A hot, day and light breeze brought little joy to many of the sailors hoping to consolidate their fleet rankings ahead of the weekend finals races at the Perth International Regatta today with only three classes seeing any racing on this fourth day of the 2011 World Championship test event. The famed Fremantle strong sea breeze, known locally as the Fremantle Doctor, failed to eventuate as the temperature soared to a maximum 35.2degC by late morning.
The RS:X windsurfers and the Laser Radial sailors, scheduled to race in Fremantle’s morning offshore winds, managed both of their planned two races, but for the five other classes to contest this regatta there was a long wait in soaring Fremantle temperatures before racing was eventually abandoned.
In the RS:X Men, Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberge placed third and second in today’s two races to head the fleet. France's Julian Bontemps and Spain's Ivan Pastor are tied for second and there is also a tie for fourth place between New Zealand’s Jon-Paul Tobin and Richardo Santos from Brazil. In the RS:X Open event Spain's Marina Alabau is ahead of Australian Jessica Crisp and Flavia Tartaglini of Italy after six races. The RS:X finals are scheduled for Sunday.
On this penultimate day for the Laser Radial class, Skandia Team GBR’s Charlotte Dobson and Alison Young have both made the cut for Saturday’s final medal race, with Dobson just one point off the podium positions, currently occupied by Finland’s Sari Multala and Tuuma Tenkanen, and Alberte Lindberg of Denmark.
Young, who earned her first senior podium finish this year at the Miami leg of the World Cup series, is ninth overall and seventh female in the Open Radial fleet.
Although the famed ‘Fremantle Doctor’ sea breeze failed to show for a second day, a determined race committee on the Finn course tried in vain to get some racing in on Friday. Ultimately it proved impossible, so Skandia Team GBR sees all four of its boats through to the medal race on Saturday. World bronze medallist Giles Scott leads the charge in second overall, five points from the series leader Jonathan Lobert (FRA) while Ben Ainslie is currently in fourth.
“All things considered I’m reasonably happy with that,” explained the triple Olympic Champion. “I haven’t been sailing the boat much for the past couple of years and certainly sailing fitness and a few other things I need to sort out, so it’s been a fantastic week for me in that respect, racing against these guys and seeing the physicality of the Finn racing and how it’s moved on.
“There’s lots to work on, it’s been a good week of racing and hopefully we’ll have a good medal race tomorrow.”
With a close points margin in the top ten after just five races held, a medal is also a possibility for present Finn World Champion Ed Wright, currently in sixth, while Andrew Mills go into the finale in seventh overall.
Medal racing will also be held on Saturday for the Laser class, which also failed to see any race action today.
Skandia Team GBR’s world silver medallist Nick Thompson and the Laser Olympic Champion Paul Goodison will head into the medal race tomorrow with a shot at the podium spots as well. With no racing possible for them on Friday, they remain in fifth and sixth respectively with the same points total, and are just two points adrift of the bronze medal position, so there’s all to play for in the final 10-boat showdown.
There were mixed fortunes for Skandia Team GBR’s windsurfers, who did race on Friday morning. Bryony Shaw posted a 2,6 to see her placed fifth overall with two days of the regatta left to go, while Nick Dempsey picked up a sixth in his opening race of the day, but was one of 12 sailors who couldn’t complete the second race within the time limit. He’s seventh overall, with teammate Elliot Carney, also timed out in race two, in 11th overall and needing a good day on Saturday if he’s to make the cut for the medal race on Sunday.
With no racing today for the 470 Men, 470 Women or 49er classes, the scores remain unaltered, with all classes eager to get racing on Saturday to strengthen their positions going into Sunday’s final day.
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.