Gusty winds challenge windsurfers on day three

Windsurfers at the 2008 RS:X World Championships waited ashore with another postponement on day three of the regatta until a breeze filled from the south and racing started just before 2o’clock. The local sailors lead with both Tom Ashley and Barbara Kendall topping the leader board going into the rest day.

The men’s fleet were first on the water sailing race five of the eleven race series, then making way for the women’s fleet to race. A second race for both men and women followed.

The shifty breeze from the south was unstable, gusty and unpredictable producing some challenges for the sailors and some interesting results. After race five sailors are able to discard their worst score from their series so the drop now comes into play.

No change at the top of the men’s leader board with Tom Ashley still leading, Lafuente of Spain in second and Myszka of Poland in third. Ashley was pleased to emerge from today with the lead and no disastrous results.

Ashley discards race five in which he placed 13th though his nearest rivals Lafuente and Myszka can’t afford another poor race. Lafuente had a 35th today and Myszka a 33rd and therefore need to pull good results for the remainder of the regatta to stay well placed.

Ashley’s leading margin going into the rest day is narrow – with ten points he is just one point clear of Lafuente on eleven points. Myszka is four points back on 15.

Barbara Kendall mastered the trying conditions on the Hauraki gulf with two seconds on the water today which gives her the overall lead in the women’s fleet. She now sits on eight points with Italian rival Alessandra Sensini three points back on eleven points.

Spanish windsurfers Blanca Manchon and Marina Alabau improved their overall standings and now sit in third and fourth respectively ousting the French girls, Merret and Piccon back to fifth and sixth.

Both the British hopes are comfortably in the top ten, although both suffered mix fortunes today. Nick won his first race by an impressive margin, but then got absolutely mullered by a completely unpredicted monster windshift at the start of the second, to end up rounding the windward mark in 45th. To his credit though he managed to fight back all the way to 16th, which is always good for the morale. Likewise, Bryony sailed a brilliant first race to come 2nd, but then she too had to dig herself out of trouble and fight back to 10th. Still, with five more races, including of course the double-points medal race, it’s still very much all to play for, and Nick in particular remains well within touch of the podium positions. Pretty much everyone at the front of the fleet has used up their discard now, so from here on, any slight mistake can drop you right down the pack.

Sailors and organisers will enjoy a rest day tomorrow before racing resumes in gold and silver fleets at midday Thursday.

Men – Race Five

Blue group raced first on day three of the regatta after a two hour delay due to light winds and then shipping traffic. Samuel Launay of France won the race after a tight battle with Grodzicki of Poland, and the two Greek sailors Kaklamanakis and Kokkalanis. It was Grodzicki crossing in second place, just eight seconds behind the Frenchman. Kaklamanakis GRE was third.

Overnight leader Tom Ashley NZL had his poorest race to date after some confusion on leg one he rounded mark two in the middle of the fleet. In an impressive recovery he came back to claim 13th place in what was race five of the event.

Yellow group followed and it was Great Britain’s Nick Dempsey who romped home a whole minute and a half ahead of Ivan Pastor Lafuente of Spain who added a second place to his already impressive scorecard. Icinger of Turkey was third.

Men – Race Six

Casper Bouman of the Netherlands had his first race win today taking out race six in the blue group. Przemyslaw Miarczynski of was 30 seconds behind in second place while Kokkalanis was third and local boy Tom Ashley was fourth

Some new names rose to the top in race six of the yellow group sailed in today’s gusty unpredictable winds. Toni Wilhelm of Germany claimed a win ahead of Julien Bontemps of France. Fabian Heidegger of Italy was third.

Women – Race Five

Olga Maslivets of Ukraine won the first race of the day for women crossing first in the blue group after climbing up through the fleet. Barbara Kendall NZL was just five seconds behind Maslivets recording a second place. Galecka of Poland was third.

In the blue group Blanca Manchon of Spain lead from start to finish taking out race five with a 30 second margin. Bryony Shaw of Great Britain was second and overnight leader Alessandra Sensini was third.

Women – Race six

Defending world champion Zofia Klepacka of Poland won race six in the blue group leading around every mark and finishing nearly a minute ahead of second place. It was local girl Barbara Kendall in second and Faustine Merret of France in third.

Malgorzata Bialecka of Poland won the last race of the day, race six for the women’s yellow group. She was just nine seconds ahead of Carolina Borges of Brazil. Marina Alabau of Spain was third, while overnight leader Alessandra Sensini was sixth.

Provisional Top Ten Standings

RS:X Men’s World Championships Day Three

1st Tom Ashley NZL – 10 points

2nd Ivan Pastor Lafuente ESP – 11 points

3rd Piotr Myszka POL – 15 points

4th Shahar Zubari ISR – 24 points

5th Przemyslaw Miarczynski POL – 25 points

6th Casper Bouman NED – 27 points

7th Joao Rodrigues POR – 28 points

8th Nick Dempsey GBR – 30 points

9th Dorian van Rijsselberge – 31 points

10th Nicholas Le Gal FRA – 32 points

Provisional Top Ten Standings

RS:X Women’s World Championships Day Three

1st Barbara Kendall NZL – 8 points

2nd Alessandra Sensini ITA 11 – points

3rd Blanca Manchon ESP – 14 points

4th Marina Alabau ESP – 14 points

5th Faustine Merret FRA – 16 points

6th Charline Piccon FRA – 17 points

7th Mingli Duan CHN – 20 points

8th Bryony Shaw GBR – 31points

9th Peina Chen CHN – 33 points

10th Zofia Klepacka POL – 34 points


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