Saturday, 18 June 2011

Skandia Sail for Gold : NZL Sailing Team set to Sail for Gold in Weymouth

Jon-Paul Tobin on Day Four. Image copyright onEdition.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

The NZL Sailing Team has double gold in their sights as the 2011 Sail for Gold Regatta comes down to the final day and the kiwis still lead in the Men’s RS:X and the Women’s 470 events. Another medal looks likely in the Laser.

The penultimate day has just wrapped up at this important ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta being staged at the 2012 Olympic venue and just the high-pressure, podium determining medal races remain. New Zealand will have nine entries starting in seven of those medal races.

The regatta website will have live tracking of all the Olympic class medal races.

Women’s 470: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are in the strongest position to secure gold for New Zealand with a massive 16 point leading margin in the Women’s double-handed 470 class. After a 7th and a 2nd on the water overnight they have 42 points in total and will be focussed on a smart conservative medal race tomorrow.

Local girls Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke were the kiwi’s closest rivals however they stuttered in the final series race recording a 34th requiring them to count an earlier poor race and dropping them back to 3rd place.

French women Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron have moved into 2nd after performing well overnight however 16 points will be hard to find to beat the kiwi girls.

RS:X Men: Jon-Paul Tobin still leads and has shaken off his on-shore friend Dorian van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands with nine points over him in the standings. However he now faces the attack of local rider Nick Dempsey who has pulled himself up to 2nd place with one point separating the two at the top.

“Pretty tricky, sailed some nice lines to punch in two solid results, Nick Dempsey sailed really well,” tells Tobin. “I maintain a one point lead going into the medal race tomorrow...POW!”

Tobin’s results from day five were a 2nd and a 4th.

Tom Ashley also starts in the medal race for New Zealand, lying 9th overall well within reach of gaining another place or two if things go his way in tomorrow’s medal race. Yesterday the Olympic champ reported his health had been running at less than 100% through this regatta.

Laser: Andrew Murdoch retains 2nd place on the Laser leader board as the top ten now prepare for the medal race and the others pack up their gear and watch from the sidelines.

Tom Slingsby of Australia has extended his leading margin to eight points over Murdoch, neither having their best day, both scoring their worst race result of the series overnight. Previous consistency is on their side though and Murdoch is now well placed to secure a podium finish.

Paul Goodison (GBR) is in the medal hunt as well, in 3rd place just one point adrift of Murdoch.

Andy Maloney has earned a medal race start and the young up and comer will relish the experience that this brings at such a high calibre event. He is in 9th place overall going into the last race.

Elsewhere: Dan Slater lies 6th in the Finn event with an outside chance at a medal if all the stars align for him tomorrow. He has sixteen points to make up on the sailor lying 3rd.

Sara Winther was lying 11th at the outset of day five but she makes the top ten and the Laser Radial medal race after placing 5th and 21st overnight. She is in 9th overall on equal points to 8th position.

Star sailors Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk also make the medal race lying 9th on the board at the end of series racing.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders have also secured a medal race start in the Men’s 470 scraping into the top ten by one point.

2011 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta
New Zealand’s provisional standings after day five

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

470 Men (77 entries)
10th Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders

49er (63 entries)
12th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

Finn (59 entries)
6th Dan Slater
26th Matt Coutts
52nd Bradley Douglas

Laser (123 entries)
2nd Andrew Murdoch
9th Andy Maloney
19th Sam Meech
23rd Josh Junior
29th Mike Bullot
Silver fleet 42nd Spencer Loxton

Radial (91 entries)
9th Sara Winther
29th Miranda Powrie

RS:X Men (86 entries)
1st JP Tobin
9th Tom Ashley
Silver fleet 38th Carl Evans

RS:X Women (59 entries)
16th Natalia Kosinska
22nd Stephanie Williams
Silver fleet 11th Justina Sellers
Silver fleet 13th Jazmine Lynch

Star (41 entries)
9th Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk

Women’s Match Racing
Bronze Round Robin 1st Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt

2.4 metre (34 entries)
21st Joshua McKenzie-Brown

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

NZL Sailing Team
Skandia Sail for Gold regatta