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Sail-World.com : Skandia Sail for Gold Day 4 – Full on racing + Video
Skandia Sail for Gold Day 4 – Full on racing + Video

'Day 4 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2012'    onEdition ©

Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta is currently on the fourth day of racing at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

With just fifty more days to go until the 2012 London Olympic Games opens the British weather made the occasion a notable one. The weather battered Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta causing cancellations, postponements and some full on racing for those classes that did get out there.


The racing schedule had already been moved forward to an early start to try to beat the inbound gale – forecast to arrive in the afternoon. But the weather system hit fast forward and by early morning it was already too windy for any Paralympic racing. The rest of the schedule was rejigged and in the end, all the Olympic classes except the Stars got at least one race in.

The Finns took to the water in the afternoon, having been moved from their normal distant offshore course to sail on the inner harbour. They got just one race done and it was won by Britain’s Giles Scott. The chasing pack slipped further back, with Ben Ainslie scoring his discard with an eighth. The US of A’s Zach Railey was involved in an incident at a mark that ended in a capsize, and was subsequently rewarded redress to hold third place.

Giles Scott commented, 'I managed to get a race win today which was good, Mark was second and I think Andrew was up there as well so it was a good show from the British boys, we love the rain… I seem to be sailing quite fast, so more of the same tomorrow. It’s looking fresh so I think we might be on for an afternoon sail, but I’m sure we will get a race in.'

The 49er fleet has now split into gold and silver, and it was the top half that took priority today. They sailed one race early on in the harbour course and it was won by the overall leaders, Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. That further increased their lead over second-placed Emmanuel Dyen and Stephane Christidis of France. Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign moved up to third, pushing their countrymen and one-time leaders, Dave Evans and Ed Powys into fourth.

Day 4 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2012 -  onEdition ©  

One happy 49er sailor was Portugal’s Bernado Freitas – 23rd overall going into today but coming second behind the Australians today. 'We have made some mistakes and we had a breakage on the boat, but we are still sailing in the gold fleet and doing well. Today’s wind was perfect; it is how we love to sail in. Flat water and strong wind for us is great, the boat speed is fast and we were sailing without making mistakes at the front of the fleet to take second place.'

The Women’s Match Racing completed both the repecharge and the gold group round robin, with New Zealand’s Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt and Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofia Toro going through into the quarter finals. Stephanie Hazard commented, 'We started the regatta pretty slow but we’ve built up momentum over the last three days, today especially we had to come out strong to secure our spot in the quarter finals. The conditions were tough, pretty wet and pretty cold but it’s just a case of keeping it simple and keeping it fast on the track.'

The Gold Group was won convincingly by Russia’s Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Oblova and Elena Siuzeva – who were unbeaten. Sharing the honours in second were France’s Clarie Leroy, Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou, and the USA’s Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi returning to their normal form.

Day 4 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2012 -  onEdition ©  

In the Laser it was a return to the top for the man who is so far unbeaten at the Olympic venue – Tom Slingsby (AUS). He posted a first and a fourth to breeze past his countryman, Tom Burton, who dropped to fourth, leaving Germany’s Phillip Buhl in second and Tonci Stipanovic of Germany in third. Despite his performance in the breeze, Slingsby was still looking for more. 'Everyone’s going really well, normally this is my bread and butter, the super-strong, big waves, very windy stuff is usually where I can get a gap on the fleet, but I’m working my ass off and only just managing to stay with them. Everyone seems to have improved and they have realised that they needed to make a gain in the strong winds and they have. So I just need to find another gain to get ahead before the Olympics comes around.'

A gap started to open at the top of the Laser Radial fleet. China’s Lijia Xu, Britain’s Alison Young and Finland’s Sari Multala all scored exactly the same for the day, and Xu held her lead, with Young and Multala both just a point behind, with the tie broken to Young’s advantage. The other contenders all had a bad day in the breeze and fourth placed Evi van Acker is now 12 points off the pace.

Alison Young was happy with her day, 'It was a pretty solid day today, the first day of the finals, I got two good counters in… You always aim to medal, you don’t get out of bed to come fourth. I’ve just got to keep improving between now and the Games and I should be able to do that, but your own expectations are always higher than anyone else’s, so if you meet your own expectations you would have done a good job.'

The RS:X Women sailed one race in the morning, and overall leader Zofia Noceti-Klepacka finally scored something other than a first or second – with a fourth. She discards it as her worst result and still holds a 13 point lead over second placed Marina Alabau, who placed second today. In third is the Ukraine’s Olga Maslivets, tied with Lee Korzits another 15 points behind Alabau.

The RS:X Men had a very extended day, sailing early and then last off the water just as the breeze really kicked in. Germany’s Toni Wilhelm won the first race, and the Netherland’s Dorian van Rijsselberge won the second. It lifted the latter to second place above Nick Dempsey, who posted an eighth and a seventh. Julien Bontemps sailed a solid day to score two thirds and hold his lead at eight points at the top of the table.

