Dutch Take Sonar Lead As Late Australian And French Disqualification Opens Things Up
The Dutch Sonar crew were the most consistent performers in the class on the second day of racing at the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition as a late Australian disqualification dismounts them from the overall lead.
Overnight leaders Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Stephen Churm (AUS) failed to keep clear of Great Britain's John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas (GBR) in Race 3 and were disqualified at 19:36 local time having finished third. The Australians finished second in Race 4 and drop to third.
Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen and Mischa Rossen (NED) were extremely impressive recording a second and a bullet in shifty Portland winds. They move from fifth to gold medal position on 13 points.
Race 3 winners Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary and Eric Flageul (FRA) fall three places to sixth after a disqualification from Race 4 resolved at 20:46. The French boat failed to give the Greek sonar mark room at the finish resulting in the DSQ. America's Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson move up to second overall following the Australian and French DSQ.
In Race 3 the Australians took an early lead but their decision to gybe straightaway at the first mark proved costly as they slipped down to eighth. Israel's Dror Cohen, Arnon Efrati and Benny Vexler took the lead but were unable to hold it as the French pounced to take the lead at the second mark.
The Australians recovered and worked their way up the fleet before an altercation with the British on the second windward. The Australians, on port tack, did not keep clear of the British team on starboard tack which resulted in their disqualification. Whilst the Dutch, who had sailed conservatively throughout the race, took a comfortable second place.
Race 4 developed into a fixed formation as the Dutch rounded the first mark in the lead followed by the Australians and America's Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson. The teams remained in their positions until the finish.
1. Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen, Mischa Rossen (NED) - 13pts
2. Paul Callahan, Tom Brown & Bradley Johnson (USA) - 20pts
3. Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris & Stephen Churm (AUS) - 21pts
4. Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka & Stephen Churm (GER) - 21pts
5. John Robertson, Hannah Stodel, Stephen Thomas (GBR) - 21pts
Follow all the latest news from the Paralympic Sailing via the International Association for Disabled Sailing Twitter, @IFDS_Updates
Disabled Sailing London 2012 Paralympic Website