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Beijing Murdoch opens well & Ashley has a race win

by Jodie Bakewell-White on 12 Aug 2008
2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 4 - RS:X Men - Tom Ashley (NZL) © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
>br>Day four of the Olympic Sailing Regatta saw Kiwis compete in the Laser, Laser Radial, RS:X Men and Women, and the Men’s 470 classes. While light winds meant some delays to the start of racing all fleets were able to complete two races as planned.

There were some highlights for the kiwis on the water today including a strong opening day for Andrew Murdoch in the Lasers who has the lead spot. This was the first day of competition for the 26 year old Olympic debutant from Kerikeri, Northland, and the series has a long way to go yet with another eight races planned over the coming week before the Laser medal race on Tuesday.

Another highlight was a bullet for Tom Ashley in his fourth race of the series placing him provisionally in 3rd overall.

Laser
First time Olympian Andrew Murdoch has opened his Olympic regatta with two solid races - enough to give him the lead on a day where some top contenders suffered.

The Laser’s were the first to start racing today, race one kicking off on course area A at around 1:30pm in 6 knots of wind from 130 degrees. Argentinean representative Julio Alsogaray broke away to lead the pack with Murdoch in hot pursuit behind him. By the top mark Alsogaray had just under half a minute over the kiwi with a similar margin back to the chasing pack behind.

Both the Argentine and Murdoch extended away from the fleet as the race unfolded and the kiwi crossed in second place in his first Olympic race.

In race two Murdoch came home in fifth place giving him a points total of seven at the end of the day and a two point leading margin over Diana Daniela Raponi of Italy on nine points.

The Laser’s are back on the water tomorrow for another two races.

Laser Top five (provisional) results after two races
1st NZL Andrew Murdoch - 7 points (2, 5)
2nd ITA Diana Daniela Raponi - 9 points (6, 3)
3rd ARG Julio Alsogaray - 13 points (1, 12)
4th POR Gustavo Lima - 13 points (5, 8)
5th CYP Pavlos Kontides - 15 points (8, 7)

Laser Radial
Jo Aleh’s day was mixed, as it was for many sailors in the light conditions. In her first race of the series she came home in 22nd place in the fleet of 28 Laser Radials, but came back fighting in race two to record a 4th place on the water.

Overall at the end of day one the 22 year old Aucklander sits in 11th place, while Anna Tunnicliffe of the USA has the lead ahead of Evi Van Acker (BEL) and reigning world champ Sarah Stayaert of France.

Laser Radial Top five (provisional) results after two races
1st USA Anna Tunnicliffe - 9 points (4, 5)
2nd BEL Evi Van Acker - 11 points (1, 10)
3rd FRA Sarah Steyaert - 12 points (11, 1)
4th LTU Gintare Volungeviciute - 16 points (3, 13)
5th AUS Sarah Blanck - 17 points (6, 11)
11th NZL Jo Aleh - 26 points (22, 4)

Men’s RS:X Windsurfing
Tom Ashley put in another solid day on the water, consistent in the challenging light airs of the 2008 Olympic sailing venue. In race three for the Men’s RS:X he was 7th and then followed that up with his best race yet – a win.

From the outset of race four Ashley was in the hunt for the gun at the finish line, rounding mark one 12 seconds behind the leader, and then taking the lead by mark three and going on to secure the race win by a 22 second margin.
Today’s performance on what was day two for the Men’s RS:X has put Ashley in third overall. Shahar Zubari of Israel, who won bronze at the World Champs earlier this year has the lead with a scorecard that reads, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 3rd.

Zubari has 8 points, Kin Yin Chan of Hong Kong lies second on 16 points, with Ashley not far behind on 19 points.

Men’s RS:X Provisional top five results after four races
1st ISR Shahar Zubari - 8 points (1, 3, 1, 3)
2nd HKG King Yin Chan - 16 points (5, 4, 2, 5)
3rd NZL Tom Ashley - 19 points (4, 7, 7, 1)
4th FRA Julien Bontemps - 23 points (13, 1, 5, 4)
5th GBR Nick Dempsey - 25 points (11, 9, 3, 2)

Women’s RS:X Windsurfing…
Barbara Kendall has also improved her overall standing in the Women’s RS:X fleet who were subject to start delays on course area B due to light winds.

Kendall was 12th in race three and then 4th in race four which saw her gain two places to now lie 6th overall after four races. Local sailor Jian Yin was in hot form once again with a win and a 3rd in today’s racing consolidating her lead on the women’s RS:X fleet.

Women’s RS:X Provisional top six results after four races
1st CHN Jian Yin - 6 points (1, 1, 1, 3)
2nd ESP Marina Alabau - 15 points (3, 5, 5, 2)
3rd AUS Jessica Crisp - 17 points (2, 4, 3, 8)
4th ITA Alessandra Sensini - 18 points (6, 2, 9, 1)
5th GBR Bryony Shaw - 24 points (4, 3, 11, 6)
6th NZL Barbara Kendall - 35 points (12, 7, 12, 4)

Men’s 470
Over on the Men’s 470 course Carl Evans and Peter Burling slipped from 7th place back to 11th after what was day two of the regatta for them. 14th in race three and then 12th in race four the young kiwis find themselves in 11th on a tight knit leaderboard with only three points between them and 7th place.

Aussies Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page who took the gold in the 2007 Olympic Test event have the lead in the fleet of 29 boats after posting two 3rds in racing today.

Men’s 470 : Provisional top five results after four races
1st AUS Nathan Wilmot & Malcolm Page - 17 points (4, 7, 3, 3)
2nd FRA Nicolas Charbonnier & Olivier Bausset - 18 points (6, 3, 8, 1)
3rd ESP Barreiros Onan & Aaron Sarmiento - 25 points (8, 2, 6, 9)
4th ITA Gabrio Zandona & Andrea Trani - 28 points (10, 4, 7, 7)
5th GBR Nick Rogers & Joe Glanfield - 29 points (19, 5, 1, 4)

11th NZL Carl Evans & Peter Burling - 43 points (7, 10, 14, 12)

Finn Class
The Finn class wasn’t on the water today, enjoying a rest day. They resume racing tomorrow.
Finn Provisional top five results after day three
1st GBR Ben Ainslie 17 points ((10), 1, 4, 1, 1, 10)
2nd USA Zach Railey 18 points (2, 5, 2, 2, 7, (8))
3rd FRA Guillaume Florent - 26 points (5, 8, (20), 3, 4, 6)
4th CAN Christopher Cook - 33 points (8, 3, 7, 10, (23), 5)
5th SLO Gasper Vincec - 34 points (9, 11, 6, 5, 3 (13))
13th NZL Dan Slater - 57 points ((21), 19, 18, 4, 9, 7)


What’s on tomorrow

Dan Slater – Finn class
2 races (Race 7 & Race 8)
Start time: 1300 hours
Course area E

Carl Evans & Peter Burling – Men’s 470
2 races (Race 5 & Race 6)
Start time: 1300 hours
Course area A

Andrew Murdoch – Laser
2 races (Race 3 & Race 4)
Start time: 1300 hours
Course area C

Jo Aleh – Laser Radial
2 races (Race 3 & Race 4)
Start time: 1300 hours
Course area C
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