Displaying items by tag: Tokyo 2020
Irish Sailing National and International Judge Chris Lindsay of Carrickfergus Sailing Club on Belfast Lough has been appointed as an International Technical Official (ITO) for the Tokyo Olympics. Not only will Chris be the only Irish race official in Tokyo, but he’ll also be taking on a brand new role as Video Officiating ITO (International Technical Official).
So what is a Video Officiating International Technical Official?
The Tokyo Olympics will be the first Olympics to have officials with an eye on the screen, using technology to provide a dedicated back up to the on-the-water ITO team. Chris will be working with new software that records the sailing live, and watching all the racing from behind a screen and noting potential rule infringements and other issues for the jury. This information is then available if required in a protest hearing or redress and helps to speed up the process.
Where did the love of umpiring begin?
There are many paths a sailor can take and Chris’s is a little different to most. He started out as a child on big boats at Carrickfergus Sailing Club, learning sailing “hands on”, mainly as there wasn’t much dinghy sailing back then.
While studying chemistry at Oxford, he joined the thriving and competitive world of University Team Racing. Chris describes Team Racing as being reliant on a good knowledge of the rules – it’s not about who’s the fastest, but who can work as a team and use the rules to their advantage. He was drawn to the role of umpire, loving the thrill and adrenaline of driving a rib out on the racecourse and making immediate decisions to keep the racing moving.
Chris is still in Oxford and finishing up a PhD on statins. But he loves nothing more than to spend a weekend working as a judge or race official back in Ireland whenever he can and says “the people I get to work with are the best part. Sitting at the post-event dinner with race officials from around the World and sharing stories. And that thrill and rush of being an umpire is second to none.”
How does a race official reach the heady heights of the Olympics?
Through commitment and hard work. Chris outlines the route he took: “getting the basics of Local Race Umpire, then National Umpire and onto International Umpire, all the while putting each level into practice, being active and in time World Sailing notice your commitment and work”. World Sailing choose the ITOs for the Olympics based on what they have noticed, experience, qualifications and references. There is no application process; instead “you just get a letter in the post informing you that you have been chosen”.
“I am looking forward to seeing what the Olympics is all about, being part of a hugely talented group of ITOs, being in the Olympic Village, watching the opening ceremony and of course the incredible sailing (albeit on-screen). This will be an event like no other.” Chris
Despite a bravo performance by young Dublin skiff sailors who finished in the top quarter of the 88-boat fleet, an Irish Tokyo 2020 berth was not secured in Auckland today.
Four European countries were selected this week in a championship won by multiple Olympic and now five-time world champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand.
Now, in order to make the Tokyo startline at all, the two Irish skiff crews will be forced to scrap it out for one last remaining European country Olympic place to be decided in Genoa, Italy next April. It's a scenario that highlights why qualification at the 2018 Worlds in Aarhus was so important for Ireland two years ago.
Ireland, Belgium and Italy will be contenders for this single place (Ireland finished ahead of both Italy and Belgium this week) and the Irish Olympic representative will be decided by whichever crew qualifies the country, if any.
Team manager James O'Callaghan admits "Genoa will be a dogfight to qualify as it is a notoriously light airs and shifty venue".
22nd for Dickson & Waddilove
World Under 23 bronze medallists Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) ended the Gold fleet series in 22nd place overall in their best ever performance at senior level.
"This is a huge confidence boost, there's no reason we can't be back in the Gold fleet again."
Seaton Wants 'More Racing Experience'
Double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) didn't make the Gold fleet after losing out on a three-way tie-break on Thursday and sailed the remainder of the 17-race series in the Silver group.
"We're awfully disappointed with how our regatta turned out but very happy to see the young guys make Gold fleet," said Seaton. "But we know what we have to work to improve and it's not boat-speed - more racing experience will allow us to develop roles and better communication between us; we need to stick to our processes on board."
Spain, Austria, The Netherlands and Poland took the four country qualification places available in New Zealand.
Burling & Tuke Win Fifth World Title
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have won a fifth world title to add to the four consecutive victories they enjoyed between 2013 and 2016. This will be one of the sweetest victories, however, not least because it’s on home waters, but also because of how hard the Kiwis were forced to work for this gold medal.
Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel had made a bit of a mess of the previous day’s racing but the Germans really turned it on at the end of the competition. With Burling/ Tuke forced out of the first Gold Fleet race of the morning due to a broken tiller extension, the Germans had the opportunity to close the points gap. Heil/ Ploessel came from deep in the pack to record a ninth place and then were fast out of the blocks in the next race, winning that one at a canter. Fortunately for home fans Burling/ Tuke had recovered their composure to finish third behind the Germans.
This gave New Zealand an 8-point gap going into the double-points, 10-boat Medal Race, effectively a four-boat buffer on their German rivals. As good as in the bag for the talented New Zealanders, surely...
But no! While racing up the first beat the Germans forced the Kiwis to tack off and Burling slipped from his trapeze handle during the tack to almost capsize. Rounding the windward mark in ninth and out of gold medal position, Burling and Tuke turned on their downwind jets - moving up the fleet and with a few more passes were up into fourth. With the Germans in second there was nothing left that could be done by Heil and Ploessel. Burling and Tuke rose to the occasion despite showing some rare unforced errors, and were pushed hard all the way by Heil and Ploessel. After a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Games, the Germans have displayed sufficient class to be able to dream of beating the New Zealanders to the top step at Tokyo 2020 next summer.
After looking like they might not even make the 25-boat cut for Gold Fleet earlier in the week, Diego Botin & Iago Marra (ESP) made the comeback of the regatta. The Spanish had a shot at the bronze medal if things went their way, and winning the Medal Race was the best way for them to conclude their time in Auckland. The 2017 World Champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (GBR) looked to be in trouble but the Brits finished 8th in the Medal Race which was sufficient to hang on to the last medal by a single point from the Spanish. At least the Spanish have done enough to secure a spot for the Olympic Games after failing to make the Gold Fleet at the previous Worlds in Denmark.
A race win in breezy conditions for Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove was the best possible start for the Howth Yacht Club and Skerries duo who are one of two Irish teams trying to qualify Ireland this week at the 49er World Championships in Tokyo.
As Afloat previously reported, this week's Championships is the most important regatta for sailors outside of the Olympic Games and four Olympic berths are up for grabs but Ireland must finish in the top eight overall to be in with a realistic chance of securing one of these prized places.
High winds delayed the racing schedule on Auckland Harbour today.
After two races from a possible 15 for the complete series, Dickson and Waddilove are 16th overall with double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle lying 26th overall. Irish teams sailed in separate flights of 30 boats each.
After a general recall, the Blue fleet, , in which Dickson and Waddilove were sailing, was the last race to get going as they suffered from unstable winds. By the time racing did get going the wind started picking up quickly and many top teams got caught out on the wrong rig settings.
Some of the favourites in this fleet - such as Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL 42) - found themselves with a lot to do at the first windward mark. Portuguese sailors Jorge Lima and Jose Costa suffered rig damage and were forced to pull out of competition for the rest of the day, a disappointing start to the regatta with Costa also suffering an ankle injury.
Showing no hesitation were Rio Olympic bronze medalists Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER 4), but in tacking to the left side upwind the experienced Germans let slip the 2018 Junior World Champions from Ireland, Dickson and Waddilove, who overtook for the lead.
In a tight downwind battle, the young Irishmen held off the Olympic medallists to win their first ever race at a World Championship, a massive moment for any sailor.
For the world's best this week is the best measuring stick for how they stack up as a fleet. Teams doing well will be the ones to beat in Tokyo, and their countries will deliver the resources needed to take aim at Tokyo for those who they think can win a medal.
A bit farther down in the fleet, there are four Olympic qualifying berths on offer and currently, Dickson and Waddilove are the fourth country, but it is far too early in the series to lay claim to a Tokyo berth. Full results are here. Organisers have indicated countries seeking Olympic berths with a blue bar. The key to success for Ireland will be a string of consistent results and this morning's opening bid shows Ireland has the potential to be in Tokyo.
