Clean sweep for Patience and Bithell
Predominantly blue skies, sunshine and light to moderate winds greeted sailors on day 5 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships with a successful day on the water, following Tuesday’s postponements.
Clean sweeps for Great Britain’s Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell in the blue fleet and Australia’s Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page in the yellow saw Great Britain and Australia both on equal points at the top of the board in the Men’s 470 event at the close of play today.
With racing cancelled on Tuesday due to electrical storms, Wednesday’s competition became crunch time for gold and silver fleet allocations.
World No. 1 Belcher said he and Australian team mate Page couldn’t complain about their result after racing in near perfect sea breeze conditions. “We are really looking forward to the finals.”
“Yesterday was a bit frustrating sat ashore with the thunderstorms and they rescheduled three races today, so we knew it was going to be a long day [today],” said Bithell. “We went out there, did our best, stuck to our roles and routines and managed to get three bullets so you can’t ask for more really.”
With five races down and the start of finals series racing on Thursday, the 25-year-old Bithell is looking forward to the step up in competition as they take to the racecourse with all their major rivals, including the Australian pair for the first time this regatta. World number ones, Olympic Champions, World Champions – there’s no doubt that any conditions they’re going to be good in, especially on home waters, but we’re up for a challenge, we’re happy to take it to them. We’ve not actually raced them yet – it’ll be interesting to race them tomorrow in the finals series and see how we get on. You want to be going into gold fleet racing, hard racing, with a solid set of results and so far we’ve done that. Gold fleet racing is harder and we’ll see how we get on with that. We’re happy, we’re confident, our boat speed is good and we’re looking forward to it.”
The scheduled showdown between the 2011 and 2010 European champions in the blue fleet didn’t disappoint.
It was a constant battle between 2011 champions from Croatia Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic and 2010 champions Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis from Greece, with the Croatians finishing the day in third overall and the Greeks now fourth.
Top 20 results
|1||PATIENCE Luke||BITHELL Stuart||GBR||-5||1||1||1||1||9||4|
|2||BELCHER Mathew||PAGE Malcolm||AUS||-9||1||1||1||1||13||4|
|3||FANTELA Sime||MARENIC Igor||CRO||-22||2||2||5||2||33||11|
|4||MANTIS Panagiotis||KAGIALIS Pavlos||GRE||3||8||-16||4||3||34||18|
|5||SNOW HANSEN Paul||SAUNDERS Jason||NZL||1||9||-17||3||7||37||20|
|6||GERZ Ferdinand||FOLLMANN Patrick||GER||-7||7||7||2||5||28||21|
|7||LINDGREN Joonas||LINDGREN Niklas||FIN||1||2||14||-15||6||38||23|
|8||DAHLBERG Anton||OSTLING Sebastian||SWE||2||-16||3||7||11||39||23|
|9||McNAY Stuart||BIEHL Graham||USA||-11||5||8||5||5||34||23|
|10||ASHER Nic||WILLIS Elliot||GBR||-12||4||10||8||2||36||24|
|11||LEBOUCHER Pierre||GAROS Vincent||FRA||4||10||3||7||-16||40||24|
|12||KLIGER Gideon||SELA Eran||ISR||2||-12||9||11||3||37||25|
|13||ROGERS Nick||GRUBE Chris||GBR||14||5||4||2||-20||45||25|
|14||CHARBONNIER Nicolas||MION Jeremie||FRA||-15||6||2||10||8||41||26|
|15||BARREIROS Onan||SARMIENTO Aaron||ESP||5||-27||5||8||8||53||26|
|16||ZANDONA' Gabrio||ZUCCHETTI Pietro||ITA||8||3||11||6||-14||42||28|
|17||MATSUNAGA Tetsuya||IMAMURA Kimihiko||JPN||3||4||17||-18||6||48||30|
|18||SPARKS Phil||KOHLER David||GBR||12||3||13||-25||4||57||32|
|19||COSTER Sven||COSTER Kalle||NED||-21||14||5||6||9||55||34|
|20||CALABRESE Lucas||de la FUENTE Juan||ARG||15||13||4||3||-16||51||35|
Finn world number two Giles Scott continued his impressive form on the water, moving from fourth to second overall in the rankings with two wins and a second on Wednesday.
