No Doctor today
Day three of the Perth International Regatta proved a testing one for sailors and race officials alike as the famed Fremantle Doctor struggled to appear, giving rise to light and shifting wind conditions and an upset schedule.
Despite the two abandoned races which sandwiched the only Finn class race that made the scoresheet today, Skandia Team GBR’s Finn sailors continue their ascent up the leaderboard.
Three of the British Finn quartet competing at this test event for the 2011 World Championships finished inside the top four in the one counting race to be held. Giles Scott crossed second to take second place overall behind France's Jonathan Lobert, while Ben Ainslie improved his overall position to just behind Spain's Rafa Trujillo, in fourth place thanks to his third from today. Reigning World Champion Ed Wright took fourth in today’s race leaving him sixth .
The 49er fleet managed their full complement of three races out of Fremantle Sailing Club, with Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign the top British boat after six races thanks to a 4,1,3 today.
“It was a tricky day but we seemed to stick to our trends and sailed conservatively and it paid off in the end,” Fletcher explained. “There’s a lot of snakes and ladders going on out there in the racing and we had plenty of both!
“But it’s going really well here for us – we’re learning how our boat speed is compared to our competitors the gains we’ve made between here and Sail for Gold and think we maybe need to get a bit fatter for these conditions!”
European Champions Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh saw good pace on the water again today, but were OCSed in the first race, while Steve Morrison and Ben Rhodes picked up two second places from their three races.
After the three races Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen now hold a 10 point overall lead from Draper and Greenhalgh, with France's Emmanuel Dyen and Stephane Christidis in third.
Outteridge said the Australians had a good morning’s racing in the shifting easterly offshore breeze. "“We got it right with two race wins. In the middle race we lost an early shift but still managed to come home fifth. It was a really good day."
Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell made the best of the one race held for the 470 Men’s fleet, with a second place putting them in second overall, while Skandia Team GBR teammates Nic Asher and Elliot Willis are fourth on the leaderboard with a fifth on the water today. The Israeli crew of Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela remain in overall first place.
In the women’s 470 event, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie from New Zealand continue to hold overall lead, while among the Brits Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes picked up a sixth in the shifting conditions, with Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark eighth - still carrying an OCS penalty from yesterday until the discard takes effect after five races.
The RS:X fleets completed two races today in the moderate conditions. With four now completed, the Men’s RSX leader is Dorian van Rijsselberge from Netherlands and Marina Alabau from Spain is heading up the open fleet.
Skandia Team GBR’s windsurfers didn’t enjoy the best of fortunes on their second race day, with Nick Dempsey getting caught out on two big windshifts in his second race, and Bryony Shaw picking up an OCS penalty in her second race today.
But the Beijing bronze medallist was still upbeat about her Perth experience in spite of her racing not quite going to plan so far. “We’ve had some great training up until the event and actually I’ve been going really well and trying loads of things,” she explained. “It’s the time of year to be working things out and certainly in the Fremantle Doctor sea breeze that blows I’m going really well over the chop.
“Once the racing started the conditions have changed and again I’ve been working things out in the those different conditions. So it’s been really good training in the racing, even though the results haven’t gone so well so far!”
The Laser Radial is being sailed as an open class, with women now filling thee of the first four overall places with Sari Multala of Finland second, three points ahead of team mate Tuula Tenkanen. Charlotte Dobson is the third female Laser Radial sailor with a discardable 27 and a fourth from her two races today
In the Laser Nick Thompson holds fifth overall. He crossed the startline early in his opening race of the day but made up for it in the second race by posting a fourth. Paul Goodison is just behind his teammate in sixth overall, with 6,8 from his races today. The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby, is leading in the Laser after five races, followed by Croat Tonci Stipanovic with the New Zealander Andrew Murdoch in third.
Medal races are scheduled for the Laser, Laser Radial and Finn classes on Saturday 20 November, with medal races for the remaining classes scheduled for Sunday 21 November.
Full results here