Giles Scott ahead in the Finn
Today's racing at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships was focussed on an incident on the Finn course involving a contratent between Ben Ainslie and a television RIB which had all but swamped his boat from their wash shortly before the end of the second race.
To compound his problems, Ainslie was then promptly black-flagged in the final race, but sailed on with the fleet despite the disqualification.
With Postma first and Ainslie second, third place in Race 9 was taken by Britain's Giles Scott. While race 10 was won by Spain's Rafael Trujillo in a return to form, with Beijing silver medallist, the USA's Zach Railey second and Dane Jonas Hoeg-Christensen third.
Finn expert Robert Deaves describes what happened:
It was a day of stadium racing for the rock stars of the Finn class in Fremantle, at the Finn Gold Cup at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, with two gold fleet races sailed just off a grandstand, which was almost filled to capacity with action hungry spectators. They got far more action than they expected.
After regatta leader Ben Ainslie (GBR) was disqualified from both races today under a Rule 69 hearing, Giles Scott (GBR) takes a two point lead from Pieter Jan Postma (NED) and a nine point lead from defending world champion Ed Wright (GBR) into Sunday's deciding medal race.
As well as being a controversial day, it was also a scorching hot day with a solid sea breeze building around midday to reach 16-18 knots by the time the Finns started. It was ideal conditions for some full on Finn racing, right in front of a willing audience.
For the first time this week the Finns were racing on the Centre course, with the grandstand viewing platform next to the massive PERTH sign, and a confined leeward gate to give the spectators there, and on the beach in Bathers Bay, the best view of the racing. There was also a new course configuration, with three windward-leeward loops with a final dog leg to the finish.
After losing the overall lead on Friday, Pieter Jan Postma (NED) needed to do something special today to close the gap on the leaders. Race nine start after a general recall with a lot of river sailing tactics called into play as the fleet played the left side of the course, tacking, and calling for water to tack, near the sea wall. Postma emerged to round the top mark just ahead of regatta leader Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN) close behind.
Postma and Ainslie battled tooth and nail throughout with Ainslie closing up on the third beat. However Postma proved faster downwind and won his fourth race of the week, while Giles Scott (GBR) moved through the fleet from around eighth at the top mark to third at the finish.
After crossing the finish line, Ainslie boarded a camera boat after almost being swamped by its wake during the final leg and and had an animated discussion with some of the crew before diving out to rejoin his Finn. Ainslie said, “On the final downwind leg of the race, I was hindered by a media boat, the actions of which I felt were seriously impeding my progress in the race.” Though apologies were later offered from both sides, a Rule 69 protest hearing was held and Ainslie was disqualified from both the day's races. This has dropped him out of the medal race.
After another general recall, race ten started under a black flag. Unbeknown to Ainslie, he was its only victim, but carried on sailing unaware of the penalty. His plan seemed clear before the start and he sat on Postma throughout the race to push him as deep as possible.
Tapio Nirkko (FIN) emerged as the early leader in the race but dropped back after the first lap. Eventually Rafa Trujillo (ESP) broke through to the front and held on for his second win of the regatta. Hoegh Christensen was having another great race but lost second place to Zach Railey (USA) on the final downwind.
A capsize for Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) on the final downwind not only cost him a broken mast tip, but also, at the time, had lost him enough points to slip to 11th overall, which meant that Deniss Karpak (EST) filled the final slot in the top ten for Sunday's medal race. However, with Ainslie's double disqualification which cannot be discarded, the Croatian is back in the medal race.
Trujillo said, “In the first race I went swimming at the bottom mark. I slipped in the boat and when I was about sixth. But I am really happy after a difficult day as in the second race I had a good motivation to do a good race to finish the championship. It was one to one downwind, borderline capsizing but I am happy that I won. It was nice out there. I think it was a good show for everyone.”
Former double world champion Hoegh Christensen also had a good day. “I am not that happy with my week but I am happy with today. A fourth and a third is a good day. I had a chance to win the second race but on one downwind Rafa came down with big pressure on the inside and I was on the outside and lost about seven boats. I fought my way back up to second at the windward mark , but Zach managed to pass me on the last downwind, but it was all good.”
The new overall leader Scott had another up and down day. “I rounded deep in the first race, about 15th, and had a good first downwind. I worked my way through and found myself in third which was good, and then the second one was not good. I got caught in the 20 boats fight along the sea wall and didn't come out of that very well.”