Only 20 teams make it to the Olympics, and many top sailing teams are still not qualified for Tokyo. Qualifying is a three-stage process, where the first berths were awarded last year at the 2018 World Championship in Aarhus, and the 2019 Worlds is the second stage. The final stage is called continental qualifying, and it will occur in the spring of 2020 on each continent.
Organisers had to wait for a weather front to clear the racing area causing a six-hour wait for the 89 crews representing 30 countries and day two of racing will begin one hour earlier on Wednesday to catch-up on the lost programme.
#Canoeing: Liam Jegou has been nominated by Canoeing Ireland to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. Jegou won the selection event for the C1 at the British Open. The boat had been qualified by Robert Hendrick at the canoe slalom World Championships. The selection will be confirmed once the Olympic Federation of Ireland makes the announcement.
Although Team Ireland hopes were dashed when Annalise Murphy quit the 49erFX for a Radial return this month there is consolation in fledgeling skiff circles that another Dun Laoghaire sailor has reached the standard and been confirmed for the women's class in Tokyo even though Saskia Tidey will not be sailing for her native Ireland.
Tidey's remarkable achievements since opting to sail for Team GB after Rio 2016 have been rewarded with Royal Yachting Association (RYA) confirmation today that she and Charlotte Dobson will be the British representatives in Enoshima in 300 days time. What's more the Scottish-Irish combination head to Japan as serious medal contenders after a succession of stellar international results this quadrennial.
Skipper Dobson returns to the 49erFX, this time sailing with the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Tidey, after a change of crew following the 2016 games.
"Last time it felt like it was all about the experience," Dobson said to the BBC this morning adding."This time around the announcement feels more like an attack on the podium."
Dun Laoghaire born Tidey was a relative latecomer to sailing, taking up the sport aged 15 after watching coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
A clear natural talent, Tidey’s progression through the ranks was quick – and eight years later she was representing Ireland at Rio 2016 in the 49er FX, finishing 12th.
Tidey joined the British Sailing Team in early 2017, eligible to compete under the Union flag through her father Don, and teamed up with Dobson for a crack at Tokyo 2020.
Since then Dobson and Tidey have proved themselves a formidable force on the Olympic circuit, bagging silver medals at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Final and the 49er FX European Championships, plus wins at Kiel Week 2017 and the 2018 Medemblik regatta.
Sky Sport will broadcast live all six days of December’s 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships in Auckland, New Zealand, which is believed to be a world-first for an Olympic class sailing world championships it has been announced by the 49er and 49erFX world president Marcus Spillane from Cork.
Spillane is also a member of Irish Sailing's Olympic Steering Group charged with assisting Irish Sailors to reach medal winning positions in the Olympic Games so he will have added interest in ensuring Ireland's 49er crews, Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle and Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove will be in the best possible position to compete for the final chance of an Olympic berth at Tokyo 2020.
Unfortunately, the championships will not now include Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle who quit their fledgeling campaign last week.
As many as 400 of the world’s best sailors, including New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, are expected to compete at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club from December 3-8.
Not only will world titles be on the line, but many countries will be using it as an Olympic selection event so the stakes will be high.
Sky Sport will screen live all six days of racing – six races a day – and also produce a daily highlights package, which will also be shown on free-to-air partner Prime TV.
On-the-water gyroscopic cameras will capture all the racing action, including state-of-the-art drones, and there will be comprehensive analysis and interviews from the boat park before and after the racing presented by a team of sailing experts.
Tracking and animation will also be provided by Animation Research Ltd, who are world leaders in graphics visualisation.
“We’re proud to be the host broadcaster for this great event, and we look forward to bringing sailing fans racing coverage from December 3-8 on Sky Sport,” Sky head of sports production Brian Hitchcock said.
The scale of the production is believed to be a world-first for an Olympic class regatta and will enable New Zealand fans to get close to the action. Negotiations are also progressing to distribute the feed internationally.
The 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 are arguably the most exciting of all of the Olympic classes, with the boats reaching speeds in excess of 20 knots.
Burling and Tuke have made a successful comeback to the 49er after a couple of years focusing on the America’s Cup and Ocean Race, winning last month’s Olympic test event in Japan, and will be looking to add a fifth world title in December.
