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.
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.
On the next page check out the women's RS:X update from day three...
Day three on the race course was one of the most eventful to date, with general recalls, black flags, amazing comebacks and some full power racing from both the men and the women.
The women were the first on the Portland Harbour race course, starting late in the day at 14.00 Marina from Spain, Zofia from Poland and Lee from Israel were the women to watch.
But it was Britain’s Bryony Shaw who got off the line in one of the best positions, making it to the upwind mark in second position just behind Lee, then overtaking Lee on the downwind to be in the lead at the bottom mark. The gusty and shifty winds were proving difficult for all, 12-18knots on the course, whilst Bryony tried to cover the fleet the sailors under her got a lucky lift bringing them into contention. By the second up wind Bryony had slipped to fourth, with Lee, Zofia and Olha of the Ukraine ahead of her. Zofia then overtook Lee on the downwind moving her into the lead, which she would hold for the rest of the race. Lee and Olha stayed second and third respectively, whilst Tuuli of Finland took fourth ahead of Marina with Bryony, who was overtaken by Marina on the last leg as she dropped a gybe in the slalom finish, in sixth position.
The women’s second race was a brilliant show of speed and skill from Zofia. With one win under her belt she seemed full of confidence and absolutely flying in the inconsistent winds. Zofia lead from the start, she has overtaken for a while by Marina after the second upwind leg, but Zofia took the led straight back downwind and did not look back. Olha was in hot pursuit, finishing just a few seconds behind Marina, with Tuuli in fourth and Moana of Germany climbing the rankings with another solid performance in fifth. Bryony finished in eighth position, after a tricky start Bryony could not seem to make up any ground on the girls ahead either up or downwind.
Going into the lay day tomorrow, Marina is in an incredibly strong position with three firsts and two seconds counting, (there is now one discard in play) giving her a total of just seven points. After a spectacular day, posting two bullets, Zofia now moves into second place with Lee of Israel in third. On 21, 22 and 23 points respectively Moana, Tuuli and Olha are still very much up there, and Bryony Shaw is currently sitting in seventh position with 31 points. With four more races, then the medal race on Tuesday it is certainly all still to play for.
Coming up next:
Men's write up, interview with Dorian and interview with Nick!
Head to the next page for an introduction to day three of the racing here in Weymouth and check below for the full commentary of the races.
In the men’s fleet Dorian from Holland is extended his lead with another bullet in the first race of the day yesterday, another great start put him ahead of the fleet at the first windward mark and again he showed incredible board speed to hold his position throughout the race. Race four for the men, the second yesterday, saw Dorian off of the top spot for the first time, getting stuck in a little dirty air he did not fly off the line in his usual style, though he still finished in a more than respectable third place.
This leaves Dorian nine points ahead of his closest competitor, the Polish sailor who lies in second. Przemyslaw is shining in the stronger winds, always a tough competitor in planing conditions, he did not finish as well yesterday posting a seventh and a fourth, in comparison to his two seconds on the first day.
Only five points separate Przemyslaw in second, Nick Dempsey in third and Toni Wilhelm in fourth, making it all to play for in the coming days. After posting a few solid races to start, the crowds were wowed with a photo finish for Nick yesterday as he took his first race win. Today out in the harbour, where Nick has said he will be a lot more comfortable, if he can get off the line in a good position Nick definitely has the speed and tactics to take him through to another race win.
We have been informed that the conditions will be a gusty 14-20knots today, possibly increasing to over 20knots in the early afternoon. As well as the wind being up and down, it is also set to be the most shifty conditions so far, with the wind flicking around up to 20 degrees. This will mean tactics and racing awareness will play an even bigger part. When the wind is constant, as Dorian said “it can be like trains on a track, one after another" whereas when the conditions become more turbulent it’s all to play for as many places can we won and lost on a single beat or downwind leg.
With these conditions the racing should be even more exciting than in previous days and the racers will have to be even more switched on that before, as they battle it out for glory on day four.
Head to the next page for a round up and introduction to the racing for the women on day three.
Racing will start a little later today, with the RS:X women due to start at 14.00 and the men to follow these two races with two of their own.
We have already had a few rain showers here in Weymouth today, but the wind is looking good out on the course. The wind should be looking to increase through the day, rising to around 20knots in the early afternoon. This will provide some full power racing on the Portland Harbour course.
In the women’s fleet Marina Alabau of Spain is in a commanding position, posting three firsts and a second so far. Marina is excelling in the planing but gusty winds, winning some races by a considerable margin, she will certainly be the one to watch going into the racing today.
Lee Korsiz currently holds second position, after a bad start to yesterday’s racing Lee came back to pressure Marina in the final race. These results, combined with a first and third on the first day puts her in a strong position with thirteen points.
In third place, just three points behind Lee is the German racer Moana Delle. Moana has been a very consistent racer so far, posting a second, a fourth and two fifths. She always seems to be in and around the top, ready to capitalise on any mistakes from the leaders.
Zofia of Poland has shown moment of brilliance in these conditions, with incredible board speed, but seems unable to keep the consistency as with a second, third and fifth, she currently has a twelfth position counting. On form Zofia can really contest the top riders, especially in the stronger winds so if today provides the winds forecast she will also be one to watch.
Bryony Shaw is currently in sixth position, just behind the rider from Finland Petaja Tuuli. Bryony has showed some great results, brilliant upwind and downwind speed as well as the tactics to finish at the top of the fleet. She will certainly be at home racing in the harbour today, so fingers crossed she can deliver the results we all know she is capable of.