A relative calm descended on Weymouth Bay this morning, after the battering from the day before. But there was no less tension or aggression in the racing in Day 4 of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta, as the fleets moved into the endgame.
Skandia Sail for Gold is also the penultimate round of the ISAF World Sailing Cup.
The bigger fleets were split into gold and silver fleets for the penultimate two days of racing, before the decisive medal races on Saturday.
In the 470 Men the overnight leaders, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) and the third-placed French team of Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos swopped places, moving around the static, second placed Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Ostling (SWE). Leboucher and Garos now hold a four point lead from Dahlberg and Ostling, with the Australians another five points adrift.
The Kiwi women, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie owned the Women’s 470 course today with a superb couple of victories that took them past the British pairing of Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark and into the lead. The Brits had their worst day so far with a 16th and an eighth, but held onto second ahead of the Israelis Gil Cohen and Vered Bouskila.
The Gold 49er fleet managed to get in four races and it was the Australian World Champions, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen who turned on the style with two firsts, a fourth and a sixth to take the overall lead. The overnight leaders, Italy’s Sibello brothers could post nothing better than an eighth and slipped back to fourth. Skandia Team GBR’s John Pink and Rick Peacock held onto second, with France’s Stephane Christidis and Peter Hansen moving up from fifth to third.
In the Laser Men the Gold fleet did two races and Britain’s overnight leader Nick Thompson had a day he will want to forget with a 32nd and 34th to drop all the way back to ninth. It was left to Australia’s World Champion Tom Slingsby to move up to the lead after posting a super consistent 1, 3. Kiwi Andrew Murdoch also had a good day with a first and a fourth and is now just six points behind the leader. Dutchman Rutger van Schaardenburg is in third, another nine points behind.
In the Laser Radials, Ireland’s Annalise Murphy slipped back from her overnight lead to third, after a 13th in the first race, but she wasn’t raising the white flag and came back with a win in the second and final race of the day. It was Evi van Acker who posted the best performance of the leading group to go to the top of the table. ISAF Sailing World Cup leader, the Netherland’s Marit Bouwmeester remains in second, but now only a point off the lead.
JP Tobin from New Zealand racing in the RSX Men class on day 4 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland, the 2012 Olympic venue. - onEdition ©?nid=84542
It was all change again on the RS:X Mens race course, New Zealand’s Jp Tobin and Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberge both moved back above overnight leader Nick Dempsey (GBR), who slipped back into third. The leading group have a ten point cushion to fourth placed Przemek Miarczynski (POL).
In the RS:X Women, it was Spain’s Marina Alabau who mastered the tricky conditions, posting a third and a first to slide past Lee Korzits of Israel and into the lead. Alabau now has a four point lead going into the final day ahead of the medal race split. Zofia Klepacka remained in third nine points behind Korzits.
The Women’s Match Racing had a lot of catching up to do after the strong wind and waves curtailed yesterday’s racing. It meant an early start and a late finish. The Gold Group was completed along with the Repecharge Round Robin, and so we know tomorrow’s quarter final pairs. The Gold Group winners, Sally Barkow, Elizabeth Kratizig-Burnham and Alana O'Reilly from the USA will race against Silja Lehtinen, Silja Kanerva and Mikaela Wulff (FIN).
Next up, it will be the second placed team in the Gold Group, Australia’s Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Witty to sail against Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou (FRA). Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vendemoer and Debbie Capozzi (USA) were third in the Gold Group and will sail against France’s Anne-claire Le Berre, Alice Ponsar and Myrtille Ponge. And that leaves Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor (GBR) against the Netherlands’ Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Merel Witteveen.
The Finn class saw Britain’s triple Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie increase his lead over compatriot Giles Scott to 13 points - despite recording what for Ainslie was an average day’s scores of 1, 6, 4. Scott could only manage a 2, 4 and 9 but that was enough to move him from a tie with third placed Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic to a single point lead.
In the Stars, Brazil’s multiple Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt and his crew Bruno Prada saw their five point lead over Sweden’s Freddy Loof and Max Salminen cut to a single point. Loof and Salminen posted scores of 4, 1 and 2, and Scheidt had to pull out all the stops to win the last race from the charging Swedes and hold onto his overall lead. Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki remained steady in third, but 15 points off the lead.
The 2.4mR’s raced first on the Paralympic courses, and the leading pair overnight both had an average day. But it was Damien Seguin (FRA) who got the better of his Dutch rival, Thierry Schmitter to snatch the overall lead, while Paul Tingley had a solid day (3, 4) to move up into third and onto the podium ahead of their final day tomorrow.
