Womens Two-handed (470) crew Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are top of the leader board after Day 4 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup event Skandia Sail for Gold.
The regatta is being sailed at the 2012 Olympic Regatta venue at Weymouth, England.
On a stormy day in the peak of the English summer, New Zealand crews performed better across the board, and overall there was a significant team improvement, in the events sailed.
Highlight of the day was the performance of the 470 Women, who will represent New Zealand in this event at the 2012 Olympics at the same venue in just 50 days time. They won both races, stepping out to a nine point advantage over the second placed French team.
The horrendous weather forecast prompted race officials to begin the day one hour early with hopes of getting races in for every fleet, but despite the best of intentions, this was not possible
High winds cancelled racing for New Zealanders sailing the Paralympic events in the Singlehander (2.4mR) and Two Handed (Skud 18), as well as the able bodied Mens Keelboat (Star) and Womens Singlehander (Laser Radial) silver fleet.
In the Mens Two-hander (470) Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders in the Men’s 470 also had two races, a third and tenth place finish in their two races have moved them out of the overall lead and back to third, with one more day of final series before the double point medal race for the top ten on Saturday.
The Men’s Singlehander (Laser) and Mens Windsurfer (RS:X) fleets also got two full races in, while the Womens Windsurfer (RS:X), Mens Skiff (49er) and Mens Heavyweight Singlehander (Finn), had only one.
The Women’s Match Racing (Elliott 6’s) completed the repechage round. New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic representatives Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt won five of their six races in this round, and progressed through to the quarter finals tomorrow - if the wind permits racing. The New Zealand crew have dramatically improved their win percentage as the series has progressed at Weymouth. Yachting New Zealand elected not to send a womens match racing crew to this regatta, in 2011, and the crew who are now in the quarter finals were forced to attend in a spectator capacity only.
Winds increased to 35kts in the afternoon, for the Men’s RS:X fleet, triggering officials to call off further racing after the completion of the first race of the day.
In the Mens Windsurfer (RS:X) New Zealand’s JP Tobin thrived in the big breeze, finishing both races in fourth place and improved his overall ranking from ninth to seventh.
In the Mens Singlehander (Laser) fleet, Andy Maloney had a fantastic start to the day winning the first race, but as the breeze built up in the second race he finished 11th. Andrew Murdoch, the 2012 Olympic representative in the Mens Singlehander, placed eighth and fifth in the two gold fleet races, Maloney is now ranked seventh and Murdoch eighth in the Gold fleet. A third NZ competitor, Sam Meech dropped back one place to 20th.
Racing will start one hour later tomorrow, with hopes some of this weather system will pass through to allow the last series races before the Medal Round.
One more good race for three classes could lift them into the top ten – with the Mens Skiff, Mens Keelboat and Paralympic Sunglehander all looking to make the top ten cut for the Medal race.
Sail For Gold June 8th Standings
2.4mR 11th Paul Francis(15, 5,17,10, 12, 13) 12th Brett Willcock (8, 6, 18, 17, 10 15)
470 (men’s)2nd Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders (9, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 10)
470 (women’s) 1st Jo Aleh and Olivia (Polly) Powrie (5,15, 3, 8,8,1, 1, 1)
49er 11th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (3, 10, 14, 10, 7, 8, 2, 7, 4, 9) 13th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (7, 6, 1, 7, 9, 10, 8, 10, 6, 13)
Finn 19th Josh Junior (10,19, 11, 23, 23, 16, 29) 29th Matt Coutts (11,34, 32, 31, 18, 34, 28) 38th Rob Coutts (19, 40, 39, 38, 39, 40, 35)
Laser 7th Andy Maloney (15, 8, 17, 4, 4, 4, 1, 11) 8th Andrew Murdoch (15, 2, 10, 5, 20, 8, 8, 5) 20th Sam Meech (11, 17, 20, 8, 7,12, 17, 30)
Laser Radial 41st Sara Winther (19, 26, BFD, 19, 10, 12)
RS:X (men’s) 7th JP Tobin (19, 6,14, 9, 9, 3, 4, 4)
RS:X (women’s) 17th Natalia Kosinska (9, 10, 14, 17, 25, 44, 23) 23rd Steffanie Williams (25, 31, 21, 16, 15, 25, 20)
Skud 18 6th Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel (13, 7, 6, 10, 4, 4) Star 11th Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner (8, 7,12, 11, 11, 8)
Women’s Match Racing Repechage round, 5 Win 1 Loss. Progressing to Quarter Finals Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
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10:14 PM Thu 7 Jun 2012GMT
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