Dorian van Rijsselberg was happy with his performance, 'The regatta is going ok so far, I’ve learn a lot so far in this regatta which is good, learning from my mistakes so I’m happy. The racing today is tricky, not just because it’s windy and cold but because of the rain, it makes it hard to see where the mark is but the racing is still fun. It’s good to see everyone getting ready for the Games, everyone is getting more serious and every little point counts so you really have to be on top of your game.'

The 470 Men and Women’s gold fleets were sent out to their course and hit some Big Thursday conditions by the time they had completed their two races. In the men, it was a return to the top for the Australian World Champions, Matt Belcher and Malcolm Page. They scored a first and a third to move back into the lead, but the British Olympic representatives, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell had an even better day with a first and a second and moved up into silver. Slipping from gold was the Kiwi pair of Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders.

Luke Patience was philosophical, 'Obviously the Olympics is the big one, but it would be a nice bonus to do well at this event too. It’s nice to not be focused on the results, but for them to come through well, there’s not a lot you can do about the results but you can do a lot about the things that get you good results.'

Meanwhile, in the 470 Women, it was very much New Zealand’s day, with Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie winning both races to overturn their deficit to the French team of Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron. The Brazilian pair of Martine Grael and Isabel Swan moved up into third whilst the one-time leaders and British World Champions, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark moved down to fourth. Jo Aleh reflected on their superiority in the breeze, 'One more day of really windy racing before medal day so we’re looking forward to it, we love the windy weather.'

Racing has been postponed till midday tomorrow due to the weather forecast – and as the athletes were leaving the venue, the gusts on the harbour wall reached 53 knots.

Quotes:
Giles Scott; Finn, Great Britain: 'I managed to get a race win today which was good, Mark was second and I think Andrew was up there as well so it was a good show from the British boys, we love the rain. I haven’t done a lot of Finn racing recently, but I’m still in shape and I’ve been doing a lot of America’s Cup sailing which is really physical. I’ve also been training with Ben and the other boys so I’m not racing fit, but I’m still physically fit and capable of sailing a Finn. I seem to be sailing quite fast, so more of the same tomorrow. It’s looking fresh so I think we might be on for an afternoon sail but I’m sure we will get a race in.'

Stephanie Hazard; Women’s Match Racing, New Zealand: 'We started the regatta pretty slow but we’ve built up momentum over the last three days, today especially we had to come out strong to secure our spot in the quarter finals. The conditions were tough, pretty wet and pretty cold but it’s just a case of keeping it simple and keeping it fast on the track.'

'We’re really happy with the way we’ve been sailing, we’re now really looking forward to getting in to that gold fleet series and going hard, doing what we have been doing the last couple of days. No nerves as such, just going out there to do what we know.'

'The sailing standard is so high, every team can win. It’s all about being the best team out on the race course for every race, there’s no room for error and you’ve got to be on your game if you want to pull in the race wins, because nothing but your best is good enough.'

Alison Young; Radial, GBR: 'It was a pretty solid day today, the first day of the finals, I got two good counters in. I’ve had a pretty consistent week so far, a bit of a tricky first day but consistent in the last three days so I have just got to keep building on that for the rest of the series.'

'The wind has been in a slightly different direction every day so far this week, so it’s given me a bit of variety and keeping me think what is going on. Every time you race in Weymouth you learn something new, something that is going to be useful for the Games, so it is a good opportunity to do that. It is a good opportunity to have a look at your competitors when you are racing.'

'This is an opportunity to learn and improve in the last bit of racing before the Games so I just want to keep making small gains between now and then. You always aim to medal, you don’t get out of bed to come fourth. I’ve just got to keep improving between now and the Games and I should be able to do that, but your own expectations are always higher than anyone else’s, so if you meet your own expectations you would have done a good job.'

Tom Slingsby; Laser, Australia: 'Today was wet, wild and windy, I had a good day, a fourth and a first. I sailed really well and I’m happy with those results. I’m not sure how I’m doing with the points, but tomorrow I hope to be in good shape and have a good race so I can go to medal race day with no pressure. That’s the goal.'

'Everyone’s going really well, normally this is my bread and butter, the super-strong, big waves, very windy stuff is usually where I can get a gap on the fleet, but I’m working my ass off and only just managing to stay with them. Everyone seems to have improved and they have realised that they needed to make a gain in the strong winds and they have. So I just need to find another gain to get ahead before the Olympics comes around.'

Bernado Freitas; 49er, Portugal: 'Sail for Gold is a selection regatta for us for the Olympics, we have a big advantage from doing well at the first selection regatta, Princess Sofia. This regatta is very important for us because all of the races count, so far the regatta hasn’t gone as expected, we have made some mistakes and we had a break on the boat, but we are still sailing in the Gold Fleet and doing well. Today’s wind is perfect for us, it is how we love to sail. Flat water and strong wind for us is great, the boat speed is fast and we were sailing without making mistakes at the front of the fleet to take second place.'

