Mills and Clark rock
Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark set an early marker in the Women’s 470 after they recorded two bullets on the first day of 470 sailing at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the Olympic Test Event.
In Race 1 the girls finished ten seconds ahead of China’s Wang Xiao and Huang Xufeng but in Race 2 the Brits blew the field away in fine fashion rounding every mark in first place with no one threatening them. In the end they finished over a minute ahead of Denmark’s Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer.
“We’re definitely pleased with the day," said Clark, 30. "The first day of the regatta is all about not losing it really, and there was definitely potential for that with our first race being up on the Nothe course. It’s the first proper race we’ve ever done there and definitely there were some anxious moments but we managed to get round in first.
“For our second race we moved into the harbour which was a bit more straightforward. We were patient up the first beat, choosing our moment to get up the first beat and then after that it was quite straightforward really. We just had to keep ourselves in between the mark and the fleet and it was quite straightforward from thereon. It was just about keeping your eyes out of the boat and looking.
“It was obvious on that Nothe course that it was going to be short and sharp shifts and that was the style that was required, and then looking upwind when we got into the harbour there were a lot more, bigger patches of breeze coming down and not that big a shift range so you had to adjust your style for that.”
Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luisa Barbachan end day one of the Women’s 470 in second place overall following a third place finish in Race 1 and a fourth in Race 2. And Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Teja Cerne are third overall on nine points.
In the Men’s 470 France’s Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos lead the way on seven points after they came fourth in Race 1 and third in Race 2. Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) came eighth in Race 1 but went on to win Race 2 by 13 seconds after they rounded every mark in first place. The Argentineans sit second on nine points. Spain’s Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Aaron Sarmiento Padilla also have nine points but sit in third place after coming third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2.
Britain's Nick Rogers and Chris Grube started their regatta solidly with a fifth and a seventh to see in them in sixth overall.
“It’s always quite stressful, the first day. When you wake up in the morning you just want to get out there and on the water,” Grube explained. “We had quite a long wait this morning – our racing didn’t start until 2.10pm so I went back to bed! It’s always good to get the first day out of the way, and to get two good results as well."
“We could have actually won the last race. We sailed a little bit too conservatively at times. In the second race we ended up doing a 720 turn which put us back in the fleet, right towards the back of the fleet and then we pulled back to seventh from there, so we were happy with that.”
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (AUS) started well in the Laser fleet finishing the first day of Laser sailing in first place overall on six points. Slingsby came down in fifth in Race 1 with the race win going the way of Rutger Van Schaardenburg (NED). In Race 2 Slingsby dominated from start to finish claiming his first bullet of the regatta.
After two races Andrew Murdoch (NZL) is second overall on nine points and in third place with 11 points is Rasmus Myrgren (SWE). Race 1 victor Van Schaardenburg is down in fifth place overall after coming 14th in Race 2.
Skandia Team GBR's Paul Goodison lies fourth after a 6,7 score today: "It was nice to get out there and finally get started. There were some pretty tricky conditions today, but it’s nice to be up and running. The first race was quite tricky in the building breeze. It was quite pin-biased, I got a good start and got her up there, but then I had an unfortunate incident just before the windward mark which probably left me third round, so did a 720 just to cover my back and then that put me in the pack, so I had a bit of a tough fight there.
“In the second race I had a reasonable start, but then the wind just went and went and went left so all the guys on the left rounded in front and then I had a bit of a comeback to get seventh in that one. It was a tricky day but two alright results so I’m reasonably happy with that.”
Evi Van Acker (BEL) leads the Laser Radial fleet on seven points after recording a card of 3-4. The World #1 Belgian leads Marit Bouwmeester (NED) by five points after the Dutch girl came ninth in Race 1 and third in Race 2. Throughout the ISAF Sailing World Cup there was little separating Van Acker and Bouwmeester as the Dutch girl pipped the Belgian to the Laser Radial title by one point. With plenty of racing remaining the battle between the two is sure to continue.
Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) won the first race of the day in a tight battle with Charlotte Dobson (GBR) and Van Acker (BEL) which saw just five seconds separate the top three. The Belarusian is ninth on 24 points. The second race win went to Finland’s Sari Multala who is seventh on 20 points.
In the Men’s RS:X Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) continue to lock horns and at the end of the second day of RS:X racing they both sit on six points each. Dempsey won Race 3 followed by the Dutchman who finished 52 seconds behind and in Race 4 Van Rijsselberge bounced back to defeat Dempsey by ten seconds. On Van Rijsselberge, Dempsey said, “For sure he is my biggest rival. Both of us seem to be sailing better than the rest of the fleet.”
The Brit and Dutch RS:X sailors have been head and shoulders above the rest after two days of racing with Beijing 2008 RS:X silver medallist Julien Bontemps (FRA) down in third place on 22 points and Pzemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) one point behind in fourth.
Zofia Klepacka (POL) stole the lead off Marina Alabau (ESP) in the Women’s RS:X after a bullet in Race 3 and a third in Race 4. The Polish RS:X sailor has nine points with the Spaniard on ten points. Alabau recorded double bullets on the opening day of sailing and will be disappointed with her seventh in Race 3. But she went on to record her third race win of the regatta in Race 4. And with the discard coming into play tomorrow and Alabau in fine form it is possible the Spaniard will head into the reserve day with a perfect card. Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw moved from fifth place after day one to third place after day two following a 2-5.
Tomorrow sees the start of fleet racing for the 49er, Star and Finn fleets as well as the continuation of the Men's and Women's RS:X, Men's and Women's 470, Laser and Laser Radial. The Quarter Finals of the Women's Match Racing will also take place. Racing is scheduled to start at 11:00 local time.
Full results (whenever the organisers see fit to pull their fingers out...) on the unspeakably poor event microsite here
Photos below by Ingrid Abery/www.ingridabery.com