Perfect sailing conditions for the fifth day of the Laser Radial World Championship in Brazil

In 16-18 knot perfect sailing conditions Trine Abrahamsen from Denmark had the best scores of the day at the Laser Radial World Championship in Fortaleza, Brasil yesterday. She led home Lizzie Vickers GBR and Tania Eoias Calles MEX by a comfortable margin in the first race and then posted a solid fourth behind the French pair, Sarah Steyaert and Solinne Brain and the ever present Paige Riley from USA. Abrahamsen said: “I got to the right-hand side of the course in the first race that paid off and then had decent speed all the way round.”

On the conditions the former Europe sailor commented “I haven’t sailed the Laser Radial that much but I think I prefer stronger winds although here the waves are a bit funny. We do not have waves as big as this in Denmark!”

The story of the day was Riley’s consistency. A fifth place in the first race to add to her third in the second race puts her 17 points clear of her fellow American Anna Tunnicliffe and one race away from the World title. “I am really happy about today,” was Riley’s natural reaction after the race. “The shifts were a lot longer and you can could really get into them.”

As a reminder that nothing is certain until the finish Riley capsized on the first downwind leg when in the lead in the last race. “I had just got into the lead and was starting to take off when I just flipped over! I thought I cannot believe this but it was OK as I got back to third.” Riley admitted that she has not looked closely at the scores “I guess I will take a closer look today.”

The Russian, Timofey Zhbankov led the first race of the men’s fleet home leading on the first downwind leg through to the finish. Behind him Brad Funk USA, Blair McClay NZL and Eduardo de Magalhaes Couto BRA, the overnight second, third and first overall engaged in their own private race with Couto pulling through to second from fifth in a tight finish ahead of the American and New Zealander.

The second men’s race saw a similar battle between the top three and another downwind incident when Funk took a penalty for touching the downwind gate when lying third behind Couto and McClay. The positions remained the same to the finish leaving Couto ten points clear of Funk who is a further eight points clear of McClay. All three have been very solid since the wind has increased but they will have to take care they do not get too involved in their own race even though the fresh conditions are expected to continue throughout the last day.

If Funk wins the last two races Couto has to finish third or better in at least one of the races to win Brasil’s second world Laser world title in home waters following in the footsteps of Robert Scheidt.

Results (after 10 races with two discards)

Women, Gold

1 Paige Railey USA, 35,0 pts

2 Anna Tunnicliffe USA, 46,0 pts

3 Petra Niemann GER, 47,0 pts

4 Sarah Blanck AUS, 48,0 pts

5 Krystal Weir AUS, 53,0 pts

6 Sophie de Turckheim FRA, 58,0 pts

7 Hanne Jansch GER, 63,0 pts

8 Gintare Volungeviciute LTU, 64,0 pts

9 Tania Elias Calles MEX, 67,0 pts

10 Laura Baldwin GBR, 71,0 pts

Mens, Gold

1 Eduardo C. de Magalhães Couto BRA, 25,0 pts

2 Brad Funk USA, 36,0 pts

3 Igor Lisovenko RUS, 38,0 pts

4 Tiago Côrtes Rodrigues BRA, 41,0 pts

5 Andreas Reinisch Perdicaris BRA, 42,0 pts

6 Blair Mclay NZL, 44,0 pts

7 Ben Paton GBR, 51,0 pts

8 Timofey Zhbankov RUS, 51,0 pts

9 Daniel Jakobsson BRA, 51,0 pts

10 Martin Jenkins ARG, 52,0 pts