The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, an Olympic Test Event, is currently underway in the UK. On the first day of 470 sailing, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) set an early marker for the women after they recorded double bullets.
Australia and Denmark in Action - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
In race one the girls finished ten seconds ahead of China’s Wang Xiao and Huang Xufeng but in race two the Brits blew the field away in fine fashion rounding every mark in first place with no one threatening them. In the end they finished over a minute ahead of Denmark’s Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer.
On their great start Clark said, 'On the first day of the regatta you don’t want to get a black flag. Two first is a good bonus, better than other regattas this year when we have started poorly.' And Mills added, 'The first day of events is always nerve-wracking. Today could have been a disaster but we got a lot out of it.'
Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luisa Barbachan end day one of the Women’s 470 in second place overall following a third place finish in race one and a fourth in race two. And Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Teja Cerne are third overall on nine points.
In the Men’s 470 France’s Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos lead the way on seven points after they came fourth in race one and third in race two. Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) came eighth in race one but went on to win race two by 13 seconds after they rounded every mark in first place. The Argentineans sit second on nine points. Spain’s Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Aaron Sarmiento Padilla also have nine points but sit in third place after coming third in race one and sixth in race two.
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (AUS) started well in the Laser fleet finishing the first day of Laser sailing in first place overall on six points. Slingsby came down in fifth in race one with the race win going the way of Rutger Van Schaardenburg (NED). In race two Slingsby dominated from start to finish claiming his first bullet of the regatta.
After two races Andrew Mudoch (NZL) is second overall on nine points and in third place with 11 points is Rasmus Myrgren (SWE). Race one victor Van Schaardenburg is down in fifth place overall after coming 14th in race two.
Evi Van Acker (BEL) leads the Laser Radial fleet on seven points after recording a card of three-four. The world number one Belgian leads Marit Bouwmeester (NED) by five points after the Dutch girl came ninth in race one and third in race two. Throughout the ISAF Sailing World Cup there was little separating Van Acker and Bouwmeester as the Dutch girl pipped the Belgian to the Laser Radial title by one point. With plenty of racing remaining the battle between the two is sure to continue.
Netherland lead the way - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) won the first race of the day in a tight battle with Charlotte Dobson (GBR) and Van Acker (BEL) which saw just five seconds separate the top three. The Belarusian is ninth on 24 points. The second race win went to Finland’s Sari Multala who is seventh on 20 points.
In the Men’s RS:X Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) continue to lock horns and at the end of the second day of RS:X racing they both sit on six points each. Dempsey won race three followed by the Dutchman who finished 52 seconds behind and in race four Van Rijsselberge bounced back to defeat Dempsey by ten seconds. On Van Rijsselberge, Dempsey said, 'For sure he is my biggest rival. Both of us seem to be sailing better than the rest of the fleet.'
The Brit and Dutch RS:X sailors have been head and shoulders above the rest after two days of racing with Beijing 2008 RS:X silver medallist Julien Bontemps (FRA) down in third place on 22 points and Pzemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) one point behind in fourth.
Zofia Klepacka (POL) stole the lead off Marina Alabau (ESP) in the Women’s RS:X after a bullet in race three and a third in race four. The Polish RS:X sailor has nine points with the Spaniard on ten points. Alabau recorded double bullets on the opening day of sailing and will be disappointed with her seventh in race three. But she went on to record her third race win of the regatta in race four. And with the discard coming into play tomorrow and Alabau in fine form it is possible the Spaniard will head into the reserve day with a perfect card. Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw moved from fifth place after day one to third place after day two following a two-five.
Great Britain in Action - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
Tomorrow sees the start of fleet racing for the 49er, Star and Finn fleets as well as the continuation of the Men's and Women's RS:X, Men's and Women's 470, Laser and Laser Radial. The Quarter Finals of the Women's Match Racing will also take place. Racing is scheduled to start at 11:00 local time.
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