What's in store for Day 8 - Matthew Sheahan reports
A return to the bright but humid conditions suggests a very different weather scenario to yesterday’s northerly and shifty conditions. Overall the conditions will be light with a battle between the gradient and the sea breeze.
Here’s this morning’s weather forecast from GBR meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh:
First of the medal races today and clear skies and sunshine are present – though the visibility is a little hazy.
After yesterday’s tricky conditions and late racing – today also looks like we can expect see a few points of the compass today. A low pressure to the east is maintaining a decreasing N veering E airflow – not quite ideal for sea breeze development but that will be on the cards.
The current N airflow will decrease, jumping round to the E for a short period this morning before a SE-S sea breeze of 04-08 KT establishes itself from 1300 so possibly a delay to the medal gathering.
LW 1102 HW 1619
A big day for the Brits with Ben Ainslie and the Yngling girls both looking to take home golds. For Ainslie, the points buffer makes the prospect a bit easier than for the girls who go head to head in a match race against the Dutch.
Clearly the medal races will attract much of the attention today but there is plenty of action across the fleets.
49ers have their last day racing today before their medal race tomorrow. With three races lost to the weather the runway is shorter making it more difficult for those who needed to collect some better scores. Can the Danes keep the gap close to the Australians for a head to head tomorrow?
Both Laser fleets are approaching their halfway stage, but with two races lost so far, their halfway house is moving towards them, reducing the amount of time left to get back in the game. Today will be very important and could re-shuffle the pack.
470 – Will the Australian teams continue to dominate this class? Today could push them further ahead.
Star – Unusual weather conditions helped to split the fleet in two yesterday, consigning all three of the 2004 medal holders to the trailing pack. How will they fare today and will Iain Percy’s quiet confidence in his boat, crew and overall speed bear fruit for the Brits?
Tornado – The boom/bust performance of the American’s was more a product of the wildly fluctuating conditions, or was it? Can the code zero cut the mustard today in the lighter conditions? Once again there will be some close scrutiny for this race.
The four Star teams who asked for redress following a big shift in conditions up the first beat of yesterdays race have had their request denied.
On the face of it this is more of a technical side issue, but the explanation makes it easier to understand how such a bit split in the fleet occurred.
The description of events reads:
Requests for redress in cases 37, 38, 39 and 40 referred to the same circumstances and were therefore heard together. On August 15, Race 1 for Star class was run on Alpha course. First starting procedure was postponed due to wind shift. The RC repeated the starting sequence. The course to be sailed was W2. The direction to the first mark displayed on the RC vessel was 040. The distance to the first mark was 1.3 nM. The current was coming from right to the left down the course. After the start several boats including BRA, ITA, AUT and AUS sailed to the right side of the course which initially had more breeze and a better angle, the remainder of the fleet sailed to the left. There was less pressure on the left hand side of the course. When the boats were approximately half to 2/3 up the beat, the RC signal boat noted a wind shift of about 20 degrees to the left that was confirmed by the RC boat at mark 1. The wind shift came with more pressure and boats on the left side of the course tacked and were close to laying mark 1. At the same time breeze on the right side died and the boats were headed. The furthest boat to the left was SWE. By the time SWE reached mark 1 she was sailing with sheets eased. See the rest of facts found in the seperate sheet
For the full details go to: www.sailing.org/olympics/racing/decisions.php
** USEFUL LINKS **