After the most competitive day of sailing so far in the Dubai Junior Regatta, South Africa's Justin ONVLEE was still out in front in the Laser 4.7 Class while Karin ALKSTEDT became the third successive Swedish leader in the Optimists yesterday (Friday).
Looking every bit a reigning Laser 4.7 world champion, Onvlee remained firmly on course for a second consecutive Laser title in the Emirates Airline-sponsored event as Alkstedt replaced team-mate Adam JOHANSSON at the head of the Optimists pack and the UAE's Adel KHALID had a day to remember.
Disqualified from the first of the day's three Laser races after the narrowest of false starts, Khalid, the 2003 junior European champion, shrugged off that setback to win race two and then take second place in race three to climb to fourth place overall.
On a day when a lively sea breeze of up to 12 knots and choppy waters produced some of the best action to date in the world's biggest junior sailing festival, Onvlee found the right balance between being over-cautious and taking too many risks.
After suffering disqualification from the previous day's first race through a false start, he won today's (Friday) opener, finished third behind team-mate Rudy McNEILL and Khalid in race two and then followed Khalid home in the last race of the day.
"The waves today made for a really interesting downwind run because you could surf them home
," he said. "A little more wind and conditions would be perfect. There's still a long way to go and I just need to avoid any horrendous mistakes."
Khalid and Italy's Laser 4.7 ladies world champion, Anita Di LASIO, took turns in leading race two before McNeill reacted quickest to a wind change to grab a decisive advantage. "I wasn't really doing well at the start, but then I saw the wind on the left and went out there and made the most of it,"
said the South African, who climbed from fourth to second position overall on the day ahead of another team-mate, Sean HEYDENRYCH.
While Sweden's youngsters continued to dominate in the Optimist class in the Trek & Rudy Project - sponsored race day, Egypt's Ahmed RAGAB at least made sure they did not have things all their own way.
He won the first race and said: "I didn't have a great start but my concentration and technique got me through. Conditions were excellent. We have waves like these in Alexandria so that gave me an advantage."
Alkstedt then took centre stage, recording successive race wins to sweep into the overall lead from fellow-Swede Carl STROMBECK and Denmark's Jes Lyhne BONDE, while Adam JOHANSSON had a disappointing day and slipped from first to sixth overall.
Taking place under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, the Dubai Junior Regatta is organised by Dubai International Marine Club in conjunction with the UAE Marine Sports Federation and the ISAF, the world governing body of sailing.
The event is co-sponsored by Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, the official hotel, Trek, Rudy Project, Al Boom Marine, Dubai's Victory Team Duboats, Speedboat Dubai LLC and El Mundo.
Enthusiasts can follow the Dubai Junior Regatta by visiting the website via the link below tomorrow (Saturday) sees three more races sponsored by Al Boom Marine with the final two races taking place on Sunday.
Overall positions after Race 9 - Optimist class:
1. Karin ALKSTEDT (SWE) 27
2. Carl STROMBECK (SWE) 41
3. Jes Lyhne BONDE (DEN) 46
4. Karl CREMONA (MLT) 51
5. Oscar LUNDQVIST (SWE) 53
6. Adam JOHANSSON (SWE) 13
Overall positions after Race 9 - Laser 4.7 class:
1. Justin ONVLEE (RSA) 14
2. Rudy MCNEILL (RSA) 31
3. Sean HEYDENRYCH (RSA) 39
4. Adel KHALID (UAE) 31
5. Giljs PELT (NED) 21
6. Anita DI LASIO (ITA) 31