Racing in the Yellow fleet, Scott was followed closely for most of the day in the 18-20 knots sea breeze by the Netherland’s Pieter-Jan Postma, who managed to edge him out in race 5, to take the lead overall, while Ben Ainslie has dropped to third, after collecting nine points for the day.
Robert Deaves recounts what happened on the water: The story of the day was the disqualification of a large number of sailors who picked up black flags in the blue fleet at the start of race three. These included several of the regatta favourites including Ed Wright (GBR), Rafa Trujillo (ESP), Zach Railey (USA) and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO).
ITO, Peter Reggio, explained, “It was a very trying day. But the conditions were fantastic. The left was favoured and this is probably why the guys were so eager to take this side and push the start which ended up in several recalls and disqualification. In the first race, four boats were disqualified in the first group and 11 in the second over three attempts to start. Tomorrow, we are starting the finals with a race at 2pm.”
It was always going to be a tough day off Fremantle and as the sea breeze filled in and built during the day. The breeze peaking at around 22 -23 knots with a substantial sea forming, and took its toll on the sailors, who spent nearly eight hours on the water and returned exhausted, though happy with a great day's sailing.
In the yellow group, Giles Scott (GBR) immediately took the advantage of the stronger wind and won races three and four. He led most of race five as well, but got overtaken in the closing stages by Postma. Postma picked up two second places in the first races to end the day one point down on Scott, but it was enough to take the overall lead. Overnight leader Ben Ainslie (GBR) didn't look as dominating as he was in Monday's races and picked up three third places to end the day in third overall.
In the blue group, Jonathan Lobert (FRA) took advantage of the disqualified sailors to record a big win in the first race of the day, followed by Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Thomas Le Breton (FRA), and followed that up with a third and second in the races to end the day in fourth overall. Defending world champion Ed Wright (GBR) responded to his black flag disqualification by emphatically winning the next two races by significant margins, with Rafa Trujillo (ESP) picking up a second place and Deniss Karpak (EST) continuing his excellent week with a third.
The sailors didn't get back to the marina until past 18.30, after a very long day on the water, and are glad to have just one race on Thursday.
Though Scott had the best day, he sits in second overnight. “Everything went well today except on the last race when I rounded the wrong mark at the bottom gate and lost a place to second. I had good speed and was able to put some pressure on the early leaders. The first day of racing was frustrating, I had the speed but didn't sail smart. It was good to be fighting it off with PJ.”
Postma added, “I had three good races so I am of course really happy, my speed is improving, I got more into the rhythm. I made a mistake on the first race [on Monday] so I have no way out. I have to be careful and watch out. Ben and Giles have no bad races. Tomorrow is the start of the final, but I will do my business as usual, try to take good start, good speed...I am really looking forward to it!”
Winner of race three in the blue group, Lobert said, “I won the first race from start to finish. It was a real opportunity for me that most of the top guys in my fleet were disqualified at the start. I lead to the top mark after winning the start at the pin end and just increased my lead. It is the first time I have won a race in a Finn Gold Cup. It is so exhilarating.
“The left side paid again on the second race. I had Ed and Rafa in front and with the big waves downwind, I couldn't get any advantage. On the upwind legs they are both really fast so I had to keep my third place. I was not really in the regatta the first day, now I am in the game.”
Wright explained his race wins , “In the second race I came in from the right in the end. I got a couple of shifts out to the right and everyone was defending the left so I was quite lucky there. Downwind I extended, so I was happy with that, but I was struggling with the reaching, heading for the wrong mark.”
On being careful in the rest of the regatta with an BFD on the scorecard, “We're used it it really. We always have bad ones at some point, so this is no different.”
Top 20 results
|3||AINSLIE Charles Benedict||GBR||1||1||-3||3||3||11||8|
|6||WRIGHT Edward Martin||GBR||8||2||(37)BFD||1||1||49||12|
|10||KLJAKOVIC GASPIC Ivan||CRO||3||6||(37)BFD||5||7||58||21|
Conditions proved challenging for the Women’s RS:X class, with competitors tested by 15 knot winds following days of light winds. After three races in both fleets, Israel’s Lee Korzits now leads from Skandia Team GBR’s Bryony Shaw and Spain’s Marina Alabau.
