Today did not look promising. Not promising at all. Bright sunshine maybe but the wind was absent. The AP duly went up at 1200hrs and the guys were held on the beach for 30 minutes. Then the fun and games began
The yellow group went out for the first start of the day. One general recall, they got into race 5. The wind was still not co-operating. Up and down. Left and right. Until after 37 minutes with what were once the fleet leaders buried in the pack, the win gods threw a curve ball and shifted 100 degrees plus.
The Race Committee had no choice. The ISAF Race Management Guidelines state clearly that the PRO can shorten or lengthen a leg but he cannot shorten a course. All that effort had to be consigned to the dustbin. The Race was abandoned.The fleet was sent ashore to recover their sense of humour and take a break
The blue fleet had more luck. Their only race of the day went off without a hitch. Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] recovered his equilibrium and took the gun. Piotr Myszka [POL] kept the pressure up by posting a 2nd whilst his compatriot, Przemyslaw Miarcyzinski bombed to 12th. Shahar Zubari [ISR] finally made an appearance in the top 3. And, Zac Plavsic [CAN] put in this worst race of the championship so far to drop out of the top 10.
The one young gun still confounding the sceptics is Eliot Carney who is rattling off mid top 10 finishes as if he had been at this game at this level for years… which he hasn’t. Good on ya Carnage 🙂
Now back to the Yellow fleet, who were finally recalled to the starting zone at going on 1600hrs. Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] was one athlete who was heaving a sigh of relief when the first race of the day was blown off. He was deep in the pack and dreading every moment of it. In the re-run, he finished 4th but now shares top spot overall with Dorian with a massive 6 points off 5 races.
No-one in front of him could do any damage to the top group but Tom Ashley [NZL] put in a stinker – 12th – and dropped to 5th, the place previously occupied by Toni Wilhelm [GER] who has now descended to 7th after posting a 19th.
There are now 6 points covering places 5 to 11 with a queue of people waiting to take the Otis in to the top 10 if any one puts a foot wrong again. 8 of them are carrying a discard they would rather forget leaving Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] and Piotr Myszka [POL] in s strong position going into the gold fleet racing starting tomorrow.
That covers the drama at the business end of the fleet, so lets look at who made the cut and who has been consigned to the silver fleet
Santiago Grillo [COL] is the last man in with David Mier y Teran just one point ahead. These two will be fighting tooth and nail for the last Olympic qualification place. There are 30 countries in the gold fleet including Great Britain who have a place at the Games by right as the host country.
28 nations will qualify here in Perth at the ISAF Sailing World Championships so although these guys are a long way off the medal places competition will be intense right through to the last man standing.
The 17 nations left in the silver fleet will get their chance to qualify at the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, Spain in March where the winners will get to share a US $45,000 prize pot.