For Great Britain 's Simon Hiscocks, it must have given him a stomach-churning sense of deja vu from the Games four years ago, when he and helmsman Ian Barker lost the lead in heat one on a similarly fickle Sydney Harbour. A similar fate happened to Hiscocks today with his current helm Chris Draper, as their 2nd place behind the Swiss became a 9th by the finish (later to be improved to 8th following the Poles’ DSQ).
Barker, who won a Silver medal with Hiscocks in Sydney , is out here in a coaching role for the Irish 49er team, and was grateful not to be competing today. "It was a light sea breeze at the beginning of the race, but then it started going patchy up the last beat, with crews standing in the middle of the boats. Rast was coming down the last run to the finish and could even lay the mark, but then the wind switched off for him. There wasn't much he could do about it."
At least the 49ers have finally got a race off, although the 19-boat fleet remains five races behind schedule. "Yesterday the fleet had looked very nervous," said Barker, "a combination of first race nerves with high-wind nerves." But no racing took place in the 30-knot-plus winds of Monday's Meltemi wind, probably a wise decision even for such an accomplished gathering of skiff sailors. "Today people didn't look so nervous, although they were out there a long time for just one race. The climate can really take it out of you," Barker commented.
It's still early days to make any predictions but despite their mediocre finishing position, Barker reckoned the GBR team looked pacy. He also tipped the Brazilian team of Andre Fonseca and Rodrigo Duarte, who through all the snakes and ladders of the final leg to the finish, retained their place and scored 2nd.
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