Sail-World.com : Late start and just one race for all Kiwi teams
Late start and just one race for all Kiwi teams
Today all New Zealand’s yachties sailed just one race in Qingdao, China, late in the day after waiting for wind until around 4pm.
Our two women impressed - both Barbara Kendall and Jo Aleh returning a 2nd place in their respective races. Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams returned a 4th place in the opening race of the Star class and Tom Ashley made a huge comeback in his race five, after sitting deep in the Men’s RS:X fleet, he climbed through to finish 5th.
Things didn’t go the way of Dan Slater, finishing 6th in his race but it seems, failing to make the cut for the medal race tomorrow. At the close of racing Slater was lying provisionally in 12th place overall, though at the time of writing protests were pending which may affect the Kiwi’s result. It’s doubtful however that it would put him in the top ten, which means it’s all but certain that his Olympic Games has come to a close.
New Zealand’s Standings Summary
4th – Hamish Pepper & Carl Williams, Star (after 1 race)
4th - Tom Ashley, Men’s RS:X (after 5 races)
4th – Jo Aleh, Laser Radial (after 4 races)
6th – Barbara Kendall, Women’s RS:X (after 5 races)
12th – Dan Slater, Finn (after eight races)
13th – Carl Evans & Peter Burling, Men’s 470 (after 7 races)
15th – Andrew Murdoch, Laser (after 4 races)
With an early start to racing planned for some classes, extra races in the schedule and a forecast which talked of northerly winds it was all action at the Qingdao sailing venue this morning. Sailors left the boat park and hit the race track suitably amped to get on with racing after yesterday’s delays and cancellations. However the midday and one o’clock scheduled start times came and went and the wind, once again, failed to show.
During the day the weather watchers observed as much wind as 15 -18 knots on the islands in the outer Fushan Bay, and sloppy sea conditions on the course areas spoke of breeze somewhere nearby. However close to shore in Qingdao was a different story with a light offshore breeze seemingly keeping the wind hitting the outer islands at bay, and most sailors were sent ashore to wait.
Once racing got underway the breeze maxed at around 10-12 knots at times, but sailors reported that the two conflicting breezes were fighting each other and there were big shifts on most courses resulting in some big position changes during racing.
Star sailors Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams are now underway with the first race of the 2008 Olympic Games for them kicking off at 4:20pm on course A with a reported 8-9 knots of wind.
In the small but star-studded sixteen boat fleet, the Kiwis got away to a good start and remained in touch with the leading group for the entire race. They finished 4th, Fredrick Loof of Sweden taking the win in the first race of the series.
Speaking ahead of today’s race Williams said, 'I am starting to see what really makes this the Olympic Games. This is competition at its ruthless best. Goals are destroyed, ambitions are pressured and resolve is tested.'
They race again tomorrow starting at midday.
Star top five (provisional after one race)
1st SWE Fredrik Loof & Anders Ekstrom (1)
2nd GER Marc Pickel & Ingo Borkowski (2)
3rd POR Afonso Domingos & Bernardo Santos (3)
4th NZL Hamish Pepper & Carl Williams (4)
5th POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz & Dominik Zycki (5)
Jo Aleh was a standout amongst the Kiwis today in race four for the Laser Radials. Rounding mark one in 7th place she continued to climb through those in front of her and take 2nd place behind Gintare Volungeviciute of Lithuania.
Today’s performance sees Aleh move up the leader board to now sit in 4th place overall despite still carrying a 22 from her first race. Anna Tunnicliffe of the USA retains the lead.
An early start at midday is on the schedule for the Laser Radials tomorrow, organizers looking to make up lost races will run three races for the Radials if possible.
Laser Radial top five (provisional) results after four races
1st USA Anna Tunnicliffe - 20 points
2nd LTU Gintare Volungeviciute - 25 points
3rd CRO Mateja Petronijevic - 26 points
4th NZL Jo Aleh - 30 points
5th FRA Sarah Steyaert - 36 points
In the largest fleet of the Olympic sailing events, Andrew Murdoch came home mid fleet in their fourth race of the series. A 20th today puts Murdoch in 15th overall.
As with the Radials’ an early start at midday is on the schedule for the Lasers tomorrow, organizers looking to make up lost races will run three races if possible.
Laser top five (provisional) results after four races
1st GBR Paul Goodison - 33 points
2nd SWE Rasmus Myrgren - 33 points
3rd RUS Igor Lisovenko - 37 points
4th FRA Jean Baptiste Bernaz - 41 points
5th POR Gustavo Lima - 43 points
15th NZL Andrew Murdoch - 67 points
Just prior to 4pm the Finn fleet waiting patiently on course area E got started in race eight – an opportunity for those hovering around 10th place to move up and make the cut to sail in tomorrow’s Finn medal race. For New Zealand’s Dan Slater lying 12th overall, this was a last chance race to close the gap and preclude his regatta coming to an end today.
Unfortunately a 6th place finish in today’s race for Slater failed to improve his overall standing, undone by his results from earlier races and the performance of some others close to him on the leader board in today’s race. He provisionally retains 12th place.
Ben Ainslie was once again in fine form, and now has an eleven point leading margin over Zach Railey of the USA putting him in a good position to collect the Finn Gold medal expected of him from the outset.
Finn (provisional) top five results after eight races
1st GBR Ben Ainslie - 21 points
2nd USA Zach Railey - 33 points
3rd SWE Daniel Birgmark - 44 points
4th FRA Guillaume Florent - 50 points
5th CAN Christopher Cook - 51 points
12th NZL Dan Slater - 76 points
Underway at 5:30pm local time the Men’s RS:X race five was sailed in winds of around 10 knots on course area B. It was a 'topsy turvy' race, Kiwi Tom Ashley rounding the first mark in 14th place, dropping as deep as 27th at the third mark only to stage an impressive comeback and finish the race in 5th place.
Points are relatively close around Ashley on 17 points, he’s only two points behind third place and three points off second. Shahar Zubari of Israel retains the lead after race five for the fleet.
Back on the water tomorrow the men’s RS:X are scheduled to start at 2pm on course area B with three races planned if time and conditions allow.
Men’s RS:X (provisional) top five results after five races
1st ISR Shahar Zubari - 8 points
2nd HKG King Yin Chan - 14 points
3rd GBR Nick Dempsey - 15 points
4th NZL Tom Ashley - 17 points
5th FRA Julien Bontemps - 20 points
With her best race yet at this Olympic Games, Barbara Kendall still sits in 6th overall but has closed the gap up on those ahead of her. Thailand’s Napalai Tansai struck out an early lead, but couldn’t hold on, Jessica Crisp (AUS) and Kendall passing her to take the top two spots in race five for the Women’s RS:X. At the finish Kendall was just 14 second behind the Australian.
With 25 points total, just one behind Bryony Shaw (GBR) Kendall will be back on the water tomorrow aiming to continu
by Jodie Bakewell-White
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12:22 PM Fri 15 Aug 2008 GMT
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