Following a bad couple of races on Sunday, the final day of qualification, which effectively put paid to Sari's challenge on the World Championship title, she produced an awesome physical and mental comeback, to win three of the last five races, and finish eight points behind new World Champion Siren SUNDBY (NOR).
Siren SUNDBY (NOR), who won the Gold medal with a race to spare yesterday, elected not to sail, but Lenka SMIDOVA (CZE) was out, challenging Sari for second place, but it didn't all go quite to plan.
Lenka finished 19 in today's race which automatically put her in third place overall. However, an incident at the first windward mark with Dutch champion Carolijn BROUWER , resulted in a protest hearing, and Lenka being disqualified from the final race of the series. That puts her in ninth place overall and moves Mary GAILLARD into second place.
Mary didn't have a fantastic race today, finishing in one of the lowest positions she has scored, but a consistent series has seen her sit patiently behind the leading three all week. She only scores one result outside of the top ten, and is a worthy bronze medal winner.
Double-handed Dinghy Open - 49er - Wrap-Up After 3 Heats
Carnage reigned in the 49er fleet on the first day of qualification in the ISAF World Championship in Cadiz. Amidst a catalogue of broken masts, sails and even a boat that is a virtual write-off, Pietro and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) lead the regatta.
"We just tried to sail conservatively," said Pietro, the helmsman. "It was really a matter of staying upright and keeping our heads while other people made mistakes. There were a couple of times when we nearly pitchpoled but we had good reactions and managed to avoid capsizing."
Amongst all the survival sailing going on, some of the better sailors were still thinking tactically. Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS are lying third overall after a 2,2,3 scoreline. 'The wind has been up and down and it was quite strong. The shifts were very big. We always had to look very carefully at the sea because it was quite easy to lose a position. We also focused on making good starts.'
The Brazilian team of Andre Otto FONSECA and Rodrigo Linck DUARTE have been steady improvers over the season, but were shocked and surprised to be lying second after the first day. 'Today was very good," said Fonseca. "We had never been so fast in that wind. We are getting better regatta by regatta. The boat was really fast. It was a hard day with a shifty wind and we had to rely on some luck too.'
Overall results after three heats (provisional)
1. ITA 6 Pietro Sibello/Gianfranco Sibello
2. BRA 823 Andre Otto Fonseca/Rodrigo Linck Duarte
3. GBR 2 Christopher Draper/Simon Hiscocks
4. UKR 5 Rodion Luka/ George Leonchuk
5. NOR 11 Chrostoffer Sundby/Frode Bovim
6. GER 12 Marcus Baur/Max Groy
7. ESP 4 Santiago Lopez Vasquez/Javier de la Plaza
8. ESP 31 Juan Luis Paez Gutierrez/Carlos de Bricio
9. DEN 21 Jonatan Aage Persson/Thomas Iversen
10. USA 13 Timothy Wadlow/Peter Spaulding
Action from the 49er © Annemiek Van KinderenMultihull Open - Tornado - Wrap up after Two Races
The Tornados started race one with the Levante wind blowing 13-14kt instead of the light 5-10kt breezes forecasted. The windward leeward course took 71 minutes to be completed by the British team of Leigh MCMILLAN and Mark BULKELEY, who finished in first place in race one. Australians Darren BUNDOCK and John FORBES came second followed by the French Yann GUICHARD and Christophe ESPAGNON in third position.
Some teams had a hard time, capsizing whilst blasting at full speed and came in early with broken kit. The Ukrainians have now to deal with a broken spinnaker pole and a torn main sail.
The wind dropped to 10kt and race 2 started without any incidents. Darren and John took the gun followed by 2000 Sydney Gold medallists Roman HAGARA and Hans-Peter STEINACHER, and in third the American team Lars GUCK and Jonathan FARRAR.
Commenting on the first day of racing the Argentineans sponsored by Red Bull Santiago LANGE and Carlos ESPINOLA said 'It was a difficult day for us and we struggled to choose the right side of the course. But we are confident once the Championship has just started and we have 9 more races that can change the whole overall results sheet'. They had an 11 and a 15 today which leaves them 11 overall.
The ISAF World Championship is the Olympic selection regatta for the French and Yann GUICHARD reckons that it is going to be important for him not to make any mistakes or take unnecessary risks. ' We are going to focus on good starts and speed ', says Guichard.
John FORBES is satisfied with the sailing conditions but he points out that the public should be allowed to the venue 'For some reason unknown to us the general public are excluded from the venue which makes it hard for us to promote ourselves and the sport. I think this could change and make it more spectator friendly.'
Full results are available on the event website at the address on the bottom of the page.
Single-handed Dinghy Open - Laser - Wrap up After Two Races
Racing began today in Cadiz with the fleet of 176 boats from 62 countries being split into four groups. The wind for the twelfth consecutive day was blowing from the north east and racing began on time in 18-20 knots with gusts of up to 25 knots recorded during the first set of races.
In the first yellow fleet races Ed WRIGHT (GBR) won the first race but could only manage a seventh in the second heat which was won by Michael BLACKBURN of Australia who had sailed to a fifth place finish in the first race.
Michael said after the race that racing, although fair was a great test of ability due to the constant shifts in breeze directions and strength. Low point scorer for the day from this fleet was Ali Kemal TUKEKCI from Turkey who sailed consistently scoring a second and a third.
Blue fleet racing today included defending World Champion Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) who, when leading the first race on the second beat missed a shift from the right and dropped back to fourth, which was his finishing position. In the second race Robert rounded the top mark in third, he then worked his way to the lead on the square run and from there was never headed and had a comfortable win of over 30 seconds After the race Robert said 'the winds were very shifty and you had to do lots of tacking with the shifts, up to 10 times for a beat.'
In the first red fleet race Gustav CARLSSON of Sweden won a close race winning by a small margin with second to fifth then crossing the line within 5 seconds of each other. In the second race Gustav said he missed a shift and dropped a lot of boats and could only recover to finish ninth. The second race was won by fellow Swedish sailor Karl SUNESON .
The overall leader came from the green fleet. Gustavo Lima from Portugal had a perfect day to score two first places to put him 3 points ahead of Scheidt and Ali Kemal TUKEKCI from Turkey. Both on equal points. Lima, the runner up two years ago, has been training at the regatta site for the last two weeks. He said 'I sailed the Spanish nationals in different winds and did not expect to get two first places on the first day. I am very happy.'
Full results are available on the event website at the address at the bottom of the page.
Full results and pictures of the medal ceremony, are available on the event website at the address below.
For today's wrap up in the Yngling, Finn, 470 and Star classes, please CLICK HERE.