Day 3 – Second Day of Racing
Only the 49er fleet got racing in on Day 3 of the World Cup of Sailing – Weymouth, as light winds continue to dominate the week. Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign sit atop the 49er leaderboard after a 1, 2 on the day.
The British Olympic bound duo were happy to face the conditions, as they expect Rio to be somewhat similar, and said they had been training quite a bit in Rio recently so were happy to convert that training into results on the racecourse.
It’s hopeful for day 4 to have better breeze to close out the World Cup before medal races on Sunday.
Olympic bound Poles Lukasz Pryzbytek and Pawel Kolodzinsky are close behind in second place and have become a team that can compete well in all wind conditions. They are one of the longest standing partnerships in the 49er and while Rio will be their first games, they are a dark horse team that could end up on the podium. In the mean time, they’ll be fighting it out for the win in Weymouth.
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) thrived in the light breeze, snapping up a first and a second from two 49er races. They lead on 17 points and are five clear of Poland’s Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski.
The pair were recently selected to sail for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a gruelling selection battle. Their ticket to Rio is booked and they’re now firmly focused on the competition, “Last year we had some difficult times and we made some changes, but now we are on an upward curve,” explained Fletcher. “We are really finding our feet now in Rio style conditions, which are a bit patchy. They seem to be our favourite conditions and we seem to thrive in them.”
Every athlete heading to the Olympic Games is nearing their peak physical and mental fitness. Weymouth and Portland gives the sailors one last chance to test themselves before the summer showcase.
French Rio representatives Julien d’Ortoli and Noe Delpech have found their feet in Weymouth and Portland and after the Brits took the first race win, they claimed the second.
They sit in fourth overall and are enjoying racing in a competitive 30-boat fleet. “Everybody is sailing well,” explained d’Ortoli, “and they are definitely ready for the Olympics so the competition is tough.
“Our preparation isn’t finished and we are here to complete that preparation. We need to work on technique, speed and tactics. We are happy that there are good teams here to test against.”
The French team are ahead of many Rio medal hopefuls such as Jonas Warrer and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN), Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) and Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern (IRL) giving them a huge confidence boost. “It’s the last regatta before Rio so just being in front of people is good for the spirit if nothing else,” concluded d’Ortoli.
The 49erFX endeavoured to get a race in but it was just not to be. Sweden’s Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga will take their lead into the fourth day of racing.
Day 2 – First Day of Racing
Sailing World Cup Hyères winners Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga didn’t immediately pick up from where they left off just a few short weeks ago as they were OCS in the opening race. However, they quickly found the form that helped them win in Hyères, following up with a third and double bullets to lead the fleet.
“It’s the beginning of the regatta so anything could have happened today,” explained Klinga. “Apart from the OCS, we are happy but we will take fewer chances now because we can’t afford to get another bad result, but we will think exactly the same as normal, just race and look forward.”
The Swedes have moved into serious contenders for an Olympic medal and have got their spot at Rio all sewn up. They were involved in a long running battle for national qualification, facing up against Julia Gross and Cecilia Jonsson, one in which Ericson and Klinga triumphed. However Gross and Jonsson are still keeping their rivals on their toes and sit one point behind them on the leader board.
Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) follow, two points off the leaders with Norwegian twin sisters Ragna and Maia Agerup occupying fourth overall.
The Agerup sisters will be heading to Rio 2016 and are using Weymouth and Portland to sharpen up, “We wanted to have some racing before the Olympics so that’s why we decided to come here. We only got selected a few days ago by the Olympic Committee so it’s been pretty full on. We have been training in Rio the past couple of weeks and we will go out again soon.
“We take this regatta as good training and we will push it and see how far we can go.”
The 49er fleet touched back ashore at 18:20 after four light and tricky races. New Zealand’s Logan Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson continue to fly the flag for the nations 49er sailing, leading the 30-boat fleet on 12 points. Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez and Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign follow behind the Kiwis.
Wednesday’s little to no breeze and bright sunshine was replaced with strong easterly winds and fog on Thursday morning. As the day progressed, the breeze dipped and the fog disappeared as a full schedule of 34 races spread across all ten Olympic fleets concluded.