World number one Blanca Manchon is languishing in 13th overall while windsurfing veterans Italian Alessandra Sensini and Australia’s Jessica Crisp are 15th and 16th overall respectively.
Top 20 results:
Sailors on the water for today’s Laser Radial competition enjoyed perfect conditions, but encountered dramatic changes in fortunes.
Race 3 started in 11-15 knots which picked up to a 20 knot sea breeze by Race 5, with swell and chop to contend with.
In the first race of the Yellow fleet, the winner of the last two world championships, Finland’s Sari Multala was back to winning ways in race 3 for the Yellow fleet. Skandia Team GBR’s Alison Young worked her way up from fifth place to second while Australia’s Ashley Stoddart finished a creditable third, after rounding the first leg in tenth place.
Sari Multala also won the second race of the day. “In the first two races I had a really good start,” she said. “I could do what I wanted to do. There were some speed differences in the winds which helped.”
Belgium’s Evi van Acker and American Paige Railey were back on form finishing second and third.
Alison Young saved her best for last to win race 5 in the Yellow fleet. “The first two races weren’t too great. Today I had three good races and I am happy with it,” she said.
In the Blue fleet, fellow Brit Charlotte Dobson put her first day’s 34th behind her and posted her first win of the series. Irish hope Annalise Murphy and the Czech Republic’s Veronika Fenclova came from outside the top eight to finish second and third respectively in race 3.
World number one from the Nethelands, Marit Bouwmeester , did not have a good start and chose the wrong side of the course. However, she managed to claw her way back into race to take tenth place after rounding mark one in 33rd position. “I tried to forget about it and sail how I normally do,” Bouwmeester said of her comeback.
In race 4 Murphy won her second race of the series. “I was leading from start to finish and pulled out quite a lot and it was a good feeling to get so far ahead,” she said.
Bouwmeester came second with Dobson third.
It took Marit Bouwmeester five races to score her first win in Perth 2011, race 5 for the blue fleet. Team mate Claire Blom and a third British Radial sailor, Hannah Snellgrove, took the minor places.
Murphy’s win saw her skyrocket from 26nd to second in the overall standings, while Bouwmeester remains third.
Top 20 results
|1||van ACKER Evi||BEL||1||1||-4||2||2||10||6|
|12||de TURCKHEIM Sophie||FRA||7||11||-12||7||7||44||32|
|15||FOGHT SCHUTT Maiken||DEN||2||9||13||-18||13||55||37|
Women’s Match Racing
Fleeting appearances from the elusive Fremantle Doctor sea breeze set the pace in the Women’s Match Racing on Wednesday with winds of 13-18 knots proving a challenge for some of the crews in Group B, despite earlier wind shifts that enabled the first four flights to engage in tactical racing.
Throughout flights 34 to 43, some crews struggled to clear and fill their spinnaker while others used the windward marks to make strategic advances in the final downwind run.
Morning racing was highlighted by the tense match between defending world champion France’s Claire Leroy and Spain’s Silvia Roca. Leroy was unable to ward off a well-executed gybe from Roca, forcing the French crew to sail in the Spanish team’s backwind. Despite the loss, Leroy’s crew share equal first place the Women’s Match Racing round robin with seven wins and a single loss.
During the afternoon flights, teams began sailing at higher angles to keep their sails in full motion as the wind decreased in Fremantle’s Inner Harbour.
Australian sailors seemed to have more success, with Olivia Price’s team, out sailing the teams of Sweden’s Anna Kjellberg and the Netherland’s Renee Groeneveld to post a tally of seven wins and three losses to join Leroy’s French team in equal first overall in the round robin stage.
Spain’s two boats, skippered by Tamara Echegoyen and Silvia Roca share third place overall.
Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor were back in action today. They won three of their four matches, beating Croatian, Peruvian and American opposition, but narrowly missed out on a fourth at the hands of the Dutch crew skippered by Mandy Mulder.