RS:X day

Big winds return for day three of the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Thursday May 26th 2011, Author: Corinne Rolland-McKenzie, Location: Netherlands

It was a frustrating third day for the sailors at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. With wind increasing to 30 knots, racing was abandoned and boats sent to shore after just four races were completed.

The Men’s RS:X were the only fleet to successfully complete their two scheduled races. The day belonged to Taehoon Lee (KOR) who won Race 5 before finishing second in Race 6 to end the day on 12 points is in third. The top of the Men’s Standings is tight with just three points are separating Dorian Van Rijsselberge in first, on nine points, and Lee in third.

Van Rijsselberge, who is sailing in home waters, has been the pick of the sailors in the RS:X fleet this week. After winning gold at the Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia Mapfre the Dutchman is well on track to maintain his 100% record so far having only competed in two out of four ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas before Medemblik. His nine points gives him a two point advantage over Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL) who finished 2-3 today.

The rest of the fleet have a tough task of catching Van Rijsselberge, Tobin and Lee as Canada’s Zachary Plavsic, in fourth place, finds himself trailing the frontrunners by 15 points.

In the Laser, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Australian Tom Slingsby has jumped to the top of the leaderboard. He won the only race today in the Laser fleet and has six points after discarding his tenth place finish in the third race. He commented: “I am very happy, these are my optimum conditions. It is unfortunate that the second race is cancelled because I love the breeze. I hope I can win this regatta as it will then count towards my Olympic selection. If I can't win here I will try in Weymouth and then Kiel.”

Brazil's Bruno Fontes came second today and with ten points, he leapfrogs early leader Milan Vujasinovic. The Croatian finished the first day with double bullets but was unable to find some similar form on an equally breezy third day. His seventh place finish has seen him slip to third overall on 13 points.

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy won the only Laser Radial race today. “I like the breeze!” she said. “But I have to admit that the last downwind was scary!” Murphy now leads the strong Laser Radial fleet, “I am not complaining, I had a good result. I was leading by a long distance at the top mark, but Marit Bouwmeester caught up on the downwind, although I could stay in front.”

Murphy is now 14 points ahead of Croat Tina Mihelic, who finished fifth today, and is now on 15 points after discarding her first day's disqualification. “I am satisfied with my result," she said. "I am not so strong in the breeze, I am much lighter than the others and it is harder for me to hike when the wind is strong. A fifth is a good result and I am relieved that I can finally discard my penalty.” Marit Bouwmeester enjoyed better results in the breeze with a second, and is now up to third overall. Overnight leader Gintare Scheidt finished 13th today and has dropped to fourth overall.

In The Women’s Match Racing, just six races took place in Group B before proceedings were abandoned. Renee Groeneveld (NED) qualified for the Gold Group after defeating Julie Bossard (FRA). Groeneveld has won seven out of eight races and has one more to go.

With one race apiece remaining, Ekaterina Skudina (RUS), Silja Lehtinen (FIN), Anna Kjelberg (SWE) and Stephanie Hazard (NZL) are in contention for the final two qualification places. With six race wins China’s Ru Wang has completed her nine races, if results go her way she will qualify for the Gold Group.

After a long postponement ashore, the race committee announced that further sailing was cancelled for the day. Tomorrow's forecast predicts a more “sailable” weather and racing will start at 9am for the Women Match Racing and from 10am for the other classes. The Laser and 470 Men will race in Gold and Silver fleets.


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