ISAF World Sailing Games 2006
The ten ISAF World Sailing Games titles have been decided on Lake Neusiedl today, with the Medal Races bringing a dramatic finale to the action in Austria. After a great performance today, Australia has claimed the King’s Trophy, led from the front by Tom SLINGSBY’s (AUS) opening victory in the Laser.
The top ten competitors faced off against each other in a race judged on the water and scored at double points. All ten of the Medal Races could potentially have seen the gold medal change hands, whilst the battle for the King's Trophy was also incredibly tight, with both France and Australia tied on 39 points apiece going into the start of racing.
The forecast was for similar, but slightly lighter, conditions to yesterday. A five to six knot south westerly breeze was forecast for the start of racing at 1100 local time with gusts up to nine knots. This built through the day and moved to the south, with eight knots and gusts to 18 for 1400.
Men's RS:X Medal Race
The RS:X men's medal race got underway with 10 knots from the south at 13:33 local time. Series leader, Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) held an eight point lead going into the race ahead of Maxim OBEREMKO (UKR) and Tom ASHLEY (NZL) who were tied for second and third.
With two minutes to go the fleet were lining up at the committe boat end of the start line. As the final countdown to the start was on, BONTEMPS and ASHLEY began their assault, both going for a high speed start at the pin end. OBEREMKO meanwhile played a different card to the rest of the fleet, and lining up at the pin end he opted to start on port and weave his way through the fleet to go for clear air at the right hand side of the beat.
Accelerating hard of the line, OBEREMKO, Nicolas HUGUET (FRA) shot off to the right of the beat and were soon followed by Nimrod MASHIAH (ISR) and Ioannis CHRYSOCHON, one of two Greek sailors in the medal race. As they charged their way up the beat, there were just three sailors opting for the left of the course. Ricardo SANTOS (BRA), who had an outside chance of a medal, went for the safer middle option and this is where the medal hunt began to unfold.
By the time the fleet had reached the first mark there was already some separation between the sailors. First round was Byron KOKKALANIS (GRE) chased hard by OBEREMKO in second, SANTOS in third and BONTEMPS in fourth. This kept BONTEMPS in the gold medal position and OBEREMKO in second as ASHLEY rounded the mark in sixth.
As they set off downwind most of the fleet headed out to the right of the course. The wind continued to shift and with the race committee advising of a course change as the fleet came through the gate, the affects would soon be evident at the next windward mark.
Onto The Gate
Ricardo SANTOS rounded the gate first having made up two places as they came downwind and could now hope for a medal if OBEREMKO or ASHLEY finished in tenth. Second round was KOKKALANIS and Samuel LAUNAY (FRA) had chosen all the right shifts to round in third. OBEREMKO did not fair so well and rounded in fifth place, handing the gold back to BONTEMPS who was in eighth.
The front of the fleet headed inshore for the first section of the final beat but again OBEREMKO worked his way up the right hand side of the course. Sailing an amazing leg he rounded the final mark with a significant lead over second placed Ivan PASTOR LAFUENTE (ESP). KOKKALANIS rounded third with LAUNAY in fourth. Had he looked back, OBEREMKO may have been pleased to see the one sailor who could possibly take the gold medal from him at the back of the fleet, rounding the last mark in tenth place. ASHLEY would also have been pleased to know this because despite being mid fleet for the entire race, he was now far enough ahead of BONTEMPS to win the silver medal. But still nothing was guaranteed and BONTEMPS could have produced some magic to drag himself back up into contention.
The distance between the front and the back of the fleet was by now considerable and OBEREMKO continued to extend his lead to cross the line first and end his series on 27 points. Second was KOKKALANIS and third LAUNAY. ASHLEY finished fifth to add ten points to his overnight score and end with 35 points and now for him, as for OBEREMKO what mattered was where BONTEMPS finished.
Unfortunately for BONTEMPS he could not do enough. Bringing himself up one place on the final leg he finished ninth to end the series tied with ASHLEY and giving him the silver as he finished the medal race in a higher position.
Men's RS:X Top Ten
Pos Nation Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 MR Pts
1 UKR Maksym OBEREMKO 1 4 1 6 4 (14) 4 5 4 29
2 NZL Tom ASHLEY 4 3 2 (19) 3 4 7 2 10 35
3 FRA Julien BONTEMPS 3 5 3 1 (6) 3 1 1 18 35
4 BRA Ricardo SANTOS (26) OCS 17 6 2 2 9 2 4 12 54
5 GRE Byron KOKKALANIS 2 2 (26) DNF 3 5 22 12 13 2 61
6 FRA Nicolas HUGUET 5 7 4 8 8 7 6 (10) 16 61
7 FRA Samuel LAUNAY 6 9 (13) 4 13 6 11 7 6 62
8 ESP Ivan PASTOR 9 (22) 11 13 11 5 13 6 8 76
9 ISR Nimrod MASHIAH 8 10 15 14 (26) OCS 13 3 3 14 80
10 GRE Ioannis CHRYSOCHON (19) 11 5 12 12 8 10 15 20 93
Women’s RS:X Medal Race
The women's RS:X fleet got away at 1412 local time with the wind from the south and had increased to 12 knots.
