Only two fleets compete on windless first day 15/8/07

The infamous Qingdao light winds prevailed on the opening day of sailing’s Olympic Test Event, with only the 49er and 470 women’s classes seeing any action at the 2007 Qingdao International Regatta on Wednesday (15 August).

With the weather buoys out in Fushan Bay hovering around 4 knots, it was a frustrating day for the sailors who were eager to get their regatta underway. The Finn, Tornado, 49er and the 470 men’s and women’s classes made it out to their respective race courses, but the Star and RS:X men’s and women’s fleets were confined to shore as race officials waited to see if the wind would eventually appear.
Racing for Skandia Team GBR’s Ben Ainslie and the rest of the heavyweight Finn fleet was abandoned first at 1430.

“We waited out on the water for about three hours,” Ainslie explained. “I think the race officer wanted to see what would happen when the tide turned. It was the right decision to send us back in, so we’ll just have to hope and try again tomorrow.
“If nothing else, it was good to be able to get out and practice some more while we were waiting, so I don’t think today was a complete waste of time.”

Newly crowned World Champions and world number ones Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes did get racing in the 49er class, posting a sixth from their only race after recovering from 14th at the second mark.

“It was a long day in some tricky conditions,” said Morrison. “But all things considered we’re pretty happy with our sixth from today.”
In the 470 women’s fleet, world bronze medallists Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark had a disappointing first race, as they were called over the start line early in their only race of the day.

The Star, Tornado, 470 men and RS:X fleets all had their racing abandoned for the day.

With all 11 classes scheduled to race on Thursday, event organisers and sailors will be hoping that the forecasted 6-8 knot winds materialise to get the regatta back on track.

Racing at the 2007 Qingdao International Regatta is scheduled through until Thursday 23 August.

1. Iker Martinez-Xavier Fernandez, Esp (1pt)
2. Andre Fonseca-Rodrigo Duarte, Bra (2pts)
3. Athanasios Pachoumas-Athanasios Siouzios, Gre (3pts)
6. Stevie Morrison-Ben Rhodes (6pts)

470 Women
1. Elsie Rechichi-Tessa Parkinson, Aus (1pt)
2. Marcelien de Koning-Lobke Berkhout (2pts)
3. Stefanie Rothweiler-Vivien Kussatz, Ger (3pts)
19. Christina Bassadone-Saskia Clark (23pts)