“We are thrilled to have Sky Sport New Zealand broadcast our upcoming world championship,” 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 president Spillane said. “The 2019 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 world championships are likely to be the most competitive regatta in all of sailing this year.
“To have a passionate New Zealand audience and our global fanbase be able to watch the whole thing is wonderful for the sport.”
The regatta is one of the highlights on the upcoming sailing calendar, which also includes February’s RS:X world championships in Auckland as well as the 2021 America’s Cup.
“It’s a great time to be involved in sailing in this country,” Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said. “With Sky Sport’s partnership, we have an opportunity to further inspire our young sailors through sharing content, telling stories and showing live just how exciting sailing, and in particular, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 sailing, can be.
“As a passionate nation of sports enthusiasts and sailors, we look forward to what promises to be an exciting week of competition and thank Sky Sport for their commitment to work with us in showcasing sailing and Auckland and New Zealand.”
Olympic Silver medalist Annalise Murphy is expected to return to the Laser Radial dinghy immediately after abandoning hopes of a final qualification chance in the 49erfX dinghy she has been campaigning with Katie Tingle for Tokyo 2020.
After a 'hugely challenging' fourteen months for Murphy and Tingle in the 49erFX class, it was decided after the summer that their 'Olympic medal goal' was no longer realistic, and the campaign has now come to an end.
While Murphy's plans have ended in the 49erFX, all is not lost for Irish Skiff fans, however, who can be certain that Royal Irish sailor Saskia Tidey of Dun Laoghaire will make the British team for Tokyo having won a Bronze medal in September's Pre-Olympics.
Annalise Murphy, a two time Olympian (finishing fourth and second respectively), reflected on the summer performances and in 'consultation with stakeholders' decided against continuing in the 49erFX. Katie Tingle, who has given '100% to the campaign' understands Annalise’s viewpoint but is nevertheless disappointed that the campaign is ending. Commenting on the situation Katie Tingle said “of course I’m disappointed. I’ve had a roller coaster fourteen months having jumped straight in at the deep end of high-performance sport. It’s been incredible seeing how hard everyone works for their goal and the support that goes around it, I’ll miss my teammates and all the support staff.”
After a long period of training that was prefaced by injury in September 2018 when Tingle broke her arm in training on Dublin Bay, the duo first raced in April 2019 at the World Cup in Genoa and immediately admitted a steep learning curve, finishing in the silver fleet. A month later they retired from two races at the Europeans Championships in Weymouth. There appeared to be some progress in June at Kiel Week but by August and a trip to Tokyo for the pre-Olympics, and more mid-fleet results, it appears the writing was on the wall.
"I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me"
In a statement released this afternoon, Irish Sailing team managers say 'Annalise and Katie are lifelong friends and the decision was not made lightly'.
Murphy said “I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me, I was unable to see a medal in less than twelve months and that was always the goal. Katie has been incredibly understanding in what is clearly a difficult situation. I’ve learned so much from her over the last fourteen months and am glad our friendship has grown from this shared experience.”
The statement says Murphy is now going to take some time to consider her next steps. With the Laser Radial qualified for an Irish place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it would seem very likely that she will be back on the water soon.
Irish Sailing Performance Director James O’Callaghan commented, “the Irish Sailing 49erFX project has benefitted the whole team, to have people as positive as Annalise and Katie in the programme has inspired the other teams. We now have a second FX campaign in its infancy so their legacy will continue. Katie took the opportunity to explore her potential to follow her dream, she made the most of the chance and I hope can look back fondly on the experience.”
The Olympic Federation of Ireland is delighted to announce the Tokyo 2020 Team Ireland Performance Support Leads, who will play an integral role in supporting the athletes during the Olympic Games. The Sport and Science leads will be operating under the direction of the Chef de Mission, Tricia Heberle, and the Olympic Games Head of Performance Support, Phil Moore, and will deliver and integrated performance support system to Irish athletes and staff to enable them to perform to their full potential at next year’s Games.
The nomination of the Sport and Science leads is being announced on the back of a rigorous and competitive selection process, and there will be a dual focus on the pre-games training camp environment and on the Games themselves.
