The entire New Zealand team was on the water in Weymouth overnight as day three of the Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta saw the Finn, Star and 49er get underway, while the other fleets continued competition.
NZL Sailing Team are New Zealand’s National Sailing team competing in Olympic sailing events
Racing for all fleet sailors was postponed until early afternoon with winds very light and unstable initially, but building and settling as the afternoon progressed.
Andrew Murdoch has taken the lead in the men’s single-handed Laser class. After lying second at the start of the day he profits from solid results including a 2nd and a 3rd, and an uncharacteristic stumble in race four from overnight leader Tom Slingsby (AUS) where he placed 13th.
No one else in the fleet could match Murdoch’s consistency and as a result he has 14 points in total and a six point leading margin on Slingsby, with a further twelve point gap back to third place.
New Zealand’s Star sailors Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk made a strong start to competition with a 5th and a 2nd lining up against the world’s top twenty nations in this long-standing Olympic keelboat class, each sending their best crew to Weymouth.
The kiwis are in second place overall on seven points with only this season’s ISAF Sailing World Cup winners Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada ahead of them. The on-form Brazilians opened with two race wins sending an early message to their rivals as the crew to beat here in Weymouth.
Solid results from New Zealand’s two RS:X windsurfers sees them both feature in eighth position on their respective leader boards. Jon-Paul Tobin returned a 5th and an 11th in last night’s two races, Natalia Kosinska a 7th and an 11th.
'The board sailors inside the harbour had up to 17 knots, the men had the lighter wind and the women sailed in 15-17 knots,' reports Jez Fanstone, Team Director in Weymouth.
They now have a rest day in the schedule to take stock of their first half performance and get set to resume racing on Monday in Weymouth.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke hit the water last night for the first day of racing in the 49er skiff class and came home with a mixed bag of results after sailing three races. Their best was a 3rd in race three, with an 11th and a 16th before that, and the pair is laying eighth overall after day one.
It was a mixed bag for Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie in the Women’s 470 who found form in the day’s first race crossing the line in 2nd only to be black flagged in the subsequent race and whacked with a 26 point penalty. They are lying 17th in the standings and will be hunting some solid results tomorrow when they will be able to discard their poorest result from their series score card.
In the Men’s 470 Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders had a better day with a 4th and a 13th in the two races sailed, moving them six places up the board into 12th overall. They’ll be back on the course again tomorrow targeting more good results and a place in the top ten as the regatta moves into the second half.
'They sailed well today, and yesterday,' says Fanstone. 'There is still a long way to go in that fleet and they’re in touch with the top ten.'
Elsewhere Dan Slater is in 15th place after day one in the Finn class and Sara Winther is 25th in the Laser Radial.
While the RS:X sailors enjoy a rest day tomorrow, the remainder of the New Zealand team will be back on the water for more action tonight.
Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta
New Zealand’s Current Standings
1st - Andrew Murdoch: Laser (4, 5, 2, 3)
2nd - Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk: Star (5, 2)
8th - Jon-Paul Tobin: RS:X Men (6, 6, 9, 16, 5, 11)
8th - Natalia Kosinska: RS:X Women (12, 10, 4, 7, 7, 11)
8th - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke: 49er (11, 16, 3)
12th - Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders: 470 Men (17, 16, 4, 13)
15th - Dan Slater: Finn (13, 18)
17th - Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie: 470 Women (21, 11, 2, 26 BFD)
25th - Sara Winther: Radial (11, 26, 26, 21)
About this regatta:
The Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta is an official London 2012 Test Event and part of the London Prepares series.
Racing runs from second – 13th August with medal races scheduled over the final three days starting with the Men’s and Women’s RS:X on 11th August. All ten of the Olympic events are being contested with each nation able to send just one entry to each event.