Piotr Myszka [POL] the 2010 RS:X World Windsurfing Champion is in no mood to pass his crown on to someone else. He went out on to the centre course determined to put himself in a position to attack Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] in the medal race tomorrow.
The way it played out has probably exceeded his wildest dreams. He posted two second places but Dorian faltered. Normal service was delivered in the first race of the day – 3rd – but in the second he dropped to 8th.
The problem is that he just cannot discard it. Remember that 16th he scored in race 3. He must be kicking himself tonight for not reading the course board on the back of the start boat correctly. Talk about putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.
With one point between them a major head-to-head is in prospect.
Back in 3rd Przemyslaw Miarczyinski [POL] is 13 points off the pace so probably not able to overhaul his countryman. But he will be fully occupied by Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] who started this regatta in a blaze of 1s and 2s and then took his foot off the gas pedal to slip steadily down the order. He’s 2 points back.
There will be a three way standoff for the bronze medal. Tom Ashley came into the mix today. He blew the fleet away in the 15 knot sea breeze in the 9th race in the series by the simple expedient of reading the pressure spot on.
Straight off the start, he put in a long tack out to the right hand side of the course, tacked one and crossed the whole fleet as the smoked up the starboard layline to the windward mark. Rounding with a decisive lead, Piotr could find no way back and nor could Dorian who was scrambling to make up places from behind.
5th in race 10 did not quite do it for him. He is now 8 points adrift of the bronze medal which translates into 5 medal race places between him and Pont. It’s a tall order.
Elliot Carney [GBR] went into the day just one point off a place in the medal race. He was down in the pits area in plenty of time to check his equipment and make some precautionary replacements. He clearly was going out to secure that coveted first medal race spot.
Sadly it wasn’t to be . In race 9 he went left towards the grandstand where the strong sea breeze was forced to rise over the sea wall reducing the pressure significantly. He repeated the mistake in race 10 to post a 14 and a 19 and drop back to 14th overall just behind Nick Demspey [GBR] who has had a less than sparkling regatta to put it mildly.
The reverse is true for Elliot who is now on the verge of a big breakthrough just like Zac Plavsic [CAN] whose time training with Dorian and JP has paid off handsomely. He was back on form today posting a 9 and a 6 to finish 12th overall which is possibly the highest placed finisher by any North American athlete in a decade.
And the country that did not make the cut to qualify his nation for London 2012 ?
Well, The Russian athlete Dmitrii Polishchuk finished his championship off in style to climb well out of the danger zone. That means that the last country through the door is Australia with Tim Gourlay and Luke Baillie just doing enough to make their shot at qualification stick
And the unlucky one… was Grillo Santiago from Colombia. The one saving grace that he can take home with him is that he finished on top of the pile of also-rans. Now 16 countries will go to Cadiz, Spain for the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships to fight over the last 9 national qualifying places. Grillo knows that one of those places has his name on it.
Here are the nations qualified: NED, POL, ISR, NZL, GRE, POR, ESP, FRA, BRA, CAN, GER, CYP, SUI, UKR, ARG, CHN, KOR, JPN, HUN, HKG, CRO, NOR, ITA, LTU, USA, RUS, MEX, AUS
Qualified by right: GBR
Those to qualify in 2012: COL, BUL, THA, EST, CZE, SVK, TPE, SIN, VEN, DEN, PHI, PAK, LAT, PER, EGY, SLO,