Two near perfect opening days in Austria gave way to glassy conditions on Lake Neusiedl yesterday, but today the breeze is back, with a six to seven knot south easterly blowing across the lake. All ten events are set to get underway at 1100 local time (0900 UTC), with the sailors keen to get back on the water after the frustrations of yesterday.
With eight races scheduled for the qualifying series (ten for the 49er), the crews are at the halfway mark and today could prove crucial to those team wishing to make the gold fleet for next week's final series.
The competition will then intensify over the weekend, with Saturday and Sunday seeing the end of the qualifying series and the crucial races for those looking to battle against the world's best sailors next week. For many of the crews here, this is a unique chance to measure themselves against the very elite of the sport, and furthermore they can do so on a completely level playing field with supplied equipment across the fleets (except the 49er).
The weekend will also bring the crowds to Neusiedl am See, and the four other venues around the lake, Weiden, Breitenbrunn, Podersdorf and Rust. Event Director Helmut JAKOBOWITZ explained this morning, that in preparation for the arrival of the crowds, the Organizing Committee will today bring the race courses closer to the shore, giving the spectators a great view of the action on the water.
|Paloma SCHMIDT (PER)
on the ISAF Athlete Participation
Programme in the Laser Radial
For the international crews it was a double blow yesterday, with everyday on the lake another opportunity to familiarize themselves with the unique conditions on Lake Neusiedl. Tom SLINGSBY has been one of the Australians to shine so far this week, with four straight bullets putting him top of the Laser standings. Although he admitted he probably prefers the breezier conditions earlier in the week, he explained he was looking forward to the lighter winds today. 'The aim is to keep on learning a bit more about the lake,' he said whilst rigging up this morning. And despite his performance so far, SLINGSBY has his targets firmly set on the decisive races next week, adding, 'It doesn't matter about results. It's to get to know more about the lake before the finals.'
Look out for a full report on the day's action on www.sailing.org this evening.
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