Tokyo 2020 Lead Support Role
Strength & Conditioning / Holding Camp Deputy Manager
Performance Nutrition / Holding Camp Deputy Manager
Dr Sharon Madigan
Olympic Transition Support
Dr Kate Kirby
Sports Medicine (Chief Medical Officer)
Dr Jim O’Donovan
Sarah Jane McDonnell
The Performance Support Leads will work as part of a multi-disciplinary Science and Medicine leadership team. Their focus will be on supporting the wellbeing of the athletes and staff before, during and after the Games.
“I am very excited about the calibre and experience of our Team Ireland Performance Support leads,” Chef de Mission Heberle said, “Tokyo 2020, like every Olympic Games, will present challenges and a range of considerations that we need to embrace and effectively prepare for. The support and expertise of these highly experienced practitioners and leaders in their fields will be invaluable to myself, our athletes and staff across Olympic qualification and at the Games.
“Many of our leads are already working with sports that will qualify for the Games and so our aim is to ensure a balance of continuity of support while also providing leadership and direction to a network of practitioners at the Sport Ireland and Sport NI Institutes, and in National Federations.”
Head of Performance Support Phil Moore added, “The appointment of the Performance Support Leads for the Tokyo Olympics is a significant milestone in the development of a world class high performance system in Ireland. The robust and transparent recruitment process ensures continuity of support for our athletes through the full Olympic cycle, delivered by a highly experienced team of science and medical practitioners working closely with Performance Directors and coaches.
“I look forward to working with this team and with the Team Ireland Chef de Mission Tricia Heberle to support our athletes and coaches in the preparation for Tokyo 2020.”
The Olympic Games take place in Tokyo from the 24 July to the 9 August 2020. Irish athletes are currently in the qualification stages across their sports.
Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle were best of the Irish at the first round of the World Sailing Cup in Enoshima, Japan last week. The Belfast-cork partnership, who still seek the Olympic qualification standard for Tokyo 2020, made the medal race cut and finished in sixth place in that finale to 10th place overall.
In a big improvement for the pair, they had been as high as fifth overall during the heavy weather series, so in the context of their campaign to reach the Olympic standard later this year, they will rue race four in which they did not finish and race seven where they were disqualified.
Watch the duo in action in the medal race below (you can skip to 2:49:00)
With the World Cup in Enoshima now finished, it brings to a close what officials say was 'a really productive summer of sailing' for Ireland and one where Olympic qualification was achieved by Lough Derg's Asiling Keller in the Radial class.
Ireland will seek to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the last opportunity later this year in the 49er and 49erFX skiff classes and next March in the men's Laser class.
Australia’s Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won their third consecutive Men’s 470 gold medal on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic waters as the Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima event in Japan concluded.
Belcher and Ryan won the 470 World Championship title on 9 August and followed up with Ready Steady Tokyo, the Olympic test event, success on 22 August.
After five weeks of hard racing in Enoshima, they will head home, take stock of their success during a period of rest and move into 2020, the Olympic year, full of confidence.
The Men’s 470 Medal Race was one of two that was completed on a light wind final day on Sagami Bay. The Women’s 470 sailed the second and Spain’s Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero came from behind to grab gold.
Light winds saw the postponement of the Laser, Laser Radial and Finn Medal Races which meant the results overnight stand. Nicholas Heiner (NED) and Pavlos Kontides (CYP) had already confirmed gold before the Medal Race in the Finn and Laser.
Emma Plasschaert (BEL) was prepared to fight Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Alison Young (GBR) for gold in the Laser Radial. The cancellation confirmed Plasschaert as victor in Enoshima for the second time in ten days after she won Ready Steady Tokyo.
