Sunday, 12 June 2011

Skandia Sail for Gold : Strong winds as Sail for Gold hits halfway mark

Dan Slater (NZL) in the Finn. Image copyright onEdition.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

The NZL Sailing Team holds four top four places as 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold, on now in Weymouth, England hits the halfway mark with three days yet to run.

25 knot wind averages were recorded and phrases coming from Weymouth - ‘fresh to frightening’ and ‘unseasonably strong winds’ – describe a blustery, challenging day for sailors and their equipment.

Jon-Paul Tobin shares the lead in the men’s wind surfing, while Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have climbed into 3rd in the women’s double-hander. Both Andrew Murdoch in the Laser and Finn sailor Dan Slater are in 4th place in their respective fleets.

RS:X Men: GBR’s Nick Dempsey has challenged Jon-Paul Tobin of the NZL Sailing Team for the lead in the Men’s RS:X event and both now share equal points at the top of the board. Dempsey claimed double guns on day three while Tobin sailed solidly with a 5th and a 2nd in the two races sailed.

Olympic champ Tom Ashley slips to 11th place with a 6th and 7th in overnight racing. “Racing has been a bit frustrating for me so far - my first day was great, but I have struggled a bit over the last two days,” reports Ashley.

“The qualifying series is now over, and we have four races of gold fleet and the double points medal race left to sail. I have a lot of work to do to get back to the front of the fleet, but I will continue to work hard and make up as much ground as possible. I have come back from worse than this before!”

Women’s 470: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have hit the top three in the Women’s 470 as they now discard the DSQ being carried from day one and continue to sail well. On 31 points they are just two adrift of the Israeli crew in 2nd place, with a further ten point gap to close on the fleet leaders – Mills and Clark sailing on home waters.

Finn: Dan Slater has dropped a spot into 4th position after day three in the Finn, sailing home with a 10th and a 5th overnight and 17 points on his score card. Ben Ainslie (GBR) leads the way clocking up a couple of wins and opening up a nine point gap on team-mate Giles and Gaspic Kljakovic (CRO) both on 14 points and just out in front of the kiwi.

Laser: Andrew Murdoch inches further up the leader board after day three on the Laser course and now lies 4th overall after a 9th and a 2nd on the water overnight. Thompson (GBR) and Van Schaardenburg (NED) who share the lead are six points out in front of Murdoch with the on-form Aussie, Tom Slinsgby in 3rd place five points in front of the kiwi.

Andy Maloney also gained a place overnight and now holds 10th position on the leader board.

Star: A 20th and a 12th in the two Star races sailed on day three have hit Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk hard in the standings seeing them slip from 5th to 10th overall, on equal points with 9th place.

Men’s 470: Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders returned their best day yet at this regatta with a win and a 4th to bring them up into 15th overall, as they move from qualifying rounds and now to gold fleet.

49er: After a long day on the 49er course, sailors came away without any counting results when one of the two fleets managed a race, and the other didn’t effectively swiping the slate and leaving overall results as they were at the outset of day three. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are lying 13th for New Zealand.

Elsewhere: Unable to replicate her single figure finishes from day one, Sara Winther was 15th and 11th on day three and is in 16th place in the Laser Radial.

Steffanie Williams overtakes Natalia Kosinska as the best placed of the kiwi women’s windsurfers coming into her own in the breezy conditions on days two and three. She’s in 18th place overall at the halfway mark.

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

470 Women (45 entries)
3rd Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie

470 Men (77 entries)
15th Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders

49er (63 entries)
13th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

5th Dan Slater
18th Matt Coutts
50th Bradley Douglas

Laser (123 entries)
4th Andrew Murdoch
10th Andy Maloney
21st Mike Bullot
25th Josh Junior
30th Sam Meech
107th Spencer Loxton

16th Sara Winther
28th Miranda Powrie

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

RS:X Men (86 entries)
2nd JP Tobin
11th Tom Ashley
81st Carl Evans

RS:X Women (59 entries)
18th Stephanie Williams
25th Natalia Kosinska
41st Justina Sellers
44th Jazmine Lynch

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

2.4 metre (34 entries)
21st Joshua McKenzie-Brown
SKUD18 (17 entries)
7th Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel

Yachting New Zealand

Skandia Sail for Gold