With two minutes to go the fleet were lining up at the committee boat end of the line in a pack. Series leader Qui Bin CHEN (CHN) and Charline PICON (FRA) both hung back in clear air away from the pack. With just less than a minute to go Lee KORSITZ (ISR) made her way along the line toward the pin end and as the fleet geared up for the start, PICON began her acceleration with 20 seconds to go and hit the line at top speed. CHEN hit the line right by the committee boat with the rest of the fleet spread along the line.
An individual recall was sounded by the Race Committee and two sailors elected to come back and restart thinking it might be them that was over the line. Wai Man CHAN (HKG) came back around the committee boat whilst Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) went round the other end. These two restarted and shot off in different directions up the beat. This was not good news for MASLIVETS. Coming into the day in second overall, MASLIVETS was the only sailor who had a chance of taking the gold from CHEN and re-starting cannot have been in her game plan. Nevertheless, it is better to be safe, an OCS would certainly have dashed all her hopes for a medal. As it turned out, Flavia TARTAGLINI (ITA) should have been more cautious and she was advised at the first mark that she had been over the line early and her race was over.
Working the shifts up the beat, most of the fleet chose the right hand side of the course. This pack included Blanca MANCHON (ESP) lying in third overall, MASLIVETS, PICON and KORSITZ, surely making the same choice as two past Mistral World Champions and multiple Youth Worlds medal holders would be a good one.
At the first mark it looked like MASLIVETS had pulled off a miracle as she rounded first - could she win gold and do the double for the Ukraine? KORSITZ was next round, followed by CHAN who came flying round the outside off her and shot off downwind, Wei Ming LIU (CHN) was next and then PICON. CHEN rounded in ninth place after choosing the wrong side of the first beat and this put the gold medal in the hands of MASLIVETS who had to finish five places higher to clinch it. Taking a hitch in shore and then back out to the windier part of the course the front three extended their lead by the time they reached the gate.
MASLIVETS held onto her lead for the next two legs and with CHEN dropping back to tenth it looked like she had it sewn up. But that would be to not reckon with the talent of Lee KORSITZ. After a serious disappointment in the third and fourth races of the gold fleet which she scored a DNF and a DNC due to equipment failure she fought hard to make the medal race but stood no chance of winning a medal. An outstanding final leg from KORSITZ in which she reigned in and overtook MASLIVETS saw her punch the air as she crossed the finish line first. Perhaps healing some of the hurt from earlier in the week. KORSITZ's victory also pulled her up the overall rankings from eighth to fourth just three points off the medals.
MASLIVETS was not threatened from behind and took second place comfortably ahead of CHAN. She then had to sit back and wait to see where CHEN would finish to find out what colour her medal would be. Collecting four points for her second place she finished the series on 33 which meant she needed CHEN to finish worse than seventh for her to win the gold medal. But CHEN showed her class once again and sailed hard down the final leg to pull herself up the fleet and eventually finish in seventh. This meant that she won the gold by just one point from MASLIVETS. Blanca MANCHON came in sixth but this was enough to win the bronze medal.
Women's RS:X Top Ten
Pos Nation Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 MR Pts
1 CHN Qiubin CHEN 1 1 (7) 5 1 2 2 6 14 32
2 UKR Olga MASLIVETS 8 3 1 1 (28) OCS 13 1 2 4 33
3 ESP Blanca MANCHON 4 (28) OCS 5 2 13 8 5 5 12 54
4 ISR Lee KORZITS 14 2 (28) DNF 28 DNC 4 3 3 1 2 57
5 FRA Charline PICON 12 9 2 3 (19) 11 4 7 10 58
6 HKG Wai Man CHAN 9 6 8 8 7 4 (15) 13 6 61
7 CHN Wei Ming LIU 10 8 (15) 4 5 10 9 9 8 63
8 GRE Antonia FREY 5 7 6 10 11 5 (12) 4 18 66
9 NOR Jannicke STALSTROM 7 4 4 7 10 (18) 6 15 16 69
10 ITA Flavia TARTAGLINI (11) 11 11 9 6 1 7 3 22 OCS 70