Although the forecast of 12-15 knots didn't quite materialize for the day, nothing could have been better for the five teams that have now qualified their countries for the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth this August.
The lighter winds once again provided a great theatre for the skiffs and their boat handling skills as they fought around the track jockeying for places. At the end of the qualifying series the following countries have punched their ticket to Weymouth; Bermuda with Jesse and Zander Kirkland in 8th; Japan's Yuko Makino and Kenji Takahasi in 22nd; Canada's Gordon Cook and Hunter Lowden in 23rd; Dionisis Dimou and Mihalis Pateniotis of Greece in 24th and rounding out the Gold fleet, Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello of Italy in 25th.
Regatta leaders Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) turned on the heat today with a 1-1-2 sailing their distinctive purple kite to the front of the fleet. Tobias Schadewaldt and Hannes Baumann (GER) sit 5 points behind. Hannes commented that they had "light conditions, not that breezy with around 5-9 knots. We scored an eighth in first race and managed to win the next race; had a short lunch and went back out. We went out to Course B and we thought we'd have much more wind and would pick up like yesterday, but it didn't. But we had lovely sailing, just beautiful,"
he said with a huge smile.
When asked about the competition on the race course, he continued saying, "The nations that are qualified (for the Olympics) I think they are racing quite similar to normal racing. Those countries that are aiming for one of the open spots are pretty tense and fighting pretty hard."
His strategy for the finals? "Going into the finals the gold fleet racing is always more intense and more tight with 25 boats in the fleet so we are looking forward to it and try to be as good as we can."
The forecast for tomorrow is for 8-12 knots and once again, clear skies.
View highlights on the ISAF TV Player here.
Follow the action on www.49erworlds.org with the end of the qualifying series Wednesday and the finals starting May 10. The prize giving will be held on May 12