RS:X Worlds: Fast, Faster And Fastest

There was fast wind and equally fast windsurfing in the Men’s RS:X Gold fleet racing Saturday, with Piotr Myszka (POL), Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) and Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) filling the top three places overall.

Just one point separates world number one Myszka (24) and van Rijsselberghe (25) ahead of Sunday’s Medal race.

Race 9 and 10 on Saturday produced mixed results and slightly shuffled the top 10.

The first race of the day was marked by two things; a constant divide of athletes and a consistent top three that lead for much of the race.

Andreas Cariolou (GRE) took a third of the sailors to the left, while Tom Ashley (NZL) led the remaining two thirds right.

Fifteen minutes into the race and a strong top three emerged with New Zealand’s Ashley blazing the trail, followed by Piotr Myszka (POL) and Ricardo Winicki Santos (BRA).

After another split Elliot Carney (GBR) sped ahead, warding off teammate Nick Dempsey while Greece’s Byron Kokkalanis was tailed by Miarczynski.

Dorian van Risselberghe appeared to be lost in the crowd for much of the race but in a dramatic turn of events began to overtake his rivals, first Cariolou, then Santos. But despite his efforts, van Risselberghe couldn’t gain enough pace to outdo Ashley (NZL) and Myszka (POL).

Ashley spent most of the race well out in front, but Myszka caught up to cross just one second later. That win saw Ashley move from 9th to 5th overall.

In race 10, no-one could come between the two Polish sailors Myszka and Miarczynski.

Van Risselberghe once again started poorly, but in the second race of the day he didn’t recover.

Similarly, Nimrod Mashich (ISR) fell short of his recent winning streak, placing 8th and 9th on Saturday.

Medal Race competitors (subject to protest): 1. Piotr Myszka (POL); 2. Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED); 3. Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL); 4. Nimrod Mashich (ISR); 5. Tom Ashley (NZL); 6. Jon Paul Tobin (NZL); 7. Byron Kokkalanis (GRE); 8. Joao Rodrigues  (POR); 9. Ivan Pastor (ESP); 10. Julien Bontemps (FRA).

The men’s RS:X Medal Race is scheduled to begin on Centre course at 1510 local time on Sunday.

RS:X Worlds: Snakes And Ladders on The Centre Course

Overnight 36mm of rain had deluged Perth in just 30 minutes but the low pressure was still hanging around this morning. We woke to total cloud cover and the same wind direction that had delivered solid gold racing on day 1.

Now, the men racing in the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships were scheduled to race on the centre course starting at 1230hrs. The Blue fleet went out first with the start boat close up against the northern breakwater.

Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] strode into the lead which had extended to 2 minutes on his second visit to the top mark. The race win was in the bag. He just had to complete the course to post his first bullet of the day. Unfortunately he had not paid enough attention to the course signals on the stern of the start boat… He presented himself at the finish line one lap early and then had to play a desperate game of catch up finally finishing 16th

He made up for it in the second by firing in a bullet but the beneficiary of his dumb mistake in the first was Zac Plavsic who made history and climbed a personal Everest too by pouncing on Dorian’s mistake and taking the gun. A Canadian athlete has never before won a race at an Olympic class windsurfing world championships.

Asked what he thought of the centre course today Zac said “It’s like playing snakes and ladders. In that board game finding a ladder can move you right up. The reverse is true of the snakes. I just managed to find more ladders than snakes today

Well done Zac for proving the sceptics wrong for the second day. The other guy who is has had the best 2 days sailing in his life is Eliot Carney. He popped in a 3 and a 6 today and now is 6th overall.

On coming ashore he said “I’m tired but really happy… Just trying to keep a lid on my emotions… These have been the best 2 days racing I have ever had” He’s come good just as Nick Dempsey has gone off the boil. He is loathing the conditions in Perth. The weed in the water being a big bug bear. Not to mention the empty spectator stands and the compromises that he is being forced to make to the altar of media friendliness when the official coverage seems almost bereft of windsurfing action.

Equal second are the Polish pair, Piotr Myszka and Przemislaw Miarczynski. This ding dong battle is not going to stop any time soon. Unlike what was billed to be a needle match between the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, Shahar Zubari and his team mate from Israel, Nimrod Mashiah.

This one finished before it began. Nimrod sits on top of the leaderboard with a mere six points whilst Shahar is buried in 19th place with forty three. He is spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which race to discard but he favours the 16th place that he scored in race 2 at the moment.

Tom Ashley [NZL] is putting a nice series together. Placing 2nd and 3rd today, he’s back to his imperious self in 4th place overall while JP is paying the price for the wound in his left foot. The one inflicted by that mean little fish the Cobbler. He just could not apply the necessary pressure to do better than a 6th and a 10th today

We’re moving to the business end of the qualification round tomorrow with the points close enough to put 7 sailors in with a chance of making the cut. As for the number of countries going to qualify, on our current calculations the silver fleet will be fighting over the 3 remaining places not already taken by those in the gold fleet.