Late start for gold fleet today… Medal Race tomorrow
The top sailors at the RS:X World Championships in Takapuna sailed just one race today following which the overall standings determine the top ten to sail tomorrow’s medal race.
Alessandra Sensini ITA closed the gap on overnight leader Barbara Kendall NZL and the old rivals go into the world championships medal race on equal points. Faustine Merret FRA and Marina Alabau ESP are tied up both on 33 points twelve points adrift of the leaders.
Tom Ashley NZL goes into the medal race on 36 points with a four point buffer despite placing 10th in race nine. Shahar Zubari of Israel retains second place overall with 40 points.
Joao Rodrigues of Portugal who was 2nd in today’s gold fleet race improved his standing to now sit in 3rd overall at the conclusion of racing today. He is five points back from Zubari.
It was late afternoon before the men’s and women’s gold fleets got underway with an inconsistent breeze making things difficult for race organisers and competitors alike.
The silver fleets sailed first and two races took place in 6 to 8 knots of breeze which dropped away later in the afternoon. The gold fleet hit the water for the start of race nine only to come back ashore shortly after as the breeze dropped and racing was postponed.
Finally at 5:30pm the women’s gold fleet started race nine of the regatta on this the penultimate day of the regatta. The men’s fleet followed.
Gold Fleet Women – Race Nine
Alessandra Sensini ITA stormed out to lead the pack and further extended on the fleet as the race progressed. Sensini’s dominance resulted in a 53 second margin across the finish line with Malgorzata Bialecka of Poland finishing 2nd and Australia’s Jessica Crisp 3rd.
Meanwhile overnight leader Barbara Kendall NZL didn’t get the start she would have wanted and rounded the first mark in 12th place. She climbed back through the fleet to cross in 7th place and holds onto a share of the overall lead.
Gold Fleet Men – Race Nine
France’s Samuel Launay took out the men’s gold fleet race late today crossing first in what was a shortened course in the dying breeze. Joao Rodrigues of Portugal was 2nd while Aichen Wang of China was 3rd.
The world titles will be decided on the waters off Takapuna tomorrow in the double points medal races. Organisers have advised that they may start racing earlier than the midday schedule as strong winds are forecast.
On water umpiring during the medal race ensures that no on shore protests can follow and results as they come to hand will be final.
As the medal race sailors reach Takapuna Beach a podium presentation will take place on the reserve in front of the Takapuna Boating Club. The official prize-giving will take place tomorrow evening.
Provisional Top Ten Standings
RS:X Men’s World Championships Day Five
1st Tom Ashley NZL – 36 points
2nd Shahar Zubari ISR – 40 points
3rd Joao Rodrigues POR – 45 points
4th Ivan Pastor Lafuente ESP – 54 points
5th Przemyslaw Miarczynski POL – 59 points
6th Samuel Launay FRA – 61 points
7th Nick Dempsey GBR – 71 points
8th Jon Paul Tobin NZL – 71 points
9th Nicholas Le Gal FRA – 73 points
10th Piotr Myszka POL – 75 points
Provisional Top Ten Standings
RS:X Women’s World Championships Day Five
1st = Alessandra Sensini ITA – 21 points
1st = Barbara Kendall NZL – 21 points
3rd = Faustine Merret FRA – 33 points
3rd = Marina Alabau ESP – 33 points
5th Charline Piccon FRA – 41 points
6th = Mingli Duan CHN – 48 points
6th = Blanca Manchon ESP – 48 points
8th Bryony Shaw GBR – 51 points
9th Peina Chen CHN – 53 points
10th Pauline Perrin FRA – 59 points
For full results visit http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2008.html