The SKUDs and Sonars took their turn on the Paralympic course in the afternoon, and the former in particular had some serious sailing to do to catch up with their schedule. So it was well into the evening by the time the SKUDs completed their third race. It was Australia’s Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch that showed everyone the way home with three straight bullets. They extended their overall lead to four points ahead of Britain’s Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell. Jamie Dunross and Rachael Cox (AUS) remain in third, a further five points behind.
The Sonars also raced three today, and were also out there late – Britain’s John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas didn’t have a particularly good day with a 5, 8, and 1, but they did enough to hold off the Dutch and French, tied in second. Udo Hessels Marcel van Veen and Mischa Rossen are now four points adrift, tied with the French team of Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont Vicary – all to play for on the final day of racing tomorrow on the Paralympic course. Quotes of the Day
Nathan Outteridge (AUS) - 49er
World Champion and overall leader
It’s been really nice, around 14-19 knots for most of the day. There have been little shifts but it’s mainly just great speed and handling and being on the right side of the shifts. It’s always a mix when we sail here in Weymouth, we’ve been here the last three years and every year has been something different so the weather is not unsurprising, you just get all the conditions which is good.
Every World Cup event this year is a selection event for us. To get selected we actually have to win one of those regattas. If you win the regatta you are selected for the Olympic team but, if two teams both win an event each it then becomes a subjective decision based on a year or two years’ worth of results. We came second at the Delta Lloyd regatta in Holland so we are trying to win this event to try and get the selection out of the way. But, we are just focusing, trying to be consistent and sail well.
Olivia Powrie (NZL) - 470 Woman
It’s been a pretty good day, with good conditions on the water and quite exciting. Pretty good breeze and the waves got a bit bigger as the tides turned. It’s been a little bit mixed, probably windier if anything but it’s good, we like a breeze to sail in. It’s actually pretty similar to sailing back home in New Zealand, the water, the breeze but a much better venue; it’s such a good set-up. This is our third year here, so we are getting the hang of it more and more I guess. It’s quite tricky; there are a lot of different factors at play so it does make it a bit difficult. I think the 470 class is quite close at the moment, there always seems to be someone new at the regatta and you never quite know who’s going to be up there so always exciting.
Vincent Garos (FRA) - 470 Men
We had strong winds again today so it was hard conditions and very physical. We were very happy with the first race of the day because we won. In the second race we had a lot of pressure on us and we tried to do our best but we had a very bad start and finished 13th.
We are still very happy with where we are overall because tomorrow is the last day before the medal race and we are in the first position. We will have to keep working hard for the rest of the regatta and try to win - we won last year and would love to win again.
Evi Van Acker (BEL) - Laser Radial
I am feeling pretty good. It has been a great week, with great conditions. It has been pretty windy most of the time mostly from the south-west which I think suits me. We are sailing on a different course to last year and the wind is steadier, we have big waves and it has just been fun sailing. I have managed to do well and sail consistently, I haven’t made many big mistakes, a few little ones, but I think that’s why I am at the front.
It is pretty cold here this week but in these wind conditions you can’t complain! It has been great sailing. I think a few years ago there were just a handful of really competitive girls in this fleet but I think it has become broader and broader, more like the Laser Standard. Depending on the conditions there are different girls that are doing well.
The Irish girl Annalise is going very fast, faster than all of us. She is the one to beat when the winds are strong. Marit from the Netherlands is another who has been sailing really well and is so consistent, and then Sari from Finland really knows how to perform when the pressure is on. We have two days left to go, and I think lighter winds tomorrow, so it is still going to be a tricky regatta.
Rick Peacock (GBR) - 49er
Today was a good day for us, there was a good bit of breeze… thought we did ok – we had some good counters and managed to get some top fives so we are happy with that. We spent a lot of time here during the last month which I think has been key to getting used to the conditions. It I think it has made a big difference and has made it a lot more natual to sail here. I wouldn’t say it is extra pressure this week but certainly all the talent is here and everyone is raising their game and looking pretty good. It is great competition.
Racing in the Windsurfing event Day 4 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland, the 2012 Olympic venue. - onEdition ©?nid=84542
Ben Ainslie (GBR) – Finn
Olympic champion and overall leader
It was a mixed day, we had three races in tough conditions out there and to cap it all off you then have a very long sail back to the harbour, so I’m looking forward to getting some rest. I won the first race but I made a few mistakes in the second two races. I didn’t pick the right side on the first beat and I had to battle back and fortunately I did a pretty good job of that. It's hard out there. It has been a very difficult course because it's quite tidal. Overall, I had a good day and with regards to the nearest competition I'm reasonably happy. We've got two more races tomorrow and then the medal race so things are certainly starting to get into the money end of the regatta.
