Blustery conditions in Weymouth for day four of racing has meant plenty of movement on the leader-boards for the kiwis competing at the Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta.
For most it was in the right direction and the majority of the team are now within the top ten of their event with Andrew Murdoch lying second in the Laser and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke rocketing up to third overall in the 49er.
Andrew Murdoch relinquished his lead to Tom Slingsby in what has been a trans-Tasman battle for the top spot over the first three days of the regatta in the Laser fleet. They now reach the half way mark and the seasoned kiwi campaigner is in 2nd place.
Adding an 11th and a 4th to his score card last night, and now discarding his worst result, gives Murdoch 18 points. Slingsby, named ISAF Sailor of the Year for his recent domination in the class, pulled off a win and a 2nd in the wind, drops the bad race from his total giving him ten points, and turning the table on Murdoch with an eight point lead.
Rutger van Schaardenburg of the Netherlands holds 3rd spot seven points adrift of Murdoch, as the Laser and Radial fleets go into a rest day.
Sitting in 8th place after their opening day Peter Burling and Blair Tuke clearly relished the increase in wind strength and clocked up a race win and two 3rds on the water overnight pushing them up the board by five positions and into the top three.
Not yet halfway through the series the 49er event has plenty of racing yet to run but the kiwis will be bolstered by today’s performance. Their points total is 21, equal to the Germans in 4th place, while the Spanish in 2nd have 18 points and Aussies Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jenson have the lead on 15 points.
The fast paced, high performance skiff crews sail three races on each race day – other fleet racers sail just two – and competition continues for them tonight.
Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk couldn’t repeat their day one form and have slipped from 2nd to 6th in the Star class after placing 15th and 7th in the two races sailed last night.
On the contrary, Dan Slater in the Finn made serious gains on his rivals climbing from 15th up to 6th overall with a 5th and a 2nd in last night’s racing.
The change in fortunes was marked across the fleet in the Finn including at the top of the board where Ben Ainslie took a 6th and a 5th in front of the home crowd and while he still tops the fleet he now shares it with Lobert of France. The day belonged to Postma from the Netherlands who took two guns.
Both the Finn and Star fleets have now completed two days of the series, returning to the water tonight for day three before a rest day.
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie had a strong day on the water in the breeze and have also made a major jump up the standings from 17th overall to 9th place in the Women’s 470. Two 3rd place finishes and the discard coming into play have resulted in the kiwi pair’s ascent into the top ten.
They, like the Men’s 470, now have a rest day followed by two more days of qualifying racing to determine the top ten positioned nations who will sail the medal race.
Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders placed 15th in their opening race last night, but suffered an OCS ruling in the subsequent race, and they now lie 15th overall in the Men’s 470. Sara Winther retains 25th place in the Laser Radial.
Windsurfers Jon-Paul Tobin and Natalia Kosinska will be back on the water tonight after a rest day.
Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta
New Zealand’s Current Standings
2nd - Andrew Murdoch: Laser (4, 5, 2, 3, 11, 4)
3rd - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke: 49er (11, 16, 3, 3, 1, 3)
6th - Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk: Star (5, 2, 15, 7)
6th - Dan Slater: Finn (13, 18, 5, 2)
8th - Jon-Paul Tobin: RS:X Men (6, 6, 9, 16, 5, 11)
8th - Natalia Kosinska: RS:X Women (12, 10, 4, 7, 7, 11)
9th - Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie: 470 Women (21, 11, 2, 26BFD, 3, 3)
15th - Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders: 470 Men (17, 16, 4, 13, 15, 33OCS)
25th - Sara Winther: Radial (11, 26, 26, 21, 15, 25)