“People were calling for water and you'd tack back again and it got a bit tricky. It was a bit like river racing. For the medal race it think its OK but for 40 boats trying to race in such a small tight area, it was a bit marginal at times. And then there was the helicopter. It came a bit close and I saw all the water flying up in the air and PJ was sailing straight towards it. I really thought he was going to capsize. It was way to low and directly over where you were going.”
On Sunday's medal race, “It's quite tight at the top so I am sure that will be a spectacle tomorrow. I will have to look at the points tonight and decide what the plan is.”
Railey said of his day “It was a much better day for me today. I was a little frustrated in the first race. I was in 9th and lost a couple on the downwind, but then I corrected what I was doing wrong in the second race and was able to pass a few boats from seventh at the first mark to second at the finish. All the boats I passed were on the downwind, so it was just an adjustment I made from the first race.”
“So I made the top ten and that was the goal going into today. It feels good as Olympic qualification is all done now. Today was definitely different to where we were racing all week. It was very, very favoured on the left hand side of the course and having the sea wall come into play created a lot of different situations, with rules and stuff and when to tack, which was very interesting. There were a lot of situations out on the course, with close racing, right in front of the stand so I think they got a good show today, that's for sure.”
The medal race is scheduled to start at 16.10 on Sunday, the last of four medal races scheduled and perhaps the one that everyone has been waiting for. With Ainslie out, the field is wide open. Scott has a two point lead over Postma and sits just nine points ahead of defending champion Ed Wright. While only the top three can wind gold, the next three sailors – Hoegh Christensen, Trujillo and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) - are all within reach of bronze. It is going to be some show.
Top 20 results
|3||WRIGHT Edward Martin||GBR||8||2||(37)BFD||1||1||4||2||3||4||10||72||35|
|4||HOEGH CHRISTENSEN Jonas||DEN||4||7||4||7||4||-12||4||12||3||3||60||48|
|10||KLJAKOVIC GASPIC Ivan||CRO||3||6||(37)BFD||5||7||15||13||11||5||16||118||81|
|15||le BRETON Thomas||FRA||10||2||3||10||9||-31||23||22||10||13||133||102|
Defending world champions, Australian's Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page, did enough on the penultimate day of racing to put them in the box seat in Sunday’s Medal Race off Bathers Bay.
The pair picked up sixth and fifth placings on Saturday for an overall 20 points, well clear of Great Britain’s Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, and Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, who are both on 37 points.
All three crews are now guaranteed medals.
The mathematics are clear. With double points on offer on the final day, the British or the Croatians would need to win and the Australians finish last in the 10-boat medal fleet, something that might be unusual given the Aussies have won six races and finished no lower than sixth of the nine counting races.
The Croatian pair had a stellar day, winning the ninth race and taking third in the 10th while Great Britain’s Luke Patience finished eighth and ninth to slip six crucial points behind the Australians going into the Medal Race.
Two of the biggest movers in the final two races were Israel’s Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela and Greece’s Panagiotis Kampouridis and Efstathios Papadopoulos.
The Israelis finished fifth and first to go from 17th to a medal-race sixth while the Greeks were third and second, lifting their final ranking from 22nd to 12th. Nick Rogers and Chris Grube made the cut in seventh, with fifth their best possible result.
The men’s 470 Medal Race is scheduled to start at 1410 on the Centre course on Sunday.