The Hempel World Cup Series will head to Miami, USA in January 2020 as the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continues. -- Daniel Smith - World Sailing
Final podium positions:
1. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS, 27
2. Jordi Xammar Hernandez / Nicolás Rodriguez Garcia-Paz, ESP, 37
3. Kazuto Doi / Naoya Kimura, JPN, 47
1. Silvia Mas Depares / Patricia Cantero Reina, ESP, 44
2. Nia Jerwood / Monique de Vries, AUS, 45
3. Frederike Loewe / Anna Markfort, GER, 58
1. James Peters / Fynn Sterritt, GBR, 49
2. Benjamin Bildstein / David Hussl, AUT, 49
3. Tim Fischer / Fabian Graf, GER, 52
1. Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz, NED, 27
2. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 36
3. Julie Bossard / Aude Compan, FRA, 37
1. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 19
2. Josip Olujic, CRO, 44
3. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 47
1. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 36
2. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 57
3. Jean Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 62
Laser Radial Women
1. Emma Plasschaert, BEL, 54
2. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 57
3. Alison Young, GBR, 64
1. Quentin Delapierre / Manon Audinet, FRA, 21
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface, GBR, 22
3. Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti, ITA, 23
1. Louis Giard, FRA, 48
2. Kun Bi, CHN, 49
3. Pierre Le Coq, FRA, 53
1. Yunxiu Lu, CHN, 37
2. Katy Spychakov, ISR, 42
3. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 49
Full results including Irish places here
Irish Olympic 49er pairing Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle move up from sixth to fifth overall in a heavy weather day three of the World Sailing World Cup in Enoshima, Japan but the Belfast-Cork duo have had to discard a 'Did Not Finish' in Race four that may yet prove costly in the final analysis. After six races sailed, Seaton is using his heavy weather skills honed from eight years campaigning the skiff to carve out a big gap between youthful rivals Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove of Howth who are in 21st from 37.
There is a concern for the strong wind performance of Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle in the women's 49erfX skiff who retired from all three races today and who are now 36th from 36 starters. The only official world from Team Ireland on the matter is that the pairing – who did finish reasonably well (13 from 23) at the pre-Olympic regatta on the same waters a fortnight ago – is a reference to a 'tough day' on social media.
In the Laser Radials, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller are in 27th and 39th respectively with five races completed in a 49-boat fleet.
With a year to go to the Olympics itself, the only Irish berth secured at Tokyo 2020 so far is in the Radial with the trial between Hopkins and Keller for the single Olympic spot yet to take place.
Finn Lynch is in 22nd place in the Lasers, with Liam Glynn in 48th from 51. Lynch who is aiming for more consistent results after failing to take an Olympic berth at the second attempt earlier this month will be disappointed with this week's scoreline especially the early part of the regatta where he took 31.0, 28.0 and (47.0) compared to the 10 and 8 scored today.
The physical limits of the 496 sailors from 46 nations racing at the Hempel World Cup Series regatta in Enoshima, Japan were pushed on Thursday as big waves rolled through Sagami Bay.
With thousands of miles of the Pacific Ocean to the East and South of Enoshima, coupled with deep waters around Sagami Bay, the waves have plenty of time to build to a rolling swell. The sailors contested 2.5m high waves with regularity and ensured that each and every one had a stern test on the water.
The powerful rolling waves, combined with a stiff south westerly 20-25 knot breeze, meant that capsizes were plentiful with many sailors unable to finish some of their races due to breakages.
Despite this, every fleet sailed a good number of races to get the competition back on track after light breeze on day one and too much on the second.
One mistake cost Italy’s Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti the perfect day in the Nacra 17. The Ready Steady Tokyo, Olympic test event, gold medallists clinched the first and last race win of the day but their scoreline was slightly tainted with an eighth in the middle. Tita explained, “We made a big mistake on the laylines in the second race. We ended up in a hard situation. We were fast in the downwind so we were able to gain some positions.”
The steep and regular waves made racing in the Nacra 17 an intense and sometimes daunting experience. Capsizes and near misses were a regular occurrence but Tita and Banti had the measure of the race track.
“It looks pretty intense when you’re out there,” commented Tita. “The waves are short and quite big for the wind. It’s hard to sail the Nacra with the foils. For sure we like the conditions with wind and waves in Enoshima. We suffer a bit in the light wind. At the moment we’ve always had good winds here so we’re happy with that.”
The Nacra 17 became fully foiling after Rio 2016 and quite often those who have a high percentage of time on the foils get round the race track quicker. But that all changed on Thursday in the waves as Tita continued, “I would 5-10% of our time was on the foils. It was really hard to foil today. You’d maybe foil 100 metres and then crash. It was really hard.
