Olympic

Strong winds for Day 4 at Sail for Gold

The fourth day of racing at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth and Portland brought strong winds from the word go, with 18-22 knots gradually building throughout the day. Racing for the 49er and 49erFX fleets was canned while other classes suffered postponements, cancellations and some exhilarating racing for the classes who did take to the water.

2012 Olympic champion Lijia XuClick image for a larger image

The Laser Radial fleet completed two of the three scheduled races, and with a race win - her seventh of the eleven races so far – followed by a third for her efforts today, the double Olympic medal winning Lijia Xu (CHN) amassed a 22-point lead at the top of the table to take the Sail for Gold crown ahead of tomorrow’s double points-scoring medal race.

Xu’s fellow team mate Dongshuang Zhang has as good as wrapped up the silver medal, while the battle for the Radial bronze however is still on with Annalise Murphy (IRL) clawing back a seven point gap from British Sailing Team’s Chloe Martin in the fight for the podium position – with the pair equal on 58 points.

Nick Thompson (GBR) clinched his first race win of the regattaClick image for a larger image

Sam Meech (NZL) has increased his lead at the top of the Laser fleet despite recording his worst score of the regatta with a first followed by 15th in the final race of the day, with the Kiwi only needing to sail a clean race tomorrow to secure event victory. Nicholas Heiner (NED) remains in second while Nick Thompson (GBR) clinched his first race win of the regatta to move into the podium positions.

The Nacra 17 course completed three races Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) remain in control at the top with 2-1-4, while Lucy Macgregor and Tom Phipps (GBR) are five points behind in second. Star of the day was Australia’s pairing of Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darminin who took control of today’s fleet with two seconds and first, moving them up one place from fifth to fourth, only two points off a podium position.

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darminin of AustraliaClick image for a larger image

The RS:X 8.5 and 9.5 raced in the morning in the more moderate conditions, and it's still all about the one-two double act from British Sailing Team Nick Dempsey and Elliot Carney. The young pretender to Dempsey’s throne had another impressive day with a first and three seconds to hold onto his overnight lead, while Dempsey added three wins and a second to claw back points on his GBR counterpart. The gap between them is now a single point – setting up an intense medal race decided on the closing day of regatta.

17-year-old Robert York had another day impressive day in the RS:X 8.5 rig racing alongside Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw, scoring three firsts and a fourth, cementing him in second place. Shaw holds on to her lead at the top of the scoreboard with 3-1-2-6, while the two-time ISAF Youth Worlds silver medallist Izzy Hamilton occupies third, once again posting consistent results with three seconds and a third.

Nick Dempsey added three wins and a secondClick image for a larger image

In the Finn fleet, Andrews Mills has opened up a two point gap over Mark Andrews with two seconds from the two races completed today. Peter McCoy sits third after recording his first race win of the regatta in today’s opening race.

In the 2.4mR Paralympic class Megan Pascoe stormed to two races win opening up and four point gap over Paralympic gold medallists Helena Lucas who posted two thirds, while Barend Kol (NED) remains in third. John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas also added a further two race wins to there almost perfect scorecard of nine wins from the 11 races completed.

Megan Pascoe stormed to two races wins to increase her leadClick image for a larger image

With no racing in the high performance skiff class, Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern (IRL) head into tomorrow’s three medal races in pole position, harbouring a six point lead over John Pink and Simon Wheeler in second. Australia’s Will Phillips and Rhys Mara are poised in third. In the women’s 49erFX class, Charlotte Dobson and Nicola Groves take a healthy 11 point lead into tomorrow’s final day, while Kate Macgregor and Sophie Ainsworth are second and Frances Peter and Mary Rook are third.

Racing is scheduled to start at 10am Thursday with one double-points medal race for all classes apart from the 49er and 49erFX, who will have three, and the Paralympic classes who will sail two final single-points fleet races. Similar conditions to today are expected with a breezy start to the day, expected to moderate by lunchtime.

Matt Carter
12 June 2013 21:06 GMT


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