Skandia Sail For Gold, Weymouth UK,

4 czerwca do 9 czerwca 2012

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Scott on top in Weymouth after day three at Skandia Sail for Gold

Giles Scott (GBR) has taken the lead in the Finns after day three at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta after another great performance on the Olympic sailing waters. A fourth race win followed by a second place gives him an eight point lead over Ben Ainslie (GBR), while Zach Railey (USA) drops one place to third.

The weather had improved slightly from Tuesday’s inclement conditions, but it was still another tough day on the water. The moderate wind from the south-west peaked at around 19 knots, providing challenging sailing conditions in which only the best could thrive. And clearly Giles Scott and Ben Ainslie, the two greatest Finn sailors in the world at the current time, thrive in these conditions.

Race five got under way after a general recall and Scott was soon in the lead. The battle behind was between Deniss Karpak (EST), Pieter-Jan Postma (NED and Mark Andrews (GBR). Scott went on to win his fourth race in a row while Postma continued his good form with a second. Third place finally went to Ben Ainslie (GBR) after another big recovery.

Scott then looked to be going for his fifth race win in the second race of the day, rounding the top mark ahead of Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and Brendan Casey (AUS). But Ainslie had other ideas and stormed downwind to the gate to take the lead and then just sailed away from the fleet, while Scott dropped to third. Kljakovic Gaspic and Scott changed places again on the next upwind but Ainslie had already built a huge lead and they finished in this order.

Discarding his 21 from ay one, Scott takes the lead. He said, “To remain on top I am going to keep doing what I am trying to do now by taking each race as it comes. It is always better to have fewer points than more, being out in front is always a nice position to be in.”

Second overall Ainslie commented, “I had a nice final race to end the day. I haven’t been 100% at this regatta, but to be honest it is a great opportunity to get out on the water and see how the competition is doing and know more about the venue so it is completely worth doing and hopefully I will start to feel better towards the end of the week. Giles is doing really well, he certainly has turned the pace up especially upwind in these conditions. I am very lucky that he is my training partner."

After an eighth and a fourth today, Zach Railey (USA) drops to third overall. He said, “We had was about the same wind as yesterday but there were bigger velocity changes which made it hard, and they were still long races at over 75 minutes so very hard physically.”

“The fleet is very close and making the correct choice at the top of the first beat has been key so far. Ben did really well in the second race and won by a good margin. He sailed really well.”

If the forecast for the rest of the week is accurate, then this could be it until Saturday, when winds are supposed to moderate to 23-27 knots. Some predictions for the next few days indicate winds in excess of 30 knots and reaching 45 knots. Four more opening series races are scheduled before Saturday's medal race.

Results after six races
1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 6
2 GBR 3 Ben Ainslie 14
3 USA 4 Zach Railey 24
4 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 26
5 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 30
6 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 31
7 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 37
8 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 39
9 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 46
10 DEN 2 Jonas Hoegh-Christensen 50

Photos: OnEdition

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Scott dominates in foul weather on day two at Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth

What a disgusting day! The great British weather produced its most horrible best on day two at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth. However in the Finn class Giles Scott (GBR) made the best of the day, producing a master-class to win all three races in a cold south-easterly breeze that built through the day to 18 knots, and with incessant rain. However Ben Ainslie (GBR) leads the regatta overall from Zach Railey (USA) and Scott.

With three races scheduled to catch up after Monday's difficult conditions, and with weather more fitting to a winter's day, it was a tough day on the water for the 44 Finn sailors. The forecast was for the wind to rise to 18 knots and for a lot of rain, and it didn't disappoint. Visibility was often down to less than half a mile, with the sailors struggling to see the next mark, but it was also a great sailing day with good winds and nice waves, with Oscar flag flying for free pumping all day,

Race two of the series got under way in 12-13 knots after a general recall resulted in a black flag. Anxious to put Monday's 21st behind him, Giles Scott (GBR) rounded in second place and took the lead on the first downwind, to sail away from the fleet for a big win. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) rounded in third and moved up to second by the finish while the leader at the first mark, Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) crossed in third.

Scott was also at the front in race three, trailing Daniel Birgmark (SWE), and just ahead of Ben Ainslie (GBR), around the windward mark. With the wind increasing Birgmark held the lead until the second downwind when Scott led through the gate. Andrew Mills (GBR) moved up to second on the next beat but was then passed by both Ainslie and Birgmark on the final downwind. Scott took his second race win of the day.

