Day 6 Women’s RSX: Polish star sails for victory in honour of deceased friend
Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka had more on her mind than just winning RS:X races at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships on Thursday, 8 December.
Noceti-Klepacka, 25, said her turnaround from Monday’s racing, where she had a 10th and an 18th to winning two of Thursday’s three Gold fleet races was because of a personal tragedy.
“My head has changed. My friend died, so I was very sad. On the first day my head wasn’t in the sailing, but everyone spoke to me and told me to sail for him.
“I am sailing for him. Sometimes there are things more important than sailing,” she said.
“My first day was really bad but now I’ve recovered. Now I can fight for a medal. I feel very fast.”
Noceti-Klepacka didn’t just win races six and seven in the Gold Fleet. She smashed the opposition as she headed home by large margins, firstly in light winds and then in a moderate sea breeze.
“I was really happy with my first race today, it was really light winds, four knots. Everyone thinks I’m good in windy conditions but I’ve shown I’m also good when there are light winds.”
She said she was happy to be sailing at the top of the fleet. “I’m not scared of any conditions. If it’s light winds, medium winds or very windy conditions, I can sail everything. Top five finish for sure.”
Her results in Thursday’s racing, which included a sixth in race eight, saw her lift to third overall.
Israel’s Lee Korzits leads the Women’s RS:X competition in the ISAF Worlds on 14 points with Spain’s Marina Alabau second on 20.
Noceti-Klepacka in third place has 27 points, two clear of Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw.
France’s Charline Picon in on 30, followed by Huang Ye (CHN) on 35, Italians Laura Linares (45) and Flavia Tartaglini (52) and China’s Li Ling (56).
While the top-ranked sailors came good in the eighth race to maintain their top-10 rankings, thoughts are turning to those just outside the top grouping, which will contest Sunday’s medal shootout.
Saturday’s two races will complete the 10-race programme and one elite athlete hovering on the precipice is Italian Alessandra Sensini, the Sydney 2000 gold medallist, who is sitting in 10th place.
World champion Blanca Manchon (ESP) is 13th and Germany’s Moana Delle slipped from 11th to 14th with three double-figure races, her first of the week.
“My performance was average. I had two bad starts. The first race, there were light winds and I was on the wrong side of the course, which made it hard to catch up. I had another bad start in the second race.
“I don’t mind about conditions but 10 knots would be best and I would be most confident. I just wish for decent starts and consistency. Qualifying in the top 10 would be nice,” Delle said
In the Silver fleet, Greece’s Angeliki Skarlatou won two races after a 16th.