RS:X World Championships – Day One
First day of racing, and it’s bright sunny conditions, with a light onshore
sea breeze. It took a while for the wind to build, but racing eventually
got under way mid afternoon. The fleet is so huge that both fleets are
split into two groups (‘blue fleet’ and ‘yellow fleet’ at the start, then
Gold and Silver in the final races). During the first three days of racing
the blue and yellow groups will be re-shuffled daily based on overall
standings from the previous day.
After a postponement due to light winds, racing started and the men
completed two races in around 6-8 knots. It was quite tactical and some big
wind shifts split the fleet open. Kiwi sailor Tom Ashley, who won the NZ
National here a few weeks earlier, is sailing extremely well, and two times
Olympic medal winner Nikos Kaklamanakis from Greece won the first race in
blistering form. Nick Dempsey had two perfectly respectable races,
finishing 5th and 7th, solid consistency which in his fleet put him 4th
overall. He made a tactical error on the beat in the first race, but then
overtook a lot of people to pull back a long way. In the second race he got
buried in a start line incident, but again fought back strongly. So plenty
of grounds for optimism there. However, because the results from each fleet
are then combined to produce the overall results, it gives a slightly odd
hue to the current rankings, and is why is actually currently lying 8th
overall on the event scoreboard!
The women took to the course mid afternoon and sailed two races in slightly
stronger winds (9 knots) , coming ashore around 5:30pm in the evening.
Alessandra Sensini ITA had an outstanding start winning both her races on
day one. Barbara Kendall NZL shares second place with Charline Piccon FRA
both scoring a win and a second in the two races sailed today. British hope
Bryony Shaw was showing blistering speed to windward, but was slightly off
the pace on the downwind legs due to not being fully comfortable with a new
sailing technique she’s been working on. Nevertheless, 7th in each race
showed superb consistency and plenty of ground for optimism.
Neither of the British sailors are specifically looking for medals here;
they have already qualified for the Olympics and are thus working on
specific goals in areas of technique and tactics. Nevertheless, with both
being hugely competitive sailors, they are certainly not going to let
anyone get past them without a fight.
In a bit more detail then:
Race One – Men
Shahar Zubari of Israel took race one in the yellow group leading the race
from start to finish. He crossed the finish line around 50 seconds ahead of
Piotr Myszka of Poland, who climbed his way through the fleet to finish in
second place. Local windsurfer Jon Paul Tobin was third in race one of the
In the blue fleet Nikolas Kaklamanakis of Greece was won race one leading
from start to finish. Ivan Pastor Lafuente of Spain was able to pull in New
Zealand’s Tom Ashley as the race unfolded overtaking the kiwi who was
second until the final mark. Lafuente finished second and Ashley finished
Race Two – Men
Portuguese windsurfer Joao Rodrigues took out race two in the yellow group,
with Ho Chi Ho close behind in second place. Zubari added a third place to
his race one win to complete a great start to the regatta.
In the blue group Tom Ashley rounded mark one in third place but climbed up
to lead around mark four and take out race two. It was pay back for
Spaniard Lafuente who crossed the line in second place behind Ashley.
France’s Nicholas Le Gal was third.
Race One – Women
Alessandra Sensini won race one in the yellow group while Blanca Manchon of
Spain was second and reining Olympic champion Faustine Merret of France was
In the blue group Charline Piccon of France overtook local legend Barbara
Kendall on the final leg of race one to take the win, with Kendall crossing
in second place. Young Italian Laura Linares was third in her first race.
Race Two – Women
Sensini of Italy took out race two, Marina Alabau was second and Peina Chen
of China crossing over a minute behind her in third.
The top three place getters in the blue group were the same as in race one
although the order changed. Barbara Kendall won race two just ahead of
Charline Piccon while Laura Linares was third.
Provisional Top Ten Standings
RS:X Men’s World Championships Day One
1st = Tom Ashley NZL – 4 points (3, 1)
1st = Shahar Zubari ISR – 4 points (1, 3)
1st = Ivan Pastor Lafuente ESP – 4 points (2, 2)
4th = Piotr Myszka POL – 7 points (2, 5)
4th = Nicholas Le Gal FRA – 7 points (4, 3)
4th = Jon-Paul Tobin NZL – 7 points (3, 4)
7th = Ho Chi Ho HKG – 11 points (9, 2)
7th = Nimrod Mashiah ISR – 11points (4, 7)
9th Nick Dempsey GBR – 12 points (5, 7)
10th Nikolas Kaklamanakis GRE – 14 points (1, 13)
Provisional Top Ten Standings
RS:X Women’s World Championships Day One
1st Alessandra Sensini ITA – 2 points (1, 1)
2nd = Barbara Kendall NZL – 3 points (2, 1)
2nd = Charline Piccon FRA – 3 points (1, 2)
4th = Marina Alabau ESP – 4 points (3, 1)
4th = Blanca Manchon ESP – 4 points (1, 3)
6th = Peina Chen CHN – 6 points (4, 2)
6th = Faustine Merret FRA – 6 points (2, 4)
6th = Laura Linares ITA – 6 points (3, 3)
9th Mingli Duan CHN – 12 points (5, 7)
10th Lise Vidal FRA – 13 points (7, 6)
For full results visit http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2008.html