After waiting for the wind to fill in, a tantalising 12 knot breeze called out to the sailors in the morning of day six of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Conditions looked promising for three races in excellent winds, until start time, when the wind died again frustrating the ever positive Race Committee. Nevertheless, they managed to get racing underway on time. Fortunately the wind remained constant between 5 to 10 knots and organisers efficiently pulled off three back to back races.
Boys Byte CII
Tweeters CHAI Xun & Dawn Liu
Racing on the Byte CII boys' course saw some surprises today as many of the current fleet leaders finished out of top five places in the three races sailed. Shifty winds, strong current decreasing over the day and gusts across the course made for tricky conditions. The strategy for each race varied. In race nine, the left side paid enormous dividends for sailors who made an investment there on the upwind leg.
In races 10 and 11, as the current died off, shifts and gusts took precedence. Among the top performers of the day were Pavlo Babych
(UKR) with a 1,8 and 4 and Zili Wang
(CHN) with a 2,5 and 6. Both have jumped up the overall rankings from original positions outside of the top 20.
Finishing first in the second race was also a surprise leader, Juan Ignacio Biava
(ARG), who overtook initial race leader Ian Barrows
(ISV) on the final downwind to nail a win - impressive for Biava, who is currently in 20th position overall.
However, the winner for the day had to be Ian Barrows (ISV), who finished with an 8,2 and 1. This result puts him in first place overall with 41 points after two discards - 12 points clear of second-placed Florian Haufe
Barrows said of his performance, "I had decent starts, good boat speed, and played the shifts in the oscillating wind. Current wasn't really a big factor except in the first race, where staying on the left was better."
Barrows goes into the non-discard medal race with a comfortable lead but silver and bronze medal positions remain close between Haufe (GER), Kaarle Tapper
(FIN), Just Van Aanholt
(AHO), Siese Owen (BER) and Darren Choy
(SIN) with an outside chance.
Girls Byte CII
Tweeters Sara TAN, Airiel Ruth HO & Daniella NG
Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Min Gu
(CHN) headed towards the left side of the course off the startline whilst Constanze Stolz
(GER) and Daphne Van der Vaart
(NED) went for the right. The Dutch girl managed to pick up a late shift on the right hand side and created a lead she never relinquished throughout the race.
Race ten started just as the wind was slowly picking up and marked the start of a thrilling race with many place changes. Due to the strong current, Tu'iemanu Eugenie Alexandria Ripley
(ASA), Ines Sobral
(POR), and Natasha Michiko Yokoyama
(SIN) were locked together as the gun went, but Yokoyama eventually pulled away and headed off to the right side of the course.
But it was Stolz who tacked and crossed the whole fleet to round the top mark first. Her efforts were in vain as she was unable to maintain her first position dropping to a disappointing 12th by the next upwind leg.
"It was really frustrating, I think I picked up some seaweed on the rudder and lost a whole load of places,"
she said later ashore.
Van der Vaart continued to pile on the pressure rounding the bottom mark ahead of Yokayama and Sarah Douglas (CAN) and Paloma Esteban (DOM) all at least 10 boat lengths ahead of the rest of the fleet. But the Singaporean gradually gained on the Dutch girl passing her on the final leg to take the gun with Esteban taking her first podium finish and best race of the regatta.
There was oscillating winds throughout race eleven. A big left hand shift on the second upwind leg meant that almost the entire fleet overlayed the top mark but van der Vaart played the shifts well to open up a lead. The fleet were bunched on the last downwind leg with Min Gu just holding off Stolz and Vadlau, never far off the pace.
Celine Carlsen (DEN) capsized on the approach to the last mark, (maybe overawed by the watching Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark) causing her to lose a couple of positions in the overall rankings.
Vadlau (AUT) goes into the medal race with a comfortable 13 point cushion but the real battle for silver looks to be shaping up between Stolz (GER) and van der Vaart (NED).
Boys Techno 293
Tweeters: LO Manyi & Jeddy TAN
This morning the wind looked promising at about 12 knots. The windsurfing boys left shore for the first start at midday. However, by the time the committee boat was ready to start the first race of day, the wind dropped to about four knots which was not racing conditions.
After about an hours wait out on the water, the committee boat decided to raise the AP over H flag. The windsurfers headed back to shore for a short break. About 30 minutes later, the AP flag went down and the windsurfers were back in action again.
Race nine started in about 6 knots. The start was clear and everyone had a decent start. Chaneui Kim (KOR) worked upwind through the middle which had the most pressure and rounded in the lead followed by Pachecho Monllor (PUR) and Mayan Rafic(ISR). Rafic sailed a great downwind leg and managed to overtake the Puerto Rican and close the gap on the Korean. By the second upwind Rafic had made his move and maintained it all the way to the finish line.
Race ten started quite late after having a break due to lack of wind. Pachecho Monllor had a another great first upwind and rounded first with a 15m lead over Artem Murashev (RUS). However, on the second upwind, the diminutive Russian caught up and passed using good wind reading skills.
At the upwind mark second time round, Murashez was not going to give up his lead and surfed to win his first race of the Games from Michael Cheng (HKG) and Chanuei of Korea.
Dropping his worst result of the regatta Rafic goes into the medal race with a seven point lead but the chasing pack of Cheng (HKG), Kieran Martin (GBR) and Kim Chaneui (KOR) all in the mix with medal chances.
Girls Techno 293
Tweeters: Lesley DE CRUZ, KO Jia Yun, Siobhan TAM
Race nine started in around six knots and a shifting current. The start was starboard biased with many windsurfers crowded around the committee boat. Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) and Pei Lin, Audrey Yong (SIN) both had good starts to set the pace.
Yong managed to grab the lead half way up the first upwind leg however she was unable to maintain it dropping her sail twice and rounding the downwind mark in fourth keeping that position to the finish.
The unstoppable Thai, Kaewduang-Ngam sailed into the lead and raced away to start day six as she finished day five with another bullet. The rapidly improving Italian Veronica Fanciulli and Lara Lagoa (ESP) were battling one another for second on the podium but Fancuilli just managed to keep the Spaniard at bay.
In race ten, the wind remained at six knots however it became much shiftier. Kaewduang-Ngam, Yong and Naomi Cohen (ISR) were leading after the start but the wind took a big shift to the right and the three leaders lost out. However by the first downwind mark Kaewduang-Ngam had clawed back to third and by the downwind mark she was just behind Lagoa and Valkevich (BLR) still in first and second.
But with superior speed on the upwind leg the Thai girl had worked her magic and rounded the windward mark first followed by Lagoa. These two had a 50m lead over the rest of the fleet with Valentina Serigos finishing in third.
Kaewduang-Ngam of Thailand recorded her fifth consecutive bullet of these Games to be in touching distance of the gold medal but the race for silver and bronze remains on a knife edge with three athletes sharing the same points, Fanciulli (ITA), Cohen (ISR) and Serigos (ARG) with Yong (SIN) and Lagoa (ESP) just behind.
The race for medals will take place tomorrow with a non discard medal race involving all competitors.
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