Scott then made it a hat-trick winning the third race as the conditions deteriorated further. This time he led round the top mark from Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and Ainslie and they finished in that order after another tough battle.

Kljakovic Gaspic said, “It was quite a difficult day. The conditions were not so nice for sailing to be honest. It was patchy and the pressure was moving around. In the end it was always a bit better on the right but there were no rules and I had a few moments when I was in good situations but then even in a top place it was hard to control so in the first two races I struggled a bit.”

“In the third race I went on the right hand side of the course, tacked with a group and had really good speed and ran over that group. Giles rounded first and Ben and I were really close in second, but I ran him over on the layline and he lost 50 metres on me, because I was backwinding him, but we finished in the order we rounded the top mark.”

Despite his perfect scoreline today, Scott trails in fourth place after still counting a 21 from Monday. However with the discard coming into effect after five races, he should be able to get rid of it on Wednesday. After four races Ainslie leads with a five point margin over Zach Railey (USA) and a nine point margin over Scott.

Fourth placed Postma has benefited from a redress granted for race one after a sustaining damage following a collision. Postma said, “I had a big collision with Martin Robitaille yesterday, and he made a big hole in my transom and I took on a lot of water and they granted me redress for that. I also had some water in today but I wasn't sinking.”

On today he said, “I am quite happy with my day. We had 14-17 knots and I got a 3, 8 and 7. It wasn't perfect but it was all right. It was also a great day for my coach. It's Stefan's [de Vries] birthday today.”

There are six more opening series races before Skandia Sail for Gold concludes on Saturday, when the medal race for the top 10 will be sailed.

Top 10 after day two (4 races)

1 GBR 3 Ben Ainslie 15
2 USA 4 Zach Railey 20
3 GBR 41 Giles Scott 24
4 NED 842 Pieter Jan Postma 24
5 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 27
6 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 30
7 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 38
8 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 42
9 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 49
10 DEN 2 Jonas Hoegh-Christensen 49

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Big win for Caleb Paine as Skandia Sail for Gold begins

It was a difficult day on Weymouth's waters on day one at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta but Caleb Paine (USA) made it look easy with a massive win from Aleksey Selivanov (RUS) and Mark Andrews (GBR) in the only race sailed.

Racing didn't actually get under way until 16.30 as the early morning northerly clocked and dropped shortly after the fleet got away for race one at around 11.30. It was soon abandoned and after an hour wait the fleet was sent in only to be turned around just over an hour later as the forecast south-westerly filled in. The race was eventually started first time in 5-6 knots, only to drop on the first downwind to leave a complex and difficult race ahead. It picked up slightly for the final lap, and a second race was on the cards for a while, but then the race committee sent everyone home, which was a relief for many.

Caleb Paine (USA) found the best route up the first beat with lots of favourites struggling further back. He rounded ahead of Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) and Michael Maier (CZE). There were lots of casualties on the first downwind as the pressure came in from the left and many of the leaders dropped like stones. Alexiy Selivanov (RUS) had a great downwind to round some way back from Paine and just ahead of Zach Railey (USA) and Maier.

Paine extended his lead over the next two laps and crossed the finish line a minute and a half ahead of second placed Selivanov. In fact Paine had finished before the second boat had even rounded the gate. Andrews crossed in third with Railey fourth. Ben Ainslie (GBR) had recovered from a poor first beat to finish fifth.

Paine said, “I think the first beat was just a matter of staying in more pressure. The current was kind of in the phase of switching and I didn't really know what to do, so I just played it safe and worked closer to the coast. And it ended up turning out pretty well.”

“The biggest gain was on the first downwind. There was a pressure line coming down on the right side of the course looking upwind and I gybed into that with all the other boats and then rounded the gate ahead and it was a lot easier from there.”

Paine comes to Weymouth fresh from the success of winning the last ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Medemblik. “I'm starting to put all the pieces together and eventually I will be firing on all cylinders all of the time instead of just two or three. I'm looking forward to it and glad to see the progress is heading in the right direction.”

The forecast for Tuesday is for lots more wind, and rain. Skandia Sail for Gold continues until Saturday, when the medal race for the top 10 will be sailed.

Top 10 after race one

1 USA 11 Caleb Paine 1
2 RUS 1 Aleksey Selivanov 2
3 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 3
4 USA 4 Zach Railey 4
5 GBR 3 Ben Ainslie 5
6 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 6
7 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 7
8 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 8
9 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 9
10 NZL 24 Josh Junior 10

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