After an exciting opening week in Austria, the racing moves up another notch this week, with the top crews lining up against each other in the gold fleets. With the competition still in supplied equipment (except for the 49er), there is still plenty of scope for upset, especially with the qualifiers having an extra week of experience on the tricky conditions posed by Lake Neusiedl.
After a great day to conclude the qualifiers last Sunday, the lay day saw glassy conditions return to Lake Neusiedl, and this morning began with a gentle three knot breeze over the lake. Before midday the wind is expected to shift to the south/southwest and rise to around five knots with gusts up to eight. Into the afternoon and this is expected to increase to around seven knots with gusts up to ten. Two races are scheduled for the gold fleets, with a total of eight races scheduled for the series followed by the Medal Race for the top ten competitors this Saturday.
Last week Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) dominated in the Laser, with the Aussie, used to sailing in Gosford, relishing the lake conditions in Austria. Today however, eight new faces will line up in the Laser fleet including Olympic silver medallist and home favourite Andreas GERITZER (AUT), as well as bronze medallist from Athens Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO). Also lining up is number two in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings Paul GOODISON (GBR), for whom a good result in Austria this week should lift him above Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) and into the World number one slot.
However after broken mast and two black flags put paid to his regatta in Hyères, GOODISON is taking nothing for granted and knows he is in for a tough challenge this week. 'I went for a little sail yesterday and it was pretty tricky, pretty shifty,' he said this morning. 'I would have thought it's going to be a high scoring regatta from what I can see. I think it's just going to be whoever can hold their nerve and not pick up too many bad ones during the week.'
|The Hobies are underway
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Racing got underway as scheduled at 1100 local time for the Hobie Tiger gold fleet down in Podersdorf, although so far they are the only boats out on the course. Look out for a full report on the day's action on www.sailing.org later today.
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