Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - NZ

Sail for Gold Regatta - Lijia Xu steals the show on day 2

by Matt Carter on 11 Jun 2013
Lijia XU, Laser Radial, CHN 177117 - 2013 Sail for Gold Regatta © Paul Wyeth / RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
At the 2013 Sail for Gold Regatta, taking place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, a second day of light fickle breeze welcomed competitors with China’s 2012 Olympic Champion Lijia Xu stealing the show. The London 2012 sailing venue served up similar conditions to that of day one with a building breeze across Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay. All fleets took to the water in an average 4-6 knots which slowly increased to 8-10 knots giving the majority of fleets a full day of racing. Returning back to WPNSA for the first time since claiming Olympic gold and becoming China's first ever Olympic sailing gold medallist is Lijia Xu (CHN). The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year claimed an impressive four races win ahead of fellow teammate Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) who posted four seconds to stamp China’s authority at the top of the Laser Radial fleet. Alison Young is third after 4-4-3-3. 'Today and yesterday the wind is quite light so it’s not that much about physique, mainly it’s about the technique, the knowledge and observation which is why sailing interests me the most, it’s so smart and so intelligent. I just wish I could enjoy the physical part of sailing as well,' explained Xu. On her return to the 2012 venue, Xu said: 'This venue is very special to me. I think it’s just like home away from home so every time I come back to Weymouth I just feel very close to the venue and the town itself. The weather this year is especially nice with the sun shining every day.' With four race wins today and a second on the opening day of the regatta, the Olympic champion admits that the fleet at this week’s Sail for Gold Regatta is still a very competitive one. 'This year most of the sailors are from the UK and Ireland so there aren’t many international sailors this time but it’s still a very competitive fleet because we are sailing together with the boys. At the moment physique is what I lack the most so my aims for this event are to try to improve my physique and do more hiking and hopefully by the time of the Worlds in October I can be fitter and sail faster in strong winds.' Xu concluded: 'Tomorrow will be a good chance to practice my strong winds because there are so many good strong winds sailors from the UK and Ireland and also so many boys, so I think it will be a good chance to practice my strong wind technique and physique.'

In the Laser fleet New Zealand’s Sam Meech clung onto his overnight lead with a 1-2-5-2 from the four races completed on Course Area E, while Nicholas Heiner (NED) is hot on his heels with a first, two seconds and a discardable eighth in second. Argentina’s Julio Alsogaray is 12 points behind in third. 'A really good day for me today. We had some pretty light winds out on the race course so hopefully we will get some more breeze tomorrow,' said the Palma Sailing World Cup gold medallist from New Zealand. 'It was a better day than yesterday as we managed to get four races in compared to yesterday’s one. I had a few easy races as I managed to get out in front and it’s always a lot easier when you’re out in front but I’m definitely looking forward to the battle with Nick (Heiner, NED) throughout the week.'

In the Nacra 17 class, the new multihull class for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, British Sailing Team’s Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond revelled in today’s conditions, outdoing yesterday’s leaders Lucy Macgregor and Tom Phipps (GBR) with two firsts and a second, taking the overall lead on count back. 'We hadn’t realised we’d taken the lead, but that’s nice to know,' enthused Diamond. 'The first race went right down to the finish line so it was really nice to win that race. It was still pretty light winds which is still something we’ve not done that much racing in so it was really good practice for the Worlds. It’s been pretty up and down and all over the place so it’s good to have a solid day.' One of four Nacra 17 pairings in the British Sailing Team, Saxton and Diamond entered the second day of the regatta in fourth place, five points off the top spot and are now sitting top, level on nine points with 2012 Olympian Macgregor and two-time ISAF Youth Worlds champion Phipps. 'There’s really tough racing against the other British competitors. There are a couple of other nations who’ve got really strong teams – the French and the Dutch have got a number of boats which are really good, but as a British squad we’re really strong and everyone in the squad brings something completely different, so we’ve got a huge range of knowledge from cat-specific stuff to completely different boats. We’ve got a lot of guys who’ve done campaigns before so between us we’ve definitely got a lot of strength in depth which is great and gives us a lot of confidence within our training that we will be able to produce someone who can win a medal,' explained Diamond. 'We’ve had quite a lot to learn, both being a new boat and a new partnership so we’ve been literally been working on everything, from communication to boat-handling, to racing and boat speed, manoeuvres and things like that. We’re really pleased with how it’s going and are looking forward to getting more time on the water and seeing how things improve.'

The heavy weight Finn fleet is this week completely made up of home nation sailors with Mark Andrews currently occupying top spot ahead of GBR team mate Andrew Mills in second. Andrews, who won gold at the Dutch leg of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup, took a third and first while Mills took two firsts but was OCS in the second race of the day. 'It was shifty and pretty light – it’s not my speciality the light winds, but I’m trying to work on that at the moment, so it’s good to be out there training in it, but it was pretty tough,' said Andrews. 'The Worlds and Europeans are the most important events and they’re coming up at the end of July and August. This is the start of the final build up for that so it’s good to get some time on the water in the build up to that. You always want to win every event that you get into, so I’ll hope to win this, and hope to carry that on into the Worlds and Europeans.' Andrew Mills (GBR) added: 'There is a good group of us down here with the six Brits, including myself and Mark Andrews, who’ve been around for a little bit longer now and the four younger lads who are very enthusiastic and it’s good to have that energy out on the water. 'We’re two days in and Mark [Andrews] and I are very tight on points, so I’m sure it will continue to be that way, especially with a bit more breeze forecast tomorrow.'

The high performance skiff fleets both completed four races out in Weymouth Bay with John Pink and Simon Wheeler (GBR) extending their lead at the top of the 49er leaderboard by nine points with 4-1-1-11. Japan’s Yukio Makino and Kenji Takahashi sit second, adding a race win to their scorecard in the final race of the day while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) move up into third with a 9-2-2-6. Elliot Carney and Bryony Shaw remain at the forefront of the RS:X 9.5 and 8.5 fleets as the British sailors both picked up four race wins apiece. Nick Dempsey, RS:X World Champion, sits second with a 2-4-3-2 for today’s efforts while Joe Bennett is third in the 9.5 rig. Robert York sits second behind Shaw in the 8.5 rig while British Sailing Team Podium Squad sailor Izzy Hamilton currently sits third after seven races. In the Paralympic Sonar event 2012 Olympians John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas confirmed their calibre with three bullets while the battle in the 2.4mR class continues between British Sailing Team’s Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe, with 2012 Paralympic champion Lucas leading by a single point. Racing is scheduled to start at 11am tomorrow (Tuesday 11 June) with rain and a 14-18 knots forecast in store. The full list of results from day two of the Sail for Gold Regatta 2013 can be found here. Sail for Gold website

Barz Optics - Kids rangeT Clewring AC72Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May