Luke Patience; 470 Men, Great Britain: 'Today was the first day of gold fleet racing, it was pretty wet and windy, but luckily with me being from Scotland, and Stuart being from the north of England, we’re used to the bad weather and came out today with a second and a first, which is our best day so far I think, so we’re happy.'

'This week isn’t really results focused, more the processes and we’re nailing those so we’re happy with that. Obviously the Olympics is the big one, but it would be a nice bonus to do well at this event too. It’s nice to not be focused on the results, but for them to come through well, there’s not a lot you can do about the results but you can do a lot about the things that get you good results.'

Jo Aleh; 470 Women, New Zealand: 'It was a pretty good day, I was happy to go out, we were worried that we might not get to race due to the strong winds. We didn’t start very well today but we were able to chip away at it until we ended up taking the lead. But in the first race we were leading from the start, but kept getting passed and then finally got the first on the line… we only took the lead at the last top mark so were pretty happy to have got that. One more day of really windy racing before medal day so we’re looking forward to it, we love the windy weather.'

Dorian van Rijsselberg; RS:X Men, Netherlands: 'The regatta is going ok so far, I’ve learn a lot so far in this regatta which is good, learning from my mistakes so I’m happy. The racing today is tricky, not just because it’s windy and cold but because of the rain, it makes it hard to see where the mark is but the racing is still fun. It’s good to see everyone getting ready for the Games, everyone is getting more serious and every little point counts so you really have to be on top of your game.'

Day Four Results
470 men – after 8 races with 1 discard
1st AUS Mathew BELCHER, Malcolm PAGE – 12 points
2nd GBR Luke Patience, Stuart Bithell – 15 points
3rd NZL Paul Snow-Hansen, Jason Saunders – 20points

470 women – after 8 races with 1 discard
1st NZL Jo Aleh, Olivia Polly Powrie, 26 points
2nd FRA Camille LECOINTRE, Mathilde GERON 35 points
?3rd BRA Martine GRAEL, Isabel SWAN 39 points

Finn – after 7 races with 1 discard
1st GBR Giles Scott – 7 points
2nd GBR Ben Ainslie – 19 points
3rd USA Zach RAILEY – 29.3 points

Star – after 6 races with 1 discard
?1st GBR Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson – 14 points
?2nd BRA Robert Scheidt, Bruno Prada – 15 points
?3rd IRL Peter O’Leary and David Burrows – 17 points

Laser – after 8 races with 1 discard
?1st AUS Tom SLINGSBY – 24 points
2nd GER Philipp BUHL – 29 points
3rd Tonci STIPANOVIC – 35 points

Laser Radial – after 8 races with 1 discard
1st CHN Lijia Xu – 21 points
2nd GBR Alison Young – 22 points
3rd FIN Sari Multala – 22 points

RS:X Men – after 8 races with 1 discard
?1st FRA Julien BONTEMPS – 21 points
?2nd NED Dorian Van Rijsselberge – 29 points
3rd GBR Nick DEMPSEY – 37 points

RS:X Women – after 7 races with 1 discard
1st POL Zofia NOCETI-KLEPACKA – 8 points
2nd ESP Marina ALABAU – 21 points
3rd UKR Olga Maslivets – 36 points

49er – after 10 races 1 discard
?1st AUS Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen – 23 points
?2nd FRA Emmanuel Dyen, Stephane Christidis – 31 points
3rd GBR Dylan Fletcher, Alain Sign – 40 points

Match Racing – Gold Group
1st RUS Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Oblova, Elena Siuzeva – 5 wins
?2nd FRA Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand, Marie Riou -3 wins, 2 losses
3rd USA Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, Debbie Capozzi -3 wins, 2 losses

Sonar – after 6 races with 1 discard
?1st GBR John Robertson, Hannah Stodel, Steve Thomas – 14 points
2nd NED Udo HESSELS, Mischa ROSSEN, Marcel VAN DE VEEN – 16 points
3rd CAN Bruce Miller, Logan Campbell, Scott Lutes – 23 points

Skud – after 6 races with 1 discard
1st GBR Alexandra RICKHAM, Niki BIRRELL – 5 points
?2nd CAN John MCROBERTS, Stacie LOUTTIT – 10 points
3rd Daniel Fitzgibbon, Liesl TESCH – 13 points

2.4m – after 6 races with 1 discard
?1st NED Thierry SCHMITTER – 15 points
2rd GBR Helena LUCAS – 15 points
3rd FRA Damien SEGUIN – 19 points



Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta website


by Jessica Gray

  

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5:45 PM Thu 7 Jun 2012GMT


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