Another small step forwards for Sari Multala
Finland’s defending champion stepped further clear of the chasing pack today when she sailed to a well earned fifth place from another difficult race at the Laser Radial World Championships on the Clyde off Largs. Both Women’s and Men’s current title holders lead their championships.
As the women’s fleet entered the Finals phase today there was little in the way of extra cooperation from the fickle and shifty breezes which finally thwarted all attempts to complete the scheduled two races when the easterly expired to nothing.
Multala’s fifth gives her a seven points advantage over the young Dutch sailor Marit Bouwmeester who sailed to an eighth today.
When the fleets set off in the morning in a promising NW’ly breeze which was not showing on most of the forecasts, then perhaps that was a foresight of what was likely to happen. Early sunshine was the bonus, but after an initial rain shower the Men got away best in the westerly breeze which perhaps mustered all of six knots. The women took longer to get their start away as the breeze swung around.
But the dark clouds over Largs town soon took effect, shifting the breeze around in direction, developing holes and areas of light pressure.
On the first downwind for the Women’s gold fleet, the breeze died nearly completely and on the second upwind the extra pressure had started to push in, finally true to the forecast from east, but when it did come in, the course ended slightly skewed.
Indeed on the final beat the wind had finally clocked through the best part of 100 degrees since the start direction.
With three races now planned for Tuesday, the penultimate day, Multala’s sights are set firmly on just repeating the same kind of consistent assured strategies that have served her well so far.
“I think I have become more steady as a sailor, better able to sail in whatever comes along, and I can perform well no matter what the conditions are,” remarked the 32 year old Finnish sailor, who won the World title at a breezy regatta in Japan last year.
As to today's racing Multala said: “It was variable, a bit challenging really. The first upwind was okay, it was still quite steady but then the wind started to die first, then shift to the right slowly. And then in the end it had gone around about 180 degrees. But it was always quite obvious something was happening to the right because there was some really dark clouds but it juts took a while until the wind reached us, we were close to the second top mark by then and so the top sailors were pretty much OK by that stage. I was in the top ten and then I came up a few places on the second upwind because I saw the line of breeze coming across on the right and got there before some other girls.
“Overall for me it is still about getting steady, good result for me in the top flight. Today was a bit strange for sure, but many places get a bit strange on some days. But certainly it is a bit different to how it was when we were training here. Then it was a lot steadier. For me if they do more than two races tomorrow it is really just about focussing on staying solid.
"I think I have become more steady, more regular and can perform well no matter what the conditions are. I hope that comes with the training, and maybe some of it is age and experience.”
China’s Dongshuang Zhang read the big advantage to the left on the first beat, where there was more wind pressure, and won the women’s race with a lead of about 200 metres over Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), the Olympic gold medallist and Paige Railey (USA) in third. Railey holds third overall with France’s Sarah Steyaert in fourth.
Steyaert gave her impressions of the day: "It was shifty. The wind was NW and then it turned to the east but because I was good on the first upwind and downwind then I was OK. I just really had to be aware. Once you were in the top group there you could be OK. I have a disqualification from the jury which I am looking to get reopened but that is not good for me. I had a protest against me which I did not know. So I did not go to the hearing and so hopefully it can be reopened tonight."
Gold Flight Overall After race 6 Inc. 1 discard - top 50
|4||Steyaert Sarah||FRA||23||4||1||3||(DSQ [58.0])||4||93||35|
|8||Van Acker Evi||BEL||6||11||-21||14||1||15||68||47|
|10||de Kerangat Mathilde||FRA||18||7||15||5||-19||10||74||55|
|13||Elias Calles Wolf Tania||MEX||4||-10||7||5||5||42||73||63|
|17||Romero Steensma Susana||ESP||7||-26||6||13||15||25||92||66|