The Olympic silver and gold medal winner, Robert Scheidt from Brazil, opened a nine point lead over his nearest competitor by scoring a first and third place in the two races sailed today.
After a long day afloat on Friday when the race officials battled in vain with an endless stream of rain squalls to try and complete a race the conditions Saturday were similarly frustating albeit without the rain.
After only a short delay both fleets in the second race were started in a 10 knot southerly breeze. On the second windward leg the breeze dropped away on the right hand side of the course area leaving the second fleet becalmed and the race committee with no option but to abandon that fleet's race. On the left hand side of the course conditons were marginally better for the first fleet who were only 2 legs away from the finish. Regretably the calm area relentlessly moved across to the left hand side of the course to becalm them also and their race was also abandoned because the wind had dropped below the threshold of 5 knots prescribed in the sailing instructions.
As the gradient wind fought the sea breeze the fleet waited for 3 hours until 1730 hrs before the offshore north west gradient wind, that had been blowing strongly ashore all day, finally overcame the southerly sea breeze and the resail of race two finally got underway in 14 knots. In the first fleet several big names found the shifting winds difficult including the winner of the first race in the series, Karl Suneson from Sweden. Suneson said "On first windward leg the shifts were difficult to follow and some of us got caught on the wrong side of a twenty degree shift soon after the start. In this high level fleet it is difficult to recover a bad place." Scheidt rounded the first mark in the top ten and had recovered to 5th by the end of the downwind. On the next 3 legs even he could only take two more places to finish third behind Andreas Geritzer (AUT) and race winner Robbie McMillan from New Zealand. Conditions were more stable or the second group which helped Phillipe Bergmans hold his lead throughout the race.
With the race programme more than 50% behind scheduled as a result of the difficult weather conditions the race organisers chose to keep the fleet afloat for a second race which was started at 1915 hrs in 11 knots of wind. This time Scheidt got it completely right and was clearly delighted as he crossed the finishing line first ahead of Roope Suomalainen from Finland. Luis Martinez from Spain led home the second group ahead of Rasmus Mygren (SWE) and fellow countryman Karl Suneson.
The racing programme is still behind scheduled with minimum of 3 races needed to be completed in this qualifying round over the next 2 days before the fleet is split into gold and silver groups for the final two days racing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Overall results after 3 races without discard.
1 BRA 25 Robert Scheidt 5,0pts 1 3 1
2 NOR 109 Peer Moberg 14,0pts 2 8 4
3 GBR 62 Paul Goodison 14,0pts 5 4 5
4 BEL 18 Philippe Bergmans 16,0pts 7 1 8
5 SWE 136 Rasmus Myrgren 17,0pts 6 9 2
6 SWE 137 Peter Santen 17,0pts 4 10 3
7 SWE 138 Karl Suneson 19,0pts 1 15 3
8 ESP 49 Luis Martinez 22,0pts 15 6 1
9 SWE 131 Daniel Birgmark 22,0pts 3 13 6
10 RSA 124 Gareth Blanckenberg 22,0pts 4 6 12