaglets’ took no less than 28 seconds from Getaria, second in his heat-, Urdaibai went all out from the starting signal.
In fact, he managed to put the bow to the ‘Torrekua II’ from the initial txanpa, while ‘galipos’ and hondarribitarras were out of action at the first change. As expected, given the circumstances. The pulse between ‘txos’ and donostiarras had two key moments. One of them, just after making the first turn.
Those skippered by Gorka Aranberri carried out the maneuver a second ahead, but caught a wave at the buoy exit that allowed them to open a first gap -little more than a drifter-. Those trained by Igor Makazaga, however, stayed in the fight until, with 300 meters to go until the second turn, Urdaibai surfed a wave that practically took him flying to the mark -seven seconds halfway through-.
From that moment on, the waters of Lekeitio were dyed blue. The horsepower of the ‘Bou Bizkaia’ engine was put into full ‘brankas’ performance. At low rates -just over 35 strokes-, as required by the rigors of the sea so that the boat would not pitch, the gap with respect to the ‘Torrekua’ became larger and larger -14 seconds when facing the last length-. The title, barring a mishap, was already on its way to Bermeo, taking into account that they also improved Orio’s record by 18 seconds, ultimately second overall, as they passed that point.
That did not make Iker Zabala’s pupils take their foot off the accelerator and guided by a master in these fights from the stern they surfed everything they found on their way to the finish line. “Calm down, don’t run,” Aranberri tried to calm his team so they wouldn’t run amok from the desire to celebrate the victory as soon as possible. Some, like the port marker, Yelay Cayón and Aranberri himself, could not wait any longer and raised their arms before crossing the finish line. “Now for the League,” one of his teammates launched while they hugged.
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For its part, Arraun Lagunak, second in the Euskotren League, revalidated the Euskadi Championship from the first round, in which the conditions were better -less wind- than in the considered sleeve of honor, where Orio rowed -silver- in the company of Ondarroa and Deusto. The coach of the champions assured in the previous one that the league break should serve to clear their minds after the last defeats at the hands of the ‘eagles’ in the Euskotren League and it seems that it has. The ‘Lugañene’, who also had luck in the draw and paddled through one of the best streets -the two-, while the yellow ones did it through the four -the worst- in their series, opted for the title of ‘ brankas’.
Orio, aware of the time set by his main rival for the wound, went out for all as if it were a solo time trial, but already in the lane he lost 16 seconds compared to Etxabe’s. From the stern, those skippered by Nadeth Agirre came to nine behind Arraun Lagunak, with 500 meters to go, but the difference widened again in the final stretch.