The IOC President, Jacques Rogge came to watch the racing at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore today. Although the weather was overcast for most of the day, the racing was intense and as usual followed every inch by the now infamous Singapore twitters.
Boys Byte CII
(Tweeters Dawn Liu & Chai Xun)
In the boys Bytes, Finland's Kaarle Tapper leapfrogs the field to lead overall on 25 points after he seized the advantage early in race five and held on until the end to win. "I did not know until I got back that I had won, so I am really happy," said Tapper.
The drizzle did little to dampen the athletes' enthusiasm and at 12.00 hrs, the first race for the day finally got under way. Kaarle Tapper (FIN) took an early lead for race five and easily held on to it till the end. "Good wind. I like the strong wind...I am quite big sized." Quite is an understatement for this 70 kg and 1.85 meters tall Finnish lad.
The winds steadily picked up from seven knots during race five to about 12 knots in race six. Zan Luka Zelko (SLO) had a great start off the starboard end of the start line. Managing to keep a 10 boat length lead all the way to the upwind mark, Zelko was sailing a very good race. However with immense pressure put on him by Florian Haufe (GER), Zelko capsized on the downwind leg. This gave Haufe the lead he needed to win the race. Zelko recovered well to finish second, one position ahead of Darren Choy (SIN).
The discard after race five saw a number of place changes in the overall rankings. Just Van aanholt (AHO) dropped to fourth from first after an average day on the water today but leaping up the overall rankings is German, Haufe who discards a (DSQ) in race one to sit in second overall. .
Byte CII Girls
(Tweeters Koh Ling Ying, Ho Airiel and Daniella Ng)
Lara Vadlau of Austria maintains her overall advantage in girls Bytes on 11 points after a victory in the fifth race and a third place in race six. "In the early days it was difficult with the currents, but I think I know how to work it now," she said.
In race five, Natasha Michiko Yokoyama (SIN) had a solid start with Niki Blässar (FIN) to her windward side. Initially they were the leading boats but Yokoyama managed to pull away from Finnish girl. The fleet was spread out quite evenly throughout the course.
Although Yokoyama had built a lead of around 10 boat lengths, she was flagged right before the first mark and lost a few places. Celine Carlsen (DEN) rounded first followed by Daphne Van der Vaart (NED). It was a competitive race where boats had to work hard to maintain their position in view of the planing conditions.
The excitement began when the fleet were on the downwind leg. The Danish, Austrian, Singaporean and Dutch girls were all fighting hard for their places displaying superb skills to get ahead of each other.
At the last gate mark however, Yokoyama got flagged a second time and had to do her turns before the mark, she also had a collision with Carlsen causing her to do more turns dropping her to fifth position. Lara Vadlau rounded first safely and finished to take the bullet followed by van der Vaart and Carlsen.
Even with the strong current pushing them over the line in race six, the girls managed to have a clear start. Unfortunately Tu'iemanu Eugenie Alexandria Ripley (ASA) capsized 100 meters after the start but Vadlau and Min Gu (CHN) led the fleet by going to the left side of the course.
Most of the fleet were unaware of the strength of the current and overlayed the starboard layline to the windward mark. The girls who judged the course best went on to claim the top three places. Yokoyama crossed the line first, followed by Carlsen with Vadlau in third.
Boys Techno 293
(Tweeters Lo Manyi & Jeddy Tan)
Mayan Rafic (ISR) leads the boys windsurfing on 10 points after placing second in race five and fourth in race sixth.
"I'm feeling stable, not like everybody else, so it is really good right now," he said.
Hong Kong's Michael Cheng is three points behind in second after winning the final race of the day with a dramatic surge in the last 20 metres.
The windsurfing boys managed to start on time today at 12 noon with good winds averaging about 12 knots in the first race. There was a general recall after the first start as the majority of the fleet were over the line before the last minute gun. The next start was a clear start which saw the boys pumping hard and aggressively off the line.
Mayan Rafic (ISR), Kieran Martin (GBR) and Michael Cheng (HKG) started well in clear air with good acceleration off the line. In the end it was Martin who stole the show, leading the pack at the first rounding and eventually winning the first race with half a leg lead over the fleet.
Race two saw the wind easing off slightly throughout the race. It was a much more intense and exciting race as the top five boards were all very close to one another and there were many changes in positions throughout the race. It was Cheng who managed to pull away from the pack in the last 20 metres to the finish, winning the race in style. He was followed closely by Chaneui Kim (KOR) in second and Maxime Labat (FRA) in third.
Gilrs Techno 293
(Tweeters : Lesley De Cruz, Ko Jia Yun, Siobhan Tam)
Thailand's Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam is the new leader of the girls windsurfing on 14 points after her third race win of the series, one point clear of Singapore's Pei Lin, Audrey Yong, who lost ground after dropping her sail twice in race five.
"I am very proud of what I have achieved today," said Siripon. "I would be happy with a medal of any colour - gold, silver or bronze. I'm very glad. I would like to participate in the Olympic Games in the future," she continued.
The Girls Techno boards started in 10 -12 knots of wind and the windsurfers were just beginning to plane. Veronica Fanciulli (ITA) was zooming in the conditions that obviously suited her. She finished in first place with a comfortable lead.
It was a close fight for second between Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) and Anastasiua Valkevich (BLR) who exchanged positions on every leg of the race. Unfortunately for Audrey Pei Lin Yong (SIN), dropping her sail twice in the race had put her in fourth position despite a strong start. Eventually, Kaewduang-Ngam finished second with Valkevich close behind in third.
By the time race six started, the wind had dropped to six knots. All the girls were aggressive at the start line which resulted in seven OCS's in an 18-board fleet. The competition tamed down a notch after the OCS windsurfers were eliminated from the race.
It was definitely a disappointment for two of the culprits, Valkevich (BLR) who reached the top mark ahead, as well as Naomi Naomi Cohen (ISR) who was the leader going into today's racing. The Thai and Singaporean girls rounded the top mark with a good gap between them and the rest of the fleet. Kaewduang-Ngam took the bullet followed by Yong.
Racing resumes tomorrow (Saturday) with the first starts due for midday. The forecast is for similar conditions.
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