by Rob Kothe
The top performing Women’s Laser Radial sailor on the 2011- 2012 World Cup circuit has been China's 24 year old Lijia Xu, who just a few weeks ago won her third Gold medal of this season at the Semaine Olympique Francaise in Hyeres.
Xu Lijia - Laser Radial World Championship 2012
Xu, who was second at the 2008 Laser Radial Worlds and was the bronze medalist at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, has had a golden year. She won the 2011 Open Europe titles and then Sail Melbourne, the first World Cup regatta of the season. Since then, Xu won the Miami OCR, was injured there and did much more gym work than sailing leading up to her Hyeres win.
She had a slowish start to the Audi Laser Radial Worlds but has been gradually rising up the leaderboard.
Winds today of 8-16 knots in Boltenhagen, Germany and shifty conditions produced a big scatter in the results but the Chinese sailor shone.
May17th-WolfgangWeber17 a5fcacccf3 - Laser Radial World Championship 2012
She won the first race in the Gold Fleet and took a second in the second race of the day. 'I think that persistence is the most important prerequisite for a good sailor, I learned that in Qingdao,' said Xu when she came ashore.
She has taken the World Championship lead from Sari Multala (FIN), who had a bad day with a tenth and 25th Place, her worst finishes of the entire series. Gintare Scheidt of Lithuania moved up from fifth to third place.
Alison Young (GBR) is now fourth. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is improving as well. She moved up from seventh to fifth place in the standings.
Paige Railey (USA) continues to deliver consistent results and is currently ninth.
Krystal Weir (AUS) had climbed into sixth place yesterday with a 1,3 result but a 36 and a 30 today dropped her back to 13th place overall.
Sara Winther (NZL) has had a disastrous day with two black flags and fell from 13 to 32nd place.
In the U21 championship, Erika Reineke from the U.S. leads Michelle Broekhuizen (NED) with Marie Bolou (FRA) coming in third place.
u21 gold afterF2
Laser World Championship website