Into the medal zone

Taxing conditions for competitors on day five of the Olympic test event in Athens

Monday August 25th 2003, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: none selected
The Olympic sailing waters dealt out another tricky day for the competitors at the Pre-Olympic test event with mixed results for the Team GBR sailors. Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie maintains his lead in the Finn class and fellow Olympic champion Shirley Robertson and Sydney team mates Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield are both lying in bronze medal positions in the Yngling and 470 class respectively.

Ainslie managed to maintain his overall lead over the Finn fleet but the racing didn't go all his way. A basic mistake with the self-bailing system, which allows water to run out of the boat, meant that he was taking on water around the race course and went from first place to fourteenth by the end of the race. Despite this set back he still has a fourteen-point lead over the 1996 Olympic silver medallist Sebastien Godefroid of Belgium.

Ainslie explained the problem, "I launched with the bailer down and managed to catch it on the trolley, so I knew when I left the dock that it might be a problem but I didn't have enough time to fix it. I got to the race course and the wind was up so it wasn't a problem and I worked my way into first place. Unfortunately the wind then dropped below five knots and water started coming in, so I was trying to get rid of the water with a sponge and drive the boat and try and watch the wind, so inevitably I dropped down the pack to 14th."

It was a good day for fellow Olympic champion Shirley Robertson sailing with Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb in the three person Yngling keelboat. After a day of attempted starts and being sent back to shore to wait for the wind, they finally managed to sail a race. The GBR team made a great comeback from a poor first mark position to finish the race in fourth place and keep their position amongst the medals.

Ayton commented, "we got a bit trapped on the start and struggled a bit from there on, but managed to come back on the last beat. We were a bit up and down but that's just racing and what we are really learning here is that you never give up and the racing really isn't over until you cross that finish line. Here it seems that there is always going to be a chance to come back."

Despite a set back in their regatta after suffering a broken rig earlier in the week, Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy and crew Steve Mitchell were back on form. They managed a fifth and a third in the tricky conditions and moved up to eighth place overall.

Percy summed up the day, "anything could have happened today in these light conditions so an eight point day is a good day by any reckoning."

In the 470 fleet Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield continued to move up the scoreboard and despite a relatively high scoring first race, they are in third place overall. Unfortunately for the British sailors and many of their competitors they were forced to count a 'did not finish' (DNF) in the second race as they ran out of the 20-minute time limit that they needed to be in behind the lead boat. As their worst result of the regatta is a 12th so
far, despite counting a DNF, they still moved up a place in the overall standings into bronze medal position. Fellow 470 sailors Christina Bassadone and Katherine Hopson are currently lying in eighth place overall.

Results, after day 5

Finn
1, Ben Ainslie, GBR (2,6,1,1,2,6,(14)) 18 pts
2, Sebastien Godefroid, BEL (11,7,2,3,4,(16),5) 32 pts
3, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, POL (10,3,5,(DNF),3,12,1) 34 pts

49er - Lay day
1, Piero Sibelo/Gianfranco Sibelo, ITA (2,6,6,4,4,(15),1,8,11) 42 pts
2, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP (8,1,9,(21),10,2,5,1,9) 45 pts
3, Chris Nicholson/Gary Boyd, AUS (3,4,18,1,11,1,(OCS),3,7) 48 pts
GBR
4, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith, GBR (10,2,7,2,(15),5,8,13,8) 55 pts

Star
1, Torben Grael/Marcelo Ferreira, BRA ((12),2,1,7,1,6,1,10) 28 pts
2, Peter Bromby/Lee White, BER (6,1,3,4,(10),1,7,8) 30 pts
3, Marc Pickel/Anton Kolb, GER (2,(9),4,5,5,5,8,6) 35 pts
GBR
8, Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell (1,4,17,6,(DNF),DNS,5,3) 55 pts

Yngling
1, Hannah Swett/Joan Touchette/Melissa Purdy, USA (3,1,2,(10),4,1,8) 19 pts
2, Kristin Wagner/Anna Hoell/Veronika Lochbrunner, GER (6,6,1,6,(9),5,2) 26
pts
3, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Webb/Sarah Ayton, GBR ((10),4,9,3,2,4,4) 26 pts

470 Women
1, Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa, GRE (1,3,(OCS),2,7,4,5,11) 33 pts
2, Ingrid Petitjean/N Douroux, FRA ((OCS),12,6,6,2,10,1,3) 40 pts
3, Susanne Ward/Michaela Ward, DEN (3,11,2,10,5,13,(14),2) 46 pts
GBR
8, Christina Bassadone/Katherine Hopson ((OCS),4,16,3,14,8,9,15) 69 pts

470 Men
1, J Molund/M Andersson, SWE (4,7,3,10,11,10,4,(DNF)) 49 pts
2, P Foerster/Kevin Burnham, USA ((OCS),17,10,5,3,7,9,2) 53 pts
3, Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield, GBR (7,12,6,6,12,1,11,(DNF)) 55 pts

Laser - Lay day
1, Robert Scheidt, BRA ((15),4,2,1,3,1) 11 pts
2, Mate Arapov, CRO (8,6,3,6,2,(OCS)) 25 pts
3, Andrea Geritzer, AUT (3,(18),9,8,6,4) 30 pts
GBR
17, Paul Goodison (6,9,13,(DSQ),11,OCS) 74 pts

Mistral Men - Lay day
1, Nikolas Kaklamanakis, GRE (8,5,(DNF),1,1,1) 16 pts
2, Gal Fridman, ISR (11,3,2,4,2,6) 17 pts
3, Yuanguo Zhou, CHN (6,7,1,9,(14),2) 25 pts
GBR
13, Nick Dempsey ((17),9,14,12,7,11) 53 pts

Mistral Women - Lay day
1, Alessandra Sensini, ITA (1,(2),1,1,1,1) 5 pts
2, Lee Lai Shan, HKG (2,3,6,2,4,(14)) 17 pts
3, Faustine Merret, FRA (4,4,2,(8),7,5) 22 pts
GBR
9, Natasha Sturges (9,12,(OCS),5,3,8) 37 pts

Europe - Lay day
1, Sarah Macky, NZL (1,(13),1,6,3,3) 14 pts
2, Siren Sundby, NOR (2,6,(DNF),1,2,6) 17 pts
3, Lenka Smidova, CZE (4,(7),7,3,5,1) 21 pts
GBR
22, Andrea Brewster (13,19,10,(24),18,23) 83 pts

Tornado - Lay day
1, Darren Bundock/John Forbes, AUS (1,1,3,4,(11),1) 10 pts
2, Santiago Raul Lange/Carlos Mauricio Espinola, ARG (2,2,1,(OCS),5,10) 20
pts
3, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley, GBR (6,(14),10,6,1,2) 25 pts

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