Olympic Sailing Underway

Monday 30 July 2012, 9:13AM
By Yachting New Zealand

*Kiwis competing at the Sailing event of the London 2012 Olympic Games made a solid start in near perfect sailing conditions off the shores of Weymouth.*

Winds of 12-18kn saw Finn sailor Dan Slater finish his first two races in seventh and eleventh place, leaving him in seventh place overall at the end of day one in this extremely competitive fleet of 24 boats. 

“I’m sailing quite well but it’s just that 300m of off the start I have to sort. I couldn’t quite get out to sail where I wanted to go” Dan said after racing.

“It is what it is, and it’s the same for everyone” he continued. “You’re just trying to position yourself to get enough leverage; it’s about maximum gain for minimum risk. A couple guys took some big risks and it paid off, and a couple took big risks and got hammered for it.”

Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner had one of those experiences of getting caught on the wrong side of an early shift in the first race, which left them 15th in that race, and an improved second race where they finished seventh.

“There was a big wind shift to the left, probably about twenty degrees. Some people got it right, some people got it wrong. We got it wrong” Hamish said.

He continued: “Weymouth is still a tricky old place. Nothing is easy out there, in these conditions, it was a bit of a funny day with a trough line coming through”

The women’s match racing team of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt started the round robin well although had a nail biting finish to the first race. They lead nearly the entire race, only losing by the narrowest of margins on opposite end of the finish line to the Dutch team. They succeeded in winning their second match against Anna Kjellberg of Sweeden by a considerable margin.

“They had a really great start and some good speed” said their coach Caroline Brisebois. “It was good to see them come back and win that second race and by quite a ways too”.

With one win and one loss, there are still nine more races in the round robin for the NZ Women’s Match Racing crew, and the Finn and Star classes have eight remaining before the final double point medal race for the top ten ranked competitors are sailed on August 5th.

The 49er (Peter Burling and Blair Tuke), Laser (Andrew Murdoch) and Laser Radial (Sara Winther) had their practice race today, and will commence racing tomorrow. The RS:X and 470 events will begin later in the week.

.... *Day 1 Standings*- July 29th 2012

7th- Dan Slater (Finn) - 7, 12

13th- Hamish Pepper & Jim Turner (Star) - 15, 7

Women’s Match Racing- Round Robin: One win, One loss