Saturday, 30 January 2010

Rolex Miami OCR: Wright extends lead in Finns at Miami

Clsoe racing in the Finns at the Rolex Miami OCR, with Ed Wright (GBR 11) in the lead. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.

by Robert Deaves

Some clear gaps are beginning to emerge in the Finn class after day four at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR. Another win, along with a third for Ed Wright (GBR) extended his lead at the top, while Zach Railey (USA) had another consistent top five day to move within two points of second placed Giles Scott (GBR).

Both races had restarts with a subsequent black flag start. Three were disqualified in race seven, while four were pulled out of race eight, including three of the top 10 hopefuls: Brendan Casey (AUS), Mark Andrews (GBR) and Andrew Mills (GBR). However, two more testing races were sailed in 8 to 12 knots.

Rafa Trujillo (ESP) briefly led race seven before being yellow flagged and dropping back to 5th. A similar fate also befell Wright and Scott, though Wright recovered to win while Scot fell to 8th. In race eight Trujillo was also in a good position but dropped to 7th to end the day in 6th overall. He said, “Today it seemed that things were going well after the start of the first race. I was sailing well and confident. I sailed better compared to yesterday but at the moment it will be hard to get a medal.”

The second race of the day was won by Gasper Vincec (SLO) with Jonathan Lobert (FRA) posting his best result of the series with a second and Wright ending the day with a third, after Mills - who crossed the line third - was black flagged. The win moves Vincec up two places to 4th overall, while Bryan Boyd (USA) sits on equal points in 5th overall.

After a 4-5 on Thursday, Railey said, “It was another tough day, patchy and shifty, but I'm staying consistent.” In fact Railey has now posted eight top 5 placings, and has built a comfortable 13 point cushion on the rest of the fleet. Wright however has a 19th lurking in his score so needs to be careful in Friday's final qualification races not to pick up another high score.

After eight races, the sole Polish entry Piotr Kula (POL) is in 17th place. He was one of those black flagged in the first race of the day. He said, “Conditions were really tricky as previous days. The wind was unstable in velocity and direction. Locals are saying, that it is because it blows from Key Biscayne which makes it so unstable. The Race Committee abandoned first start by posting the AP flag, because most of the fleet was over the line. The second attempt went with the black flag and three Finns was caught over, including myself.”

Wright's fourth race win has a built him a useful gap of 12 points on Scott and 14 from Railey and these three are expected to be fighting for the medals come Saturday. As usual the fight to make the cut for the medal race placings is also looking interesting, though three of the sailors black flagged today are sitting in 11th, 12th, and 13th, and have a lot of catching up to do.

The final two qualifications races are scheduled for Friday, with the medal race for the top 10 on Saturday.

Standings after 8 races:

1 GBR 11 Wright, Edward GBR 1 2 [19] 1 4 1 1 3 13.00
2 GBR 41 Scott, Giles GBR 2 7 1 3 3 3 [8] 6 25.00
3 USA 4 Railey, Zach USA 4 [5] 4 4 1 5 4 5 27.00
4 SLO 5 Vincec, Gasper SLO 5 12 5 8 [19] 2 7 1 40.00
5 USA 14 Boyd, Bryan USA 12 4 [18] 2 2 6 10 4 40.00
6 ESP 100 Trujillo, Rafael ESP [14] 6 3 6 7 7 5 7 41.00
7 FRA 115 Le Breton, Thomas FRA 11 9 2 5 5 [20] 11 9 52.00
8 NOR 1 Moberg, Peer NOR 7 8 6 9 6 8 [13] 11 55.00
9 RUS 9 Eduard, Skornyakov RUS 6 3 [13] 12 13 4 9 10 57.00
10 FRA 112 Lobert, Jonathan FRA 8 [25] 8 7 15 14 6 2 60.00

Finn Class
Rolex Miami OCR

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