Cold but winder day

Skandia Sail For Gold regatta saw a little more wind on day two

Thursday September 18th 2008, Author: Gail Willows, Location: United Kingdom
Today, Wednesday, the wind provided moderately brisk easterly breezes, creating some challenging races for the 300 sailors competing at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, UK . The event has proven a huge draw for many of the top foreign sailors to gain experience and knowledge of the next Olympic sailing venue. The regatta has entrants from Bulgaria, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Many sailors are enjoying the excellent windy conditions found in Britain, and are looking forward to the 2012 Games.

“There is a good wind here but it is tricky too because it changes direction and you have to concentrate on this. I would like to win here because it is a good competition, but there are lots of other good competitors so it will be very tough for me. The facilities are excellent here and I would like to be part of the 2012 Olympics, I think it would be very good because they have done lots of work towards it.” Blanca Manchon, ESP, RS: X 8.5 women’s windsurfer said.

In the RS:X windsurfing class Blanca Manchon, from Spain is leading the women’s RS:X 8.5 class, with Beijing Olympic bronze medallist, Shahar Zubari from Israel enjoying the conditions with a results today with two firsts and two seconds from today’s racing, lying ten points ahead of second placed Ali Masters (GBR). Weymouth based Olympic Bronze medallist Bryony Shaw and Beijing representative Nick Dempsey are also in medal positions; Bryony currently third and Nick second overall. The 16 year old youth RS:X 8.5 windsurfer Ali Masters, from Somerset, scored a third, fourth, first and fifth respectively, to come up the rankings and now lies second overall.

“This competition is very important to me because this is where the big events will be for me in the next four years. I have to get to know the waters and the winds because they change as much as the buildings, it reminds me very much of Eilat where I sail in Israel – it is similar but the temperature is a little lower here. As a venue for the Olympics it seems perfect, everything will be here that people need – and hopefully I will be here too, but we will see,” said Israeli Sahar Zubari sailing in the RS: X 9.5 fleet.

Southampton based 21 year-old Finn sailor, Giles Scott (GBR), has continued his excellent form and is leading the fleet overall nine points ahead of second placed Edward Wright (GBR). With Ben Ainslie absent from the Skandia Team GBR line-up in the Finn Class, Giles has been able to shine at this event amongst top international and British competitors. Giles has just finished at Southampton University studying Geography, and now hopes to concentrate on his sailing career and has high aspirations for 2012.

“It has been another good day, I’m still winning and I have been really enjoying the racing. The conditions are approaching ten knots and shifty, which makes the racing really competitive for everyone. I know a lot of the British competitors really well as we were all out training with Ben Ainslie in China, it’s good to be back racing in the UK against one another. Hopefully the rest of the week goes to plan and my performances keep me at the top." said Scott.

Skandia Team GBR’s World and European 470 class champions, Nic Asher and Elliot Willis, are showing their excellent form leading the 470 fleet at this regatta. They have high hopes for being selected for 2012 Olympics, after narrowly missing out for the 2008 Games to eventual silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield.

“It’s the first time we’ve sailed together since June so we’re looking to get ourselves back to the form that saw us win both the Europeans and Worlds in 2008. We know that to get that Games spot for 2012 we need to be impressing people and we also need to prove we can sail well in Weymouth, because this is where it is all going to be happen in four years time,” explained Asher.

In the Women’s 470 class the international sailors, Berta Betanzos and Tara Pacheco (ESP) have just knocked the home duo Hannah Mills and Katrina Hughes off their top spot at the end of the second day of racing. The British Women's 470 team, Mills and Hughes, who base their sailing campaigns from Weymouth, have had consistent strong performances finishing first overall after day one of racing and today scoring 24 points leaving them second overall only four points off the lead.

Great Britain’s 49er Beijing representatives, Steve Morrison and Ben Rhodes, from Exmouth, have had an excellent day to come up the rankings with a scoreline of three second places and one fourth, meaning they are leading the 32 strong 49er fleet at the end of day two.

“It’s good to be home, I’m not quite in my back garden but it’s a lot closer than Qingdao. We weren’t going to race until the New Year because we wanted a bit of time off and be away from the boat, but with this being the 2012 venue and the venue for the Worlds we want to be down here as much as possible and it is a great place to sail. This is what sailing is all about, we’ve got up to 12 knots and varying winds and it certainly makes a difference compared the breeze we had in Qingdao,” said Morrison.

In the Laser class Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison was back on top form today winning the last race of the day and finishing second in another, leaving him in second place seven points off the lead. Paul’s training partner and London 2012 Olympic hopeful Nick Thompson is the overall leader winning three out of the six races.

“My performance has been ok so far, I’ve been trying to put a consistent run of results together. Yesterday was tough but today was a lot better, I put some really good racing together it’s always enjoyable racing in Weymouth as the conditions test everyone in the fleet. The wind has been really shifty which means no one is getting massive leads during races, this makes the racing intense and it’s not easy for anyone to get away,” commented current leader of the Laser class, Nick Thompson.

The Laser Radials saw China rule the waves for a second day with Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Lijia Xu (CHN) continuing her good form and increasing her lead to ten points. In second place is Skandia Team GBR sailor Andrea Brewster who has shot up the leader board thanks to consistent results over the two days.

All the Olympic Classes are sailing except the Yngling, the Tornado and the Star this week. Next year the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta will become part of the ISAF World Cup series, and is expecting in excess of 600 entrants from around the World.


Laser Radial

1-Lijia Xu - China
2-Andrea Brewster - GBR
3-Mathilde De Kerangat - France


1-Nick Thompson - GBR
2-Paul Goodison - GBR
3-Mark Powell - GBR

470 Men Fleet

1-Nic Asher and Elliott - GBR
2-Pablo Santurde Del Arco and Abelardo - ESP
3-Luke Patience and Chris Grube - GBR

470 Women’s Fleet

1-Berta Betanzos and Tara Pacheco - ESP
2-Hannah Mills and Katrina Hughes - GBR
3-Lisa Erikson and Astrid Gabrielssoin - SWE


1-Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes - GBR
2-John Pink and Rich Peacock - GBR
3-Morgan Lagraviere and Damien Guillou - FRF

RSX 8.5

1-Blanca Manchon - ESP
2-Ali Masters - GBR
3-Bryony Shaw - GBR

RSX 9.5

1-Shahar Zubari - ISR
2-Nick Dempsey - GBR
3-Aichen Wang - CHN


1-Giles Scott - GBR
2-Edward Wright - GBR
3-Andrew Mills - GBR

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