At the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) opened up a twenty-four point lead after eight races in the Laser Radial after yet another fantastic day. After two big wind days the conditions were lighter and shiftier with winds ranging from nine to twelve knots.
Laser Radial fleet in action - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
Bouwmeester proved she could handle the big conditions two days ago and after a reserve day she showed she could lead the fleet in the lighter winds and recorded her fourth bullet in Race 8 after a second place in Race 7.
The world number one and ISAF Sailing World Cup Laser Radial title holder has been the standout sailor in the Laser Radial and with seven top three finishes out of eight races she goes into Races 9 and 10 with a strong lead.
World number two Evi Van Acker (BEL) won Race 7 but hasn’t shown the consistency of Bouwmeester and is second on 35 points. Paige Railey (USA) is in third place on 56 points following a sixth in Race 7 before discarding an OCS in Race 8.
Standout Performer Marit Bouwmeester (NED) - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
It is a different story in the Laser fleet with just eight points separating first to fifth place after eight races. ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (AUS) and Andrew Murdoch (NZL) looked as though they would run away from the fleet after six races. But after Slingsby went 17-19 and Murdoch finish 8-12 on the fourth day of Laser sailing Pavlos Kontides (CYP), Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) and Paul Goodison (GBR) remain in contention following better days on the water.
Murdoch leads on 37 points with Slingsby in second on 40 points but Kontides finished 2-3 to move up to third on 41 points. Van Schaardenburg went 13-7 and slips from third to fourth. Beijing 2008 Laser gold medallist Goodison had his best day on the water finishing fourth and second to climb up to fifth making for an interesting finish in the 56-boat Laser fleet.
The day’s race wins went to Andrew Geritzer (AUT) in Race 7 and Javier Hernandez (ESP) in Race 8.
Silja Lehtinen (FIN) advanced to the Final of the Women’s Match Racing competition in style as she breezed past Sally Barkow (USA) 3-0 in the first semi final. But in the second Semi Final Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) was made to work against Claire Leroy (FRA).
The Russian went 2-0 up against the world number one French match racer but Leroy fought back hard to level the tie. It all boiled down to the final race and Leroy had the better of the pre-start forcing Skudina to the right hand side of the course. But Skudina rounded the first mark ahead and gradually extended her lead to win by four boat lengths to advance to the final.
In the Petit Final Leroy faced Barkow to decide the bronze medal. And in the first two races penalties ultimately cost Leroy the race wins as she went 2-0 down. But she was unable to replicate her comeback against Skudina and lost the third flight by four boat lengths to Skudina and Lehtinen will meet in the Final on Thursday to decide the gold medal.
After ten races in the Men’s RS:X Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) and Nick Dempsey (GBR) have finally unlocked horns after trading blows over eight races. The Dutchman moved into the lead following his fifth bullet in Race 9. He discarded his eighth place in Race 10 to lead on 16 points. Meanwhile Dempsey finished second in Race 9 and tenth in Race 10 to trail the Dutchman on 23 points. Both sailors are guaranteed either gold or silver medal so it should be an interesting Medal Race.
Great Britain and Netherlands in Action - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
The battle for bronze in the Men’s RS:X is tight with Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Byron Kokalanis (GRE) on 50 points with Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) hot on their tails on 53 points.
The Women’s RS:X sailors were last off the water in Weymouth. Race 9 took place on the Nothe course and Zofia Klepacka (POL) picked up where she left off from Race 8 on Monday by taking the bullet. Following a course change to Portland Harbour Marina Alabau (ESP) came through for her fifth bullet in Race 10. Klepacka remains in the lead on 19 points and Alabau is second on 25 points. Bryony Shaw (GBR) finished second twice to move into the final podium spot with eight points separating her and Charline Picon (FRA) ahead of the Medal Race. The RS:X Medal Races are set to take place on Thursday on the Nothe Fort course.
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) continue to lead the Women’s 470 but their lead has been cut from ten to eight points after eight races. Mills and Clark finished second in Race 7 and discarded their ninth place in Race 8 to end the day on 24 points. Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JPN) had a steady day on the water coming third and fifth to close the gap slightly on the leaders.
The day belonged to Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luisa Barbachan. The world number fifteen Brazilians won Race 7 by 45 seconds over Mills and Clark before coming second to Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) in Race 8. They move up to third place on 38 points.
Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA) extended their lead in the Men’s 470 after yet another consistent day. They went 5-1 in Races 7 and 8 and with 19 points they have a 17 point advantage over ISAF Sailing World Cup Men’s 470 title winners Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS). Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Sebastien Ostling won Race 7 and are fifth overall.
The 49ers, Finns and Stars resume sailing on Wednesday and the 470, Laser and Laser Radials continue. The remaining matches in the 5-8 place sail off in the Women's Match Racing will also take place.
Weymouth and Portland International Regatta website