Other nations in the running for gold medals today include the USA, Spain, Germany, South Africa, China, the Ukraine and Great Britain, but without doubt the central duel of the day will be between the Aussies and the French, with the two nations tied in the standings for the King's Trophy, both with three fleet leaders going into today's Medal Races.
Meanwhile in the team racing final Great Britain take on the USA, with their final getting underway at 0900 UTC this morning.
The forecast is for similar, but slightly lighter, conditions to yesterday. A five to six knot south westerly breeze is forecast for the start of racing at 1100 local time with gusts up to nine knots. This will build through the day and move to the south, with eight knots and gusts to 18 expected for 1400. The tricky, shifty conditions on Lake Neusiedl have made for a high scoring regatta so far, so although there are some solid leads going into today's races, nobody can take victory for granted, and across the nine fleets, nobody has to just sail the race to win.
The King's Trophy for the best performing nation in Austria is awarded to the country with the four best placed sailors across the fleets. For a first place a nation scores ten points; for a second, nine points; down to one point for a tenth place. Only one score per event may be counted. As things stand this morning Australia and France, the current King's Trophy holders, both have an impressive 39 points. This means the key results could well be in the Aussie/French head to heads in the Laser, 470 and Hobie Tiger fleets. Here Australia hold the advantage with three firsts to France's one.
However, with Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) leading the Men's RS:X, and Marie DUVIGNAC and Pauline THEVENOT (FRA) the Hobie 16, France have two top spots out of the reach of the Aussies. Their trump card could well be Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA) in the Laser Radial, who current lies second, three points behind Paige RAILEY (USA). If DE TURCKHEIM can avenge her Hyères loss to the American and grab the top spot, it could also mean national glory again for France.
Joining the spectators on Lake Neusiedl will be ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE), who will this evening bring the fourth edition of the ISAF World Sailing Games to a conclusion at the Closing Ceremony in Podersdorf.
You can watch the drama unfold live, with a web broadcast by Sail.TV of the Medal Race starting at 0855 UTC (1055 local time) this morning. Yachting pundit Magnus WHEATLEY will provide the live commentary. For those that miss the live streaming, footage will be available for viewers to watch on demand at www.Sail.tv.
www.sailing.org will be updating throughout the day with all the results from Austria as they happen, with fuller reports on the individual races published throughout the day.
After ten terrific days in Austria, all is set for the final drama to unfold.
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