Klepacka Dips Into Pole Position
Poland’s Zofia Klepacka has moved into pole position in the Women’s RS:X after finishing second in Race 7 and winning Race 8 at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the Olympic Test Event.
The Polish RS:X sailor led Race 7 from the start and had opened up a seven point lead as she headed into the second windward mark. But she went for a swim shortly after the mark rounding allowing Canada’s Nikola Girke to move past and open up a ten second lead. Klepacka fought back hard to reduce the deficit to four seconds but she ran out of time as Girke took her first bullet of the regatta.
Girke said, “I got a good start with clear lanes. I just gained steadily on the girls in front. When I was second the Polish girl [Klepacka] got caught on the mark and fell, so I got past and stayed there.”
In Race 8 Klepacka blew the field away making no mistakes to finish ahead of Lee Korzits (ISR) by 24 seconds and with Marina Alabau (ESP), leader after six races, finishing fifth and sixth in the big winds Klepacka has moved ahead by three points. Charline Picon (FRA) remains in third place on 31 points and Race 7 winner Girke is eighth on 57 points.
It was another windy day in Weymouth with the wind blowing 20 knots and gusts recorded at 25 knots. On the Nothe Course, where the 49ers and Women’s Match Racers sailed one gust was recorded at 30 knots so it was a big wind day for all the sailors.
For the fourth consecutive race day in the Men’s RS:X there is no separating Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED). The pair have dominated racing in Weymouth and shown consistency that will win gold medals. The Dutchman won Race 7 and came third in Race 8 and Dempsey mirrored Van Rijsselberge coming third in Race 7 and winning Race 8. Both sailors have 11 points with two race days remaining. On the day’s racing conditions Dempsey said, “Today was beautiful, really stunning. I don’t think you will get a better day. When the wind is in the right direction, as it was today, you get a brilliant view.” Greece’s Byron Kokalanis is in third on 35 points.
The overall lead in the 49er changed hands for the third time at the close of the day as Spain’s Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez moved in front following a great day on the water. The Spaniards came third in Race 7, won their third race in Race 8 before coming second in Race 9. They lead on 24 points closely followed by Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) on 28 points. New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke trail the Australians by ten points in third place. The days other race wins went the way of Gianfranco Sibello and Pietro Sibello (ITA) and France’s Emmanuel Dyen and Stephane Christidis.
Ben Ainslie (GBR) maintained his lead in the Finn after another consistent day of sailing. The ISAF Sailing World Cup Finn title holder won Race 5 and recorded a second bullet in Race 6 to lead on 12 points. Race 5 winner Jonathan Lobert (FRA) is second on 15 points and yesterday’s hero Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) is third on 16 points.
World #1 Star duo Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada had, by their standards, a bad day at office finishing second in Race 5 and ninth in Race 6. But with the discard coming into play they discard their ninth place and continue to lead on seven points. Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows had a good day placing first in Race 5 and third in Race 6. They move to second overall and Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki are third on 19 points. Canada’s Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn won Race 6 and with 40 points they sit in ninth place.
In the Women’s Match Racing Olivia Price (AUS) defeated Lucy Macgregor (GBR) 3-2 to advance to the fifth/sixth place playoff. Mandy Mulder (NED) also advanced after beating Anna Kjellberg (SWE) 3-0.
Only one flight was possible at the end of the day and Price defeated Mulder to lead 1-0 and Macgregor beat Kjellberg. The sail offs are expected to continue on Wednesday but if they do not then Price will finish fifth, Mulder sixth, Macgregor seventh and Kjellberg eighth.
Tomorrow sees the Women’s Match Racing Semi Finals as well as the Petit Final. The RS:X racing continues and the Laser, Laser Radial and Men’s and Women’s 470 sailors hit the water again for their seventh and eighth races.