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Rio Olympics – 49ers’ best day keeps medal dreams alive

by RYA on 16 Aug 2016
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign in 49er Men on Day 8 at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign moved within striking distance of the 49er medals after enjoying their best day in Rio today (Monday 15 August).

The Brits now sit in the top 10 for the first time in their regatta, moving from 13th overall overnight to seventh, thanks to scores of fifth, sixth and ninth from their three races today.

The 49ers are set to contest the final three races of their 12-race opening series tomorrow before Thursday’s scheduled Medal Race.

And Fletcher and Sign know another good day on Guanabara Bay could keep their medal dreams alive heading into the final double points showdown.

Sign said: “We found a bit more speed today and we are a little bit happier in how we are sailing in the boat so I think it’s something to take forward to tomorrow, that we are not miles off the pace.

“Today was all about metres, so if you lost a couple of metres through boat handling errors then you were back in the pack a bit so that damaged us a little bit, but we are happy with how we were going through the water.

“We have three more races tomorrow and our aim is to again try to move up and have a consistent day. We have just got to keep working together as a team, if we are working well together that’s when we will start pulling through the fleet or get top threes so we are going to aim to do that tomorrow.”

In building SE breeze of 8-12 knots on the Copacabana ocean course, the 49ers blitzed through their three races.

In the first, Fletcher and Sign enjoyed the perfect start, leading for the first half of the race before dropping a handful of places to cross the line in fifth. Consistency was the name of the game in race two as they held their position in sixth all the way around the course while race three was more of a battle, this time finishing in ninth.

Sign added: “Our aim today was just to be consistent. We knew we were quite good in those conditions, 12 knots and a bit of sea waves, so we just wanted to go out and enjoy it. It’s a little bit easier out there on the ocean in those conditions where the wind is a little bit more consistent so we’re happy with how we came out.”

Four-time World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) have now opened up an 18-point gap ahead of Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) in second with defending Olympic champions, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) third.

The 49er class is scheduled to contest a 13 race series, with three races per day on 12, 13, 15 and 16 August before the final one off medal race on Thursday 18 August.
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