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Boards at the Olympics: Day Three

After the women’s racing the men came straight out, Przemyslaw, Nick, Toni and more eager to eat into the lead of the on form Dutchman Dorian. With the surprise of the first race action being broadcast on the BBC the excitement was building for all.

The first race started, or at least tried to start in exceptionally gusty winds. All the riders were pushing the line, knowing the importance of a great start. As the pushed harder and the time ticked down increasing numbers of riders got close to, and then sent themselves over the line. A general recall was called as too many were over the line to ascertain specific riders, the restart was scheduled five minutes after this and all riders brought the back to the start ready to go again.

The second start was held under a black flag, meaning if you are over, you are out. Despite this, the line was still pushed as hard as it was in the first. Again a number of riders went over and the general recall flag was hoisted shortly after the start. This meant a number of riders would be out of the race, a disastrous move for anyone but particularly for those within touching distance of a medal.

Sailors headed to the committee boat as the tension built, finally it was revealed that Santiago Grillo of Columbia, Shahar Zubari of Israel, Karel Lavicky of the Czech Republic and  Robert Willis of the USA were all disqualified.

Dorian in control in the men's fleet.

After a short wait the race finally got underway on the third attempt, Dorian, Nick and many riders seemed to struggle at the start. Dorian was one of the first to tack off onto port, as he was swamped by riders and struggling for speed. Aron Gadorfalvi of Hungary was the surprise leader at the first mark. Aron held his position well downwind, but as the sailors rounded the leeward mark a few sailors climbed the ranks. Wang of China brought himself up into fourth by hitting the far right hand side of the course and surprise, surprise, Dorian leapt from fourth to first. In the lead Dorian seemed unstoppable again, with Toni in second and Wang who moved up into third ahead of Zack Plavsic of Canada in fourth.

Nick Dempsey struggled off the line, appearing to get stuck in the middle of the line and unable to get into to clear wind and pick off any riders on the upwind or downwind legs.

But race two was a different story.

The wind filled in a little more and became  a bit more consistent, meaning the men would be full planing all the way around the course. Nick looked brilliant off the line, in a strong position upwind and near to the boat end.

Nick lead from beginning to end, shooting around the course at absolute top speed. Dorian  was a fair way back by his standards (fourth!) at the first mark, but again made is way up the fleet and into second, but not even he could catch Nick. The Polish rider, after a bad first race, came back with a third position in this race and the French man Julien in fourth.

Unfortunately the TV coverage of the racing finished mid way through the first race, there were still some cameras around so fingers crossed there is some footage of Nick’s incredible race that will appear at some point!

Going into the lay day tomorrow, Dorian is counting an almost unbelievable four firsts and one second, discarding a third, leaving him with a total of six points. Second and fourth are covered by only three points, Toni in second on 17, Przemyslaw in third on 18 and Nick in fourth on 19. With Julien in fifth, but some 11 points behind, the top four are out ahead and all in contention for the medals.

Men’s results after six races. 

Women’s results after six races. 

On the next page check out the women’s RS:X update from day three…

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