British still in the chase for medals on day three of Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta 25/1/07

Light winds once again prevailed at the start of Wednesday’s third day of racing at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta (22-27 January), but Skandia Team GBR’s sailors managed to hold on to nine top three slots across the 14 classes in spite of the tricky conditions.

Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield remain firmly at the top of the 470 men’s leaderboard after another solid day’s racing in Biscayne Bay, while 49er sailors Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes and the Paralympic Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas improved from their second places yesterday to pole position at the end of racing on Wednesday.

After a frustrating day confined to shore on Tuesday due to the light winds, Tornado sailors Leigh McMillan and Will Howden came out with a bang on Wednesday, with a race win and a third helping them to equal first place on points with the Australian World Champions Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby.

Although the Miami breeze had built to a 10 knots by mid afternoon, light winds around the 5-6 knot mark challenged sailors early on, with looming rain clouds bringing with them some sizeable wind shifts throughout the day.

Rogers and Glanfield read the conditions well to keep their lead over the rest of the pack in the 470 men’s class, posting a sixth and a second from their two races to maintain a six point buffer between them and Spaniards Gustavo Martinez and Dimas Wood in second place.

“It’s all going pretty well so far, but there’s still a way to go yet,” commented Rogers, who’s enjoying the quality international competition after having some unexpected time away from racing in 2006 after a broken wrist saw he and Glanfield sidelined for the early part of the season.

“It’s a really high quality fleet here, so we’re just here to learn and try and get back to where we were before. We had a couple of good results today, and some of the top guys didn’t do so well so we’re pretty happy with that, but it’s still too early to take much from it at the moment.”

49er European Champions Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes started the day on a high note with a race win, followed by a seventh, to finish the day in first place ahead of Spanish Olympic Champions Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez, while the Skandia Team GBR Sonar crew, helmed by John Robertson, had a solid performance on Wednesday to overtake their training partners at the top of the table.

Windsurfer Bryony Shaw, the overnight leader in the RS:X women’s fleet, was disappointed with her 3,7 from today’s two races.

“I lead round the penultimate mark in the first race,” Shaw explained, “but the French girl Perrin and Marina Alabau of Spain were right behind me. It was a tough battle and we were side by side all the way down to the finish line where I just missed out, but only by a few centimetres.”

Shaw slips down to second place, two points behind Spain’s Marina Alabau, while Athens bronze medallist Nick Dempsey improved his standing to third the RS:X men’s class with 8,6 from the fleet’s two races today.

Two race wins by Sweden’s Stellan Berlin in the 2.4mR Paralympic class saw Megan Pascoe and Helena Lucas drop slightly to second and third places respectively, with Pascoe on equal points with the leader, while Paul Goodison’s quest for a fifth Rolex Miami OCR title in the Laser class have taken a further knock.

With a race win now discounted from his scoreline due to Goodison inadvertently sailing with the wrong group in Tuesday’s first race, the world number one today became hooked up on a pleasure cruiser which decided to sail through the race course during the first race, resulting in him being towed backwards.

He recovered in the second of the day’s races to post a fifth, which sees him in tenth place overall. Nick Thompson is currently the top British sailor, sailing solidly again today with a 5,4 putting him in fifth place.

Ed Wright continued his climb back up the Finn class leaderboard and is now into the top ten thanks to a 14,7 from today’s races, while the Yngling class continues to see a close battle at the top of their table. Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson slip just outside of the top three by one point, and just four points off the overall lead after today’s three races brought them two sixth places and a third. Yngling development squad sailors Victoria Rawlinson, Sue Monson and Emma Rawlinson showed promise with a second and a third from the day’s first two races.

Elsewhere, Allan Smith and Jackie Gay are currently fifth place in the SKUD-18 class, Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark maintain seventh position in the 470 women’s event, and Charlotte Dobson overtakes Lizzie Vickers as the top British sailor in the Laser Radial class. The new Star duo of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson had a mixed day in the shifty conditions, posting a 5,16 to sit them in 16th place overall.

Racing at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta runs through until Saturday 27 January.