Top 20 results
|1||BELCHER Mathew||PAGE Malcolm||AUS||-9||1||1||1||1||3||1||1||6||5||29||20|
|2||PATIENCE Luke||BITHELL Stuart||GBR||5||1||1||1||1||-28||9||3||8||9||66||38|
|3||FANTELA Sime||MARENIC Igor||CRO||22||2||2||5||2||1||8||(41)DSQ||1||3||87||46|
|4||KLIGER Gideon||SELA Eran||ISR||2||12||9||11||3||2||4||(41)BFD||5||1||90||49|
|5||CHARBONNIER Nicolas||MION Jeremie||FRA||15||6||2||10||8||-27||2||10||11||12||103||76|
|6||LEBOUCHER Pierre||GAROS Vincent||FRA||4||10||3||7||16||25||-27||4||2||7||105||78|
|7||ROGERS Nick||GRUBE Chris||GBR||14||5||4||2||-20||4||3||16||18||20||106||86|
|8||SNOW HANSEN Paul||SAUNDERS Jason||NZL||1||9||17||3||7||13||10||12||16||-18||106||88|
|9||MANTIS Panagiotis||KAGIALIS Pavlos||GRE||3||8||16||4||3||8||16||17||-24||15||114||90|
|10||BARREIROS Onan||SARMIENTO Aaron||ESP||5||27||5||8||8||20||-29||6||9||4||121||92|
|11||DAHLBERG Anton||OSTLING Sebastian||SWE||2||16||3||7||11||-33||11||13||4||27||127||94|
|12||KAMPOURIDIS Panagiotis||PAPADOPOULOS Efstathios||GRE||16||13||11||4||15||16||-23||20||3||2||123||100|
|13||McNAY Stuart||BIEHL Graham||USA||11||5||8||5||5||-21||12||19||21||16||123||102|
|14||ASHER Nic||WILLIS Elliot||GBR||12||4||10||8||2||34||6||2||-35||26||139||104|
|15||GERZ Ferdinand||FOLLMANN Patrick||GER||7||7||7||2||5||23||22||(41)BFD||19||13||146||105|
|16||MATSUNAGA Tetsuya||IMAMURA Kimihiko||JPN||3||4||17||18||6||17||5||18||-33||21||142||109|
|17||MARINHO Alvaro||NUNES Miguel||POR||-27||12||15||21||10||6||7||8||7||24||137||110|
|18||BOUVET Sofian||GUILLARM Vincent||FRA||29||-32||8||12||12||9||15||7||13||6||143||111|
|19||COSTER Sven||COSTER Kalle||NED||21||14||5||6||9||-22||21||14||12||11||135||113|
|20||CALABRESE Lucas||de la FUENTE Juan||ARG||15||13||4||3||16||19||18||(41)BFD||10||17||156||115|
On the eve of the all-important Medal Race, world number one Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands overtook Belgian Evi van Acker to take the overall lead by six points with the USA's Paige Railey third on 53 points.
However with two fine wins, Irish ace Annalise Murphy moves up to fourth place after dominating today's Gold fleet racing.
Race 9 was delayed initially, but kicked off when the sea breeze settled in at 12 to 18 knots. It later strengthened to 17-20 knots, building up waves and swell, perfect downwind conditions for the Laser Radials.
Annalise Murphy sailed her own race, leading from start to finish to win race 9 without much competition from the rest of the fleet.
Marit Bouwmeester came back strongly to finish seventh after rounding the top mark in 31st place on the Centre course.
Bouwmeester’s consistency saw her take a fifth finish in the final race of the day – securing her the overall points lead – while former competition leader Evi van Acker suffered her worst result for the second time, a 19th.
Alison Young will be Skandia Team GBR’s representative in the Laser Radial final. Two solid races of 8,3 sees her in seventh heading into the last day of the regatta.
Sunday’s Medal Race for Laser Radial is scheduled to begin on Centre Course at 1310.
Top 20 results
|2||van ACKER Evi||BEL||1||1||4||2||2||3||-19||2||13||19||66||47|
|20||FOGHT SCHUTT Maiken||DEN||2||9||13||18||13||29||-44||30||9||20||187||143|
Women’s Match Racing
The repechage component of Women’s Match Racing began on Fremantle’s Inner Harbour Saturday.
With a fairly consistent sea breeze blowing in the afternoon, nine flights were completed on the first day of repechage competition, which will determine the final list for the quarterfinals.
The competition between Israel’s Lee Korzits, Spain's Marina Alabau and Pole Zofia Noceti-Klepacka went up a notch in the RS:X on Saturday with the three leading sailors even closer on points after the final two Gold fleet races. Just eight points separate the three sailors, ensuring each is guaranteed a medal as well as a place in RS:X history. Korzits placed fourth and third in the final Gold fleet but remains on top overall, closely followed by Alabau with Noceti-Klepacka third.
Despite Korzit’s overall lead, Saturday’s racing belonged to Noceti-Klepacka, the Polish sailor winning both race 9 and race 10. The solid sea breeze also the Ukraine's Olha Maslivets, who finished third.
A disappointing day for Skandia Team GBR's Bryony Shaw, with 18,11 from her two races, sees her out of contention for the podium spots in the RS:X women’s windsurfing event. She heads into the final race in sixth overall,
The women’s RS:X Medal Race is scheduled to begin at 1510 on Sunday Perth time on the Centre Course.
Top 20 results: