Europe Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson dominated the newly introduced Yngling class yesterday (22 April). The newly formed team of Inga Leask and Sarah Ayton are competing at their first international regatta, in this crew combination.
Racing finally got underway after a long postponement waiting for the wind to come in, eventually a gentle sea breeze built and the sailors left the shore. Sailing in a more stable 8-10 knots, Robertson et al got a good start and sailed well to take the first race from Ana Llaca and crew of Spain. Racing was close in the second race of the day, and the finish situation was made even more exciting due to a Tornado finishing on starboard tack at the same time as the Ynglings, luckily for Robertson she was on the right side of it and finished in fourth place. Robertson now moves in poll position after two days of racing.
Robertson commented: “We sailed well in the first race, got a good start and were tactically fast downwind. In the second race we were not sure where we finished as the Tornado came through, but a fourth place is good. Today we were working better as a team, and so I am really pleased. We have spent a lot of time training with the American Yngling sailors, so it is encouraging to come to Europe and see some of the hard work pay off.
A long day for the 49ers as the groups came in and out off the race course. The new pairing of Chris Draper and Olympic silver medallist Simon Hiscocks, are proving that although they have not sailed together very long, that they are a force to be reckoned with, scoring a sixth and two third places, they moved up into third place overall. Fellow RYA team GBR sailors Alister Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh sailed well to score a race win in the penultimate race of the day, keeping them within the top five. Paul Brotherton and new crew, Mark Asquith, are two places behind in seventh place.
A battle of the Brits is taking place in the Finn class. On Sunday, Andrew Simpson had one up on team mate and Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie, but yesterday the tables turned and Ainslie leads Simpson by one point. It was a long day in the Finn class, after having to wait their turn while the 470 class had three general recalls at the start. They finally got off in a steady 10 knot breeze, and it was Simpson in front of Ainslie in race one, finishing ninth to Ainslie’s 12th. Ainslie came back in race two of the day with a vengeance, finishing just behind the Atlanta gold medallist, Mateusz Kusznierewicz of Poland, in third place, with Simpson behind in 15th. Ainslie is now lying fourth overall with Simpson behind in fifth.
While Ainslie has left his long term nemesis, Robert Scheidt, behind in the Laser class, the five time world champion and gold and silver Olympic medallist is the guy to beat. RYA team GBR sailor Paul Goodison is showing good form, scoring a second and a fourth to finish one place behind Scheidt on overall points after day two. Team mate Ed Wright scored a fourth and a ninth which he can discard, to finish fourth overall behind Diegro Negri of Italy. RYA Development Squad sailor Dan Holman sailed well to move up in the overall scores to 12th place overall.
Dom Tidey scored a good results on the Windsurfer course with a fourth and a second to finish fourth overall behind local sailor Nicolas Beudou. Although it is early days, this is Tidey’s best result at an Olympic class regatta for some time.
“I seem to be sailing really well in these light conditions, which are not normally my strength. My downwind speed seems to be pretty good and I am definitely pleased to be in the top five after day two of this regatta, commented Tidey.
Allan Smith carries on his good form in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, sailing consistently, to count three second places and discard his worst result, a fifth, he is only two points behind race leader Hans Peter Reichl. This is the first time that the paralympic class has been to Hy