Results (day 3)

Finn (49 boats) — 7 races
1. Peer Moberg (NOR), 8-[9]-2-6-1-5-4, 26
2. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), 10-3-4-5-[11]-3-1, 26
3. Dan Slater (NZL), 3-8-3-2-8-[12]-5, 29

49er (47 boats) — 7 races
1. Stevie Morrison/ Ben Rhodes (GBR), 1-6-3-1-1-7, [25/BFD], 19
2. Iker Martinez de Lizarduy/ Xabier Fernadez (ESP), 1-6-[12]-1-2-3-6, 19
3. Morgan Larson/ Pete Spaulding (USA), 4-7-[25/DNF]-2-1-4-1, 19

470 Men’s (31 boats) — 6 races
1. Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield (GBR), 2-1-4-[11]-6-2, 15
2. Gustavo Martinez/Dimas Wood (ESP), 4-3-[13]-3-10-1, 21
3. Gideon Kliger/Udi Gal (ISR), 16-[32/OCS]-3-2-2-9, 32

470 Women’s (18 boats) — 7 races
1. Marcelien de Koning/Lobke Berkhout (NED), 1-1-1-8-5-2-[13], 18
2. Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving (Norwalk, Conn./New York, N.Y., USA), 3-4-[11]-3-2-7-1, 20
3. Giulia Conti/Giovanna Micol (ITA), 5-3-2-[7]-4-4-3, 21

Laser (69 boats) — 6 races
1. Michael Blackburn (AUS), 2-[6]-1-3-5-2, 13
2. Tom Slingsby (AUS), 2-1-7-8-2-[12], 20
2. Matias Del Solar (CHI), 6-2-[17]-6-4-2, 20

Laser Radial (69 boats) — 6 races
1. Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla., USA), 1-1-[36-DSQ]-3-1-4, 10
2. Tania Elias Calles (MEX), 4-5-4-[10]-1-2, 16
3. Karin Soderstrom (SWE), 2-2-[10]-4-2-8, 18

RS:X Men (44 boats) — 5 races
1. Samual Launay (FRA), [45/DNF], 9-2-7-1, 19
2. Przeymslaw Miarczynski (POL) 1-5-[15]-10-3, 19
3. Nick Dempsey (GBR) 4-4-[13]-8-6, 22

RS:X Women (28 boats) — 5 races
1. Marina Alabau (ESP), [9]-2-9-2-1, 14
2. Bryony Shaw (GBR), 4-5-4-3-[7], 16
3. Marta Hlavaty (POL), 2-1-17-[29/OCS]-3, 23

SKUD-18 (10 boats) – 8 races
1. Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J., USA), 4-[6]-4-4-1-1-1-1, 16
2. Karen Mitchell/ JP Creignou (Deerfield Beach, Fla./St. Petersburg, Fla., USA), 6-2-1-2-[7]-4-3-2, 20
3. David Cook/Brenda Hopkin (CAN), 2-4-3-1-5-2-[11/DNF], 20

Sonar (14 boats) — 8 races
1. John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Stephen Thomas (GBR), 2-4-1-3-[7]-1-4-6, 21
2. Dan Parsons/Tom Pygall/Guy Draper (GBR), 3-3-2-[15/OCS]-1-2-3-8, 22
3. Vasilis Christoforou/Nikos Paterakis/Kostaris AN. Alexas TH. (GRE), 7-[11]-3-4-4-5-1-9, 33

Star (67 boats) – 5 races
1. Fredrik Loof/Anders Ekstrom (SWE), [3]-2-2-1-2, 7
2. Xavier Rohart/Pascal Rambeau (FRA), [11]-1-7-3-1, 12
3. Afonso Domingos/ Bernardo Santos (POR), 1-11-1-[17]-2, 15

Tornado (43 boats) – 5 races
1. Darren Bundock/Glenn Ashby (AUS), 3-3-[6]-5-1, 12
2. Leigh McMillan/William Howden (GBR), 4-4-1-[11]-3, 12
2. Olivier Backes/Paul Ambroise Sevestre (FRA), 2-5-[11]-6-2, 15

2.4 mR (25 boats) — 7 races
1. Stellan Berlin (SWE), 1-5-[9]-6-7-1-1, 21
2. Megan Pascoe (GBR), 3-1-2-7-2-6-[8], 21
3. Helena Lucas (GBR), 5-[7]-5-2-1-7-6, 26

Yngling (18 boats) — 7 races
1. Anne Le Helley/Marion Deplanque/ Catherine Lepresant (FRA) 7-[15]-7-3-1-1-1, 20
2. Sally Barkow/Carrie Howe/Debbie Cappozi (Nashotah, Wis./Grosse Pointe, Mich./Bayport, N.Y., USA) 3-1-4-6-4-2-[7], 20
3. Silja Lehtinen/ Maria Klemetz/Livia Varesmaa, (FIN), 2-2-2-1-[12]-7-9, 23