Leonard Ong (SIN) – RS:X Men
It is really windy here, but the sailing is great – not too choppy and the waves aren’t too big so great for sailing. This is my second time in Weymouth and I always enjoy it. For a lot of the sailors here they are looking towards 2012, I am not at that standard but I am definitely looking at 2016 and I know a lot of the other guys here will be too. I am just taking this opportunity to prepare as much as possible and it is great to compete against this standard of sailors. I really admire the Korean sailor (Taehoon Lee), and the sailors like Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Tom Ashley (NZL). Those guys have been doing this for a long time and they are great to watch and learn from.
Skandia sail for Gold 2011 - Leaderboard after Day 4 -
Day 4: Thursday 9th June
49er After 10 Races
1. AUS 2- OUTTERIDGE Nathan / JENSEN Iain (34pts)
2. GBR 8- PINK John / PEACOCK Richard (44pts)
3. FRA 4- CHRISTIDIS Stephane / HANSEN Peter (47pts)
470 WOMEN After 8 Races
1. NZL 75- ALEH Jo / POWRIE Olivia (33pts)
2. GBR 847- MILLS Hannah / CLARK Saskia (43pts)
2. ISR 311- COHEN Gill / BOUSKILA Vered (49pts)
470 MEN After 8 Races
1. FRA 44- PIERRE Leboucher / VINCENT Garos (26pts)
2. SWE 346- DAHLBERG Anton / OSTLING Sebastian (30pts)
3. AUS 11- BELCHER Matthews / PAGE Malcolm (35pts)
FINN After 8 races
1. GBR 3- AINSLIE Ben (16pts)
2. GBR 41- SCOTT Giles (29pts)
3. CRO 524- KLJAKOVIC GASPIC Ivan (30pts)
LASER After 8 Races
1.. AUS 197541- SLINGSBY Tom (18pts)
2. NZL 199218- MURDOCH Andrew (24pts)
3.. NED 192625- VAN SCHAARDENBURG Rutger (33pts)
LASER RADIAL After 8 Races
1. BEL 197514 VAN ACKER Evi (20pts)
2. NED 200444- BOUWMEESTER Marit (21pts)
3. IRL 199417- MURPHY Annalise (23pts)
STAR After 8 Races
1. BRA 8255- SCHEIDT Robert / PRADA Bruno (21pts)
2. SWE 8450- LOOF Fredrik / SALMINEN Max (21pts)
3. POL 8417- KUSZNIEREWICZ Mateusz / ZYCKI Dominik (35pts)
SKUD 18 After 6 Races
1. AUS 47- FITZGIBBON Daniel / TESCH Liesl (6pts)
2. GBR 45- RICKMAN Alexandra / BIRRELL Niki (10pts)
3. AUS 52- DUNROSS Jamie / COX Rachael (15pts)
SONAR After 8 Races
1. GBR 748- ROBERTSON John / STODEL Hannah / THOMAS Steve (15pts)
2. NED 688- HESSELS Udo / VAN VEEN Marcel/ ROSSEB Mischa (19pts)
3. FRA 840- JOURDREN Bruno / FLAGEUL Eric (19pts)
2.4mR After 7 Races
1. FRA 13- SEGUIN Damien (15pts)
2. NED 12- SCHMITTER Thierry (18pts)
3. CAN 99- TINGLEY Paul (19pts)
RS:X MEN After 8 Races
1. NZL 151- TOBIN JP (17pts)
2. NED 8- VAN RIJSSELBERGE Dorian (20pts)
3. GBR 1- DEMPSEY Nick (20pts)
RS:X WOMEN After 8 Races
1. ESP 5- ALBAU Marina (16pts)
2. ISR 111- KORZITS Lee (20pts)
3. POL 8- KLEPACKA Zofia (29pts)
Gold Group Round Robin
USA Barkow / Kratizig-Burnham / O’Reilly 5-0
AUS Souter / Curtis / Price 3-2
USA Tunnicliffe / Vandemoer / Capozzi 3-2
GBR Macgregor / Lush / Macgregor 2-3
NED Mulder / Bes / Witteveen 2-3
FRA Le Berre / Ponsar / Ponge 0-5
Repecharge Round Robin: The following two teams qualified for quarter finals
FRA Leroy / Bertrand / Riou 4-1
FIN Lehtinen / Kanerva / Wulff 4-1