Windsurfing World Champion Nick Dempsey and Laser Olympic and World Champion Paul Goodison lead British fortunes at the halfway stage of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth and Portland on Wednesday (11 August).
Dempsey, who won the RS:X world title at the same venue 11 months ago, took the top spot of the leaderboard for the first time this week, with 2,1 on the water today.
“We’ve had a lot of conditions like [today’s] over the past two months so I was pretty confident I was going to be quite quick,” the Athens bronze medallist said of his day’s performance.
“The only difficult thing today was the starting – you could win or lose the race on the starts so it was really important just to get off on a nice safe start and I had two beauties today so that was pretty good!
“This has been a target event for me all year,” the 29-year-old said on his approach to this regatta at the 2012 sailing venue.
“I want to win here and I’m going to do everything I can to try and win. It’s a long way from over yet but at least I’m in a good position to race the rest of the week.
Goodison was less consistent in the Laser fleet on Wednesday, but still maintains the overall lead heading into the first day of gold fleet racing. He picked up a race win, before retiring at the end of the second race after being adjudged for not taking penalty turns after an infringement. Goodison leads the New Zealander Andrew Murdoch by six points heading into the finals series.
Britain’s most decorated Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie may have described day three of the event as “physically the hardest day of racing of racing I’ve ever done”, but he and Skandia Team GBR Giles Scott hit form amid calmer conditions in Weymouth and Portland.
Ainslie has advanced to second place overall on his competitive return to the heavyweight dinghy class, with 6,2,2 on the water on Wednesday.
But it was Scott who ruled the day, bouncing back from the disappointment of a false start disqualification on Tuesday to pick up two race wins and a fourth, which sees him into the bronze medal spot just behind Ainslie.
Bryony Shaw has advanced to the bronze medal spot in the RS:X women’s windsurfing event, with Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship silver medallist Izzy Hamilton continuing to make her presence known in the senior fleet in seventh place overall.
The Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta continues on Wednesday 11 August. Racing for the Paralympic classes concludes on Friday 13 August, with the final 10-boat medal races for the Olympic classes scheduled for Saturday 14 August.
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