After a thrilling day on the water it's crunch time for the RS:X racers. Tomorrow brings the last two full fleet races, with the RS:X women on the Portland Harbour course at 12.00 and the RS:X men following them at 14.00. Both fleets will complete two races and the conditions are looking a significantly lighter approx 8knots, dropping later in the day. This could really shake up the racing as the wind could potentially go below planing speeds, bringing a few different sailors to the forefront.
In the women’s fleet, after a fantastic day Lee of Israel has closed the gap on Marina iof Spain. Marina still leads, but taking a third and seventh position today she is now just three points ahead of Lee. Lee had an outstanding day on the Nothe course, as did Olha who is in third place overall. Tuuli of Finland is in fourth place overall, with 32 points five ahead of Olha. This puts first and second very close but with a significant lead over third and fourth. Whereas Zofia of Poland and Moanna of Germany are nipping at the heels of Olha, with 33 and 34 points respectively. Bryony Shaw is currently in 7th place, for Bryony now a top five result is realistic and Bryony is sure to be on form tomorrow in the lighter winds.
The men’s races were run today in approx 12-14knots of wind on a flat Portland Harbour. Dorian lead from beginning to end in the first race, stretching out a lead of over one minute over Nick Dempsey in second. Nick was sixth to the first upwind mark, but then went on a charge making up place after place on each run. Byron of Greece was on form again, finishing third. The second race saw a shake up at the top, with Toni of Germany taking top honours. Nick was firmly in second before taking a risk to overtake Toni, which backfired a little and allowed Dorian to just overtake him on the final beat. Read more about this in Nick’s interview about today’s racing.
This leaves Dorian in a more than commanding position overall, leading Nick in second by a massive fifteen points. Dorian has nine, with Nick joint on points with Toni, both on 24 but Nick ahead on count back. Just behind these two is Poland on 29, before a big gap to JP Tobin of New Zealand who has 48 points. The battle is on, all sailors wanting to put themselves into a good position going into the medal race.
The action kicks off tomorrow at 12.00 with the women’s two races on the Portland Harbour course, before then men head out for two of their own at 14.00.
Other coverage today:
Nick Dempsey recorded his best day on the water today, with a second and a third place, boosting him above Poland and Germany into second in the overall results. Boards caught up with Nick as he came ashore:
“Today was better, two good results today, but it’s never nice losing a place and going backwards. I’m not happy about that, quite frustrated."
“I was going to say today I had better starts, but at the last start I didn’t. I started on port, next to Dorian and I took him out nicely actually. I lined myself up perfectly, about to head off the line then literally these two dickheads, just crashed full speed head on, straight into each other. So I had to stop. Dorian then goes above, off the line ahead and I have to go around the back. But the race committee just keep setting these port biased lines, so I don’t know, I’ve had a word, they don’t listen to me they do what they like!
Generally, if I can just get into it, get racing and get to the windward mark well I’m away. But I’ve been struggling with the starts this week."
Almost Two Seconds
“On the fourth lap (of the second race) I took a calculated risk, I don’t really like being beaten by the German so I was quite upset about him being in the front. Well not upset, but I was pretty determined to pass him. Really my only opportunity was to tack 100 yards before the exclusion zone, Dorian was 100 yards behind. I thought he would go all the way out there, I’ll tack here and I should be covered by him, I thought it might give me the opportunity to pass but it didn’t, I was completely shafted and lost a place. So pretty annoyed with myself for taking the risk, but then I had to really and that’s racing sometimes."
The Chase for Silver?
“It certainly seems like that at the moment, it makes the racing harder. Dorian can just race freely and doesn’t really have to cover anyone because he’s got such a good score line. And it means, like with the first race today he can just sail away, hit the lay line and that’s it. Whereas the guys behind me dictate what I do, so it’s the game we’re in. At the moment it’s about protecting the silver and chipping away at the German and the Polish, and it will be the same again tomorrow. Then if there’s the opportunity on Tuesday to have a little play with Dorian and take him down then I will try my best to do that.
It’s the Olympic Games, it’s never going to be easy and Dorian has sailed better than I have so that’s why he’s in the position he is in. I don’t think I’ve sailed badly, it just hasn’t gone as well."
“No, I don’t have anything against the German! I like him, I just don’t like getting beaten by him! Just some people it’s like that isn’t it."
Predictions For Tomorrow
“I’m going to win both races. Ben (Ainsle) is going to win his race, and Bart and Perce (Andrew Simpson and Iain Percy) will win their race."
“The Volvo boat was out there today, Sarah’s on that, so that’s quite nice. It’s always nice when you’re racing, you have to stop yourself racing. I’m thinking concentrate, concentrate! That’s the nice thing about the home Games."
Whilst Nick and Bryony are battling it out with the best in the world, these young sailors are getting ready for the Techno Worlds, and wishing both of them lots of luck!
With two races of the RS:X women’s event to come – plus the final double points medal race – Shaw lies in seventh place overall, 16 points from a podium position with two races plus the double points medal race to follow.
Interview and information from the RYA (Ed - as I was on still on boat reporting on the men's racing as Bryony came through the interview zone!) check out more information and reports on all of the sailing classes on the RYA 2012 website here.
There was some drama in the second women’s race, as confusion over the number of laps crept in.
Canada, Finland, Great Britain and possibly another one or two of the racers came through the bottom gate, through the finish then set off upwind to do another lap. We are still not sure if this was for practice or if they thought they had to do another lap, but it sent confusion down through the fleet. These sailors did one more full lap and finished again, but as they went through the finish correctly the first time this result for them stands. Poland however, came through the bottom gate and went through the finish incorrectly on the first time, she also completed one further lap and after one more lap went through the finish line the correct way and marked a finish.
We will clarify the situation yet further when we can and receive more information on the matter.
Coming up later, a few words from Dorian after another dominant day on the water and a full interview with Nick, who now sits in second place going into the final full day of racing.
With day four as a lay day, all competitors are now rested and ready for another two more days of full fleet racing, before the medal race on Tuesday.
The women are due to start at 12.00 today, on the Nothe course, so fingers crossed this will be televised! Their two races will then be followed by two from the men on the Portland Harbour course.
We are being treated to a little sunshine this morning in Weymouth, winds are looking a little lighter than on previous days too. Boards will of course keep you updated on all of the racing right here, so stay tuned!