After an early start to the day, the wind Gods were smiling on the Saronic Gulf this afternoon, the sea breeze kicking in around 13:00.
The Single-Person Keelboat fleet was able to complete two races in an ideal 10 knots from the south which for once was steady enough to not require a course change.
The wind stayed relatively consistent throughout the afternoon, shifting slightly further west by the time Race 6 was started.
Australia’s Peter Thompson had two completely different races. His earlier race one of his worst, finishing ninth, Thompson lifted in the final race of the day to score his best result to-date, second.
However, due to the earlier race, he has dropped to seventh on the leaderboard and will find it difficult to catch up the top four players who carry results 12 through to 16 points, whilst Thompson is on 25 – some 13 points behind the leader, Damien Seguin from France.
Race five got underway and just as on day one, it was the 25 year old Seguin who stole the show. He sailed a conservative race and once he had the lead at the first mark he extended it through the rest of the race.
Hard on Seguin's heels at the first mark was Thompson, who so narrowly missed out on a medal in Sydney. Unfortunately, Thompson's choice to head right after rounding the bottom mark proved not to be a good one and by the time he reached the windward mark for the second time, he was way down in seventh place.
Denmark's Jens Als Andersen (DEN) took over the second spot which he maintained to the finish line. Third overall was Thierry Schmitter (NED) who worked hard throughout this race to climb up through the fleet after rounding the first mark in ninth.
Allan Smith (GBR) had his best race so far and gave the numerous spectator boats the most exciting finish of the race. Thomas Brown (USA) and Smith were neck and neck as they approached the finish line and in a photo finish it was Smith who just snuck across the line first to take fourth overall all.
The completion of five races allows the sailors to discard their worst score and propelled Damien Seguin (FRA) to the top of the leaderboard. Seguin has now won three races - more than any other sailor - but there is little to split him and Thomas Brown (USA) who has two first places.
After the fifth race the points between these two sailors was just one point and both were discarding a fifth. It is therefore of little surprise that race six opened the door for some shenanigans between these two sailors opening the door to Jens Als Andersen (DEN) to convincingly take his first victory of the competition.
Fleet leaders, Seguin and Brown eventually finished seventh and sixth respectively. This was the worst result for both of them which they will discard and are still separated by just one point. There is still everything to play for with three races left to sail and the battle for the medals is an exciting one not to be missed.
Provisional Results to-date:
1 SEGUIN Damien FRA 1 1 4 5 1 (7) - 12
2 BROWN Thomas USA 4 2 1 1 5 (6) - 13
3 SCHMITTER Thierry NED 3 3 2 (6) 3 5 - 16
4 KROEGER Heiko GER 2 4 3 3 (7) 4 - 16
7 THOMPSON Peter AUS (10) 5 5 4 9 2 - 25
*NB The Sonar class is having a lay day.
For full results and more: http://www.sailing.org/paralympics2004