2012 Paralympics: Kiwis move up and down on Day 2 at Weymouth

Paul Francis (NZL) rounds a mark on Day 2 of the 2012 Paralympics, Weymouth
David Staley - IFDS ©

The two New Zealand crews sailing in the 2012 Paralympics Regatta being sailed on Portland Harbour, near Weymouth, in England, have finished the second day of racing with mixed results.

Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel sailing together in the SKUD 18 class found their groove lifting up their overall standing by three places.

'Today was far more successful than yesterday, we had a good strong plan and stuck to it' said Jan Apel, SKUD 18 crew 'and it worked a treat.'

Jen French and JP Creignou (USA) dominated the second day of SKUD18 racing at the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing competition after they notched up double bullets. Having recorded a third and a fifth on the opening day the two race wins pulls them into gold medal contention on ten points. The battle between GBR and AUS continues with just one point separating the crews. Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) lead the fleet on eight points closely followed by Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) on nine points.

Again, Portland Harbour, one of the largest man-made harbours in the world, turned on some fantastic sailing weather of 10-12 knots wind speed, and with this a fifth and seventh place finish were added to the Kiwi SKUD 18 Team's scorecard.

New Zealand trails in the SKUD 18 on Day 2 of the 2012 Paralympics, Weymouth
David Staley - IFDS ©

'I think they had a bit more room to move around the course today. They could tack away and find clear air and that was more important than finding the shifts today' said their coach Rob Hielkema.

The sailing on day two was a completely different game: 'The breeze direction was really steady today. It was almost a carbon copy of yesterday in terms of strength, but the constant direction forced a change in strategy on the course. Yesterday was really shifty.'

Sailing in the competitive 2.4mR class, Paul Francis is 'battling to come to grips with the very tight racing' he said. A 14th and 12th place finish in Sunday’s two races have dropped him back to 14th overall, but the points in this fleet are very close and with seven races left, anything is possible.

Paul Francis (NZL) to leeward of the 2.4mtr fleet - Racing on Day 2 of the 2012 Paralympics, Weymouth
David Staley - IFDS ©

Sydney 2000 2.4mR gold medallist Heiko Kroger (GER) continues to impress in the London 2012 2.4mR fleet after the German picked up his first bullet of the Paralympic Sailing Competition to take the overall lead. Dutch sailor, Thierry Schmitter, won Race 3 and sits one point behind Kroger, in the overall placings. Overnight leader Helena Lucas dropped to third overall after an 11th in Race 4, however she leads when discard places are taken into account.

'I’m still really happy because I haven’t hit any other boats yet, and I have been docking the boat really well' Paul said light-heartedly after racing, always looking on the positive side of racing in the tightly contested one man keelboat class.

Four of eleven races have now been completed, and both fleets will sail another two races tomorrow starting from 10:00pm NZT (11:00am local time).

Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel (NZL) SKUD 18 - racing on Day 2 of the 2012 Paralympics, Weymouth
David Staley - IFDS ©

New Zealand does not have a crew in the third event, the three person Sonar keelboat. That competition is now led by a Dutch Sonar crew after a late Australian disqualification cost them the provisional lead after Day 2. An incident between them and the GBR crew was taken to the International Jury, chaired by Ralph Roberts (NZL), who found in favour of the British, dropping the Australians back to third overall, but again discard placing have not been allowed at this stage of the regatta.

Day 2: Current Standings

7th – Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel (SKUD 18) - 9, 9, 5, 7

14th - Paul Francis (2.4mR) 14, 10, 14, 12

For full results http://www.sailing.org/paralympics/london2012/results.php!click_here

Helen Lucas (GBR) 2.4mtr - racing on Day 2 of the 2012 Paralympics, Weymouth
David Staley - IFDS ©


Part of the on the water Jury (Ralph Roberts NZL second from left) - on Day 2 of the 2012 Paralympics, Weymouth
David Staley - IFDS ©
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