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GBR's young gun Emma Wilson shows class on day 2 in Enoshima

by Will Carson, RYA 26 Jul 03:43 PDT 25 July - 4 August 2021
GBR's young gun Emma Wilson shows class on day 2 in Enoshima © British Sailing Team

The second day of sailing saw an increase in wind - 14-16 knots NE - and bigger swell as result of tropical storm Nepartak in the morning, but had dropped to 10 knots SW later in the day. The British sailors' nerves settled following their opening day successes.

Emma Wilson (Women's RS:X), Team GB's youngest sailor aged 22, started day 2 of the competition with a commanding race win; Team GB's first sailing victory of Tokyo 2020.

Despite strong race starts from Elliot Hanson (Laser) he got caught up mid-fleet in tricky conditions, and finished in twelfth. This was followed up with 17th to sit tenth overall.

Up and down wind range for the Men's RS:X fleet meant a second-place race finish in Tom Squires' favourable strong winds. Squires moves up to seventh overall

Self-confessed 'crushing' day for Ali Young (Radial) still doesn't rule her out; she remains in touching distance of the top ten, sitting 15th overall with 9-20 race results.

RS:X Women - Emma Wilson, 22, from Christchurch, Dorset, said:

"It was a really good day, really happy. It was a lot more fun and a bit more like what we are used to back home but I have prepared for everything.

"The start was really important. I had some good starts and that really helped me and I just kept going fast.

"It's my first Olympics and I am doing really well. I'm happy. We last raced in April and then I went back home to train in Weymouth with my friend, the Danish girl, and we are doing pretty well. We have a bit of a laugh and a joke before the races and it's really nice.

"It was pretty shifty the wind from the land so that was always going to be tricky. I had good starts and I just had to try and do what I do best and trust myself."

Laser Standard - Elliot Hanson, 27, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, said:

"I'm disappointed with my performance today as I had every opportunity to get some good results and feel I let some points slip. It was a really tricky race course with unstable winds and I played it a little too conservative at times when my rivals backed themselves.

"I'm still in the hunt and with three races tomorrow. I'm looking forward to leaving it all out there in what promises to be a very physically demanding day."

RS:X Men - Tom Squires, 27, from Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire, said:

"It was really good fun today. Broke into the regatta yesterday a bit nervous and then to come through today I feel I am racing well, more relaxed, got a lot of energy from watching Emma's racing and how well she did. I didn't want to have the worst day so tried to do as well as I could.

"The wind was crazy. First race was my jam. I love it when it's windier and then a bit of postponement just sitting there watching the wind die which wasn't best for my motivation. I just tried to stay calm to see what the breeze was and try to sail fast in the right direction. Simple.

"There's a massive range of guys size wise. There's a huge weight range, like 16-17kgs, and depending on the conditions it depends who's game it is. Especially when the wind is onshore and it's a speed race in the lighter stuff the lighter guys do well. When it's a speed race in the breeze it's obviously the bigger guys, but when it's that offshore shifty stuff it's anybody's.

"It's a shame about my 11th but after a pretty shoddy start I did the best I could. My super strength is kicking up the dagger board in the breeze so I was basically sailing twice the distance of the lighter guys trying to catch them up and hoping for a bit of a shift. An eleventh was alright after a pretty rubbish start."

Laser Radial - Ali Young, 34, from Bewdley, Worcestershire, said:

"Yeah, pretty crushed, pretty disappointed at the moment. Made some errors in the last race and haemorrhaged quite a few boats.

"We had pretty big pressure differences, like 20-30 degrees of shift, but there were gains, opportunities for gains and losses all around the track.

"We are presented with a different set of conditions for tomorrow, so I kind of need to get settled into what they are."

Full results and the competition schedule can be found here.

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