“What we try to do is keep it in the water. When we are too fast we brake, which is strange for a sailboat. We put a hull in the water to brake and looked to maintain an average speed.
“The boat always wants to accelerate a lot and when you’re too fast, you crash in the waves. It’s better to slow down a bit, keep an average speed and keep safe.”
The Italians two wins and an eighth puts them fourth overall. They are nine points off Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface (GBR), winners of the second race, with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) and Nathan and Haylee Outteridge (AUS) in second and third spot.
Last week’s Ready Steady Tokyo was a high scoring affair in the Laser Radial with consistency scarce amongst the fleet. That trend looks set to continue and following three more races, Belgium’s Emma Plasschaert holds the lead.
Plasschaert sailed her way to an 8-(15)-7 scoreline, not a typical set of results that would propel a sailor into top spot, but her rivals also recorded similar scores.
“It was an alright day for me,” said Plasschaert. “A medium but okay day – no big scores. No firsts, seconds or thirds but that’s okay at this stage of the event.
“I think it was pretty solid racing with nothing crazy going on. The Race Committee nailed the races one after each other. Nice waves and big winds, it was good fun. Especially going downwind.”
Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) is two points off Plasschaert and Manami Doi (JPN) is a further one point behind.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was the most consistent sailor on the race track and picked up a 9-3-3. However a 35th and a retirement on day one positions her in 12th overall.
Pavlos Kontides (CYP) has moved into pole position in the Laser after a first, a fifth and a second. Overnight leader Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) are in second and third respectively.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) are the masters of 470 sailing in strong wind and big waves. That statement was confirmed on Thursday as they recorded two race wins and a second to grab the lead the 32-boat fleet. Jordi Xammar and Nicholás Rodriguez (ESP) won the final race of the day and are in second.
In the Women’s 470, Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries (AUS) advanced to lead the fleet following a 4-2-2 scoreline. They are five points clear of Elena Berta and Bianca Caruso (ITA). Race wins went to Mengxi Wei and Haiyan Gao (CHN), Berta and Caruso as well as Benedetta Di Salle and Alessandra Dubbini (ITA).
Nicholas Heiner (NED) found form again in the Finn. Heiner started the event with a pair of seconds and added a 3-3-(5) to his points score on Thursday. He has moved six points clear of Canada’s Tom Ramshaw. Overnight leader Joan Cardona Mendez (ESP) took the first race win but dropped to 18th and 15th in the following races.
China’s Yunxiu Lu sailed the perfect day in the Women’s RS:X, winning each race. As a result, Lu has opened up an 11-point advantage over Charline Picon (FRA). Katy Spychakov (ISR) was also a consistent performer, recording a third and two seconds. She is a point off Picon in third.
Korea’s Wonwoo Cho moved into medal contention in the Men’s RS:X following a 3-2-1 scoreline. Cho struggled in the light breeze on Tuesday, posting a (24)-6-13 scoreline but has thrived in stronger conditions.
He is joint third with China’s Kun Bi on 37 points. After a 2-8-8 scoreline Louis Giard (FRA) sits on 32 points at the top of the leaderboard with Pierre le Coq (FRA) second on 34 points.
In the 49erFX, a number of the pre-event favourites were all black flagged in the first race of the day. Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED), Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), Helene Naess and Marie Rønningen (NOR) and Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) were the most high profile casualties of the black flag.
Bekkering and Duetz hit back with two third places which pushes them into the lead.
In the final race of the day, a large percentage of the fleet capsized and only five boats were able to complete the race in the time limit available. Baad Nielsen and Thusgaard Olsen took the race win, their second of the day, following their BFD. They sit in fifth.
The 49er fleet were the last ones off the water having sailed their races after the 49erFX fleet. After three additional races, Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf (GER) lead on 24 points. Poland’s Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki are second on 33 and Federico and Arturo Alonso (ESP) sit third on 35 points.
Racing resumes on Friday 30 August at 12:00 local time. The forecast is for further strong winds and two-metre waves.