Monday, 13 June 2011

Skandia Sail for Gold : Two from NZL Sailing Team hit the lead

Jon-Paul Tobin on day four. Image copyright OnEdition.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

The NZL Sailing Team tops the leader board in both the men’s windsurfing and the women’s 470, and hold second spot in the Laser as 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold reaches the business end.

At the end of day four Jon-Paul Tobin, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie and Andrew Murdoch are all hunting a medal. while others on the team will use the penultimate day to try and secure a spot in the medal race.

RS:X Men: “Superb conditions, superb racing, race two of the day was a pearler,” reports Jon-Paul Tobin who has opened up a three point lead in the Men’s RS:X event over Dorian VAN Rijsselberge (NED) and Nick Dempsey (GBR) sharing second place.

Gold fleet racing got underway overnight and Tobin was 4th then 2nd in the two races sailed, and he now displays a scorecard with nothing worse than a 6th place during this regatta.

Tom Ashley has shuffled back into the top ten overnight to sit in 9th overall. “Another tough day today,” he says. “I placed 17th and 4th in the first two races of finals. I'm now in 9th overall, probably out of touch of the medals (barring a miracle outside my control), but within reach of 4th or 5th if I perform well in the final two days.

“The first race today was sailed in 12-15 knots of breeze. I missed the first shift and got myself out of phase with the breeze, and from there I couldn't really make any headway through the fleet. The second race went much better, and apart from missing a small wind shift shortly after the start I sailed fairly well to finish 4th.

“Tomorrow we may have slightly different conditions- the forecast is for the breeze to be a bit lighter so I'm looking forward to a bit of a change. I've been having some problems with my health over the last ten days of so, but hopefully I'll be well enough to pump hard tomorrow!”

Women’s 470: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie were on form on day four returning two race wins as the finals rounds got underway in the Women’s 470 event, and jumping into the lead. Consistency eluded their closest rivals, Hannah Clark and Saskia Mills, who have fallen ten points behind the kiwis in the points.

The girls will be looking for a solid performance on the penultimate day of racing to consolidate their lead and from there, sail a smart medal race.

Laser: The antipodeans have risen to the top of the Laser event, with Tom Slingsby of Australia and Andrew Murdoch from the NZL Sailing Team the most consistent on day four of the six day series.

Murdoch won the first of the gold fleet races overnight, then placed 4th in the second to move up into 2nd place overall behind Slingsby who now has the lead. Six points separate the two at the top.

Andy Maloney continued his good form also, sailing home with two 5th places and moving up to 8th overall in the star studded fleet. He is now in a good position for a start in the medal race at this important regatta.

Finn: Playing catch up the Finn fleet sailed three races overnight in which Dan Slater was 9th, 10th and 17th putting him in 5th overall, and just two points adrift of 4th.

GBR’s Ben Ainslie continues to dominate in front of a home crowd and is now 13 points out in front of the chasing pack.

Elsewhere: A handful more kiwi sailors will use the penultimate day to try and secure a position in the top ten medal races scheduled for Saturday in Weymouth. They include Star sailors Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk currently in 10th spot; Sara Winther, lying 11th in the Radial event; Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders in 12th in the Men’s 470; Steffanie Williams who has climbed to 11th in the Women’s RS:X; and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke lying 15th in the 49er skiff.

2011 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta

New Zealand’s provisional standings after day four

470 Women (45 entries)
1st Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie

470 Men (77 entries)
12th Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders

49er (63 entries)
15th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

Finn (59 entries)
5th Dan Slater
24th Matt Coutts
55th Bradley Douglas

Laser (123 entries)
2nd Andrew Murdoch
8th Andy Maloney
16th Sam Meech
22nd Josh Junior
29th Mike Bullot
Silver fleet 47th Spencer Loxton

Radial (91 entries)
11th Sara Winther
29th Miranda Powrie

RS:X Men (86 entries)
1st JP Tobin
9th Tom Ashley
Silver fleet 39th Carl Evans

RS:X Women (59 entries)
11th Stephanie Williams
23rd Natalia Kosinska
Silver fleet 10th Jazmine Lynch
Silver fleet 13th Justina Sellers

Star (41 entries)
10th Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk

Women’s Match Racing
8th Bronze Group Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt

2.4 metre (34 entries)
19th Joshua McKenzie-Brown

SKUD18 (17 entries)
8th Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel

Yachting New Zealand
Skandia Sail for Gold regatta