The light weight windsurfers with the fitness level required to pump the sail of the RS:X board around the course in the light winds had the edge today with just a touch of luck required also. While the Kiwis still have the overall lead in both the men's and women's fleets there was some serious shuffling on the leaderboards today.
Tom ASHLEY (NZL) was third and then 13th in racing today and retains the men's lead breaking away to extend an eight point margin as his nearest rivals suffered in today's challenging conditions. ASHLEY's ability to pull solid results in a range of conditions sees him firmly at the top of the leaderboard after race eight in this eleven race regatta.
In second overall at the start of the day, Ivan PASTOR (ESP) wore the blue vest on to the water but will relinquish the vest tomorrow after an 11th and a 25th in racing today he drops to sixth overall.
Shahar ZUBARI of Israel rockets from fourth place up to second overall behind ASHLEY. ZUBARI was 8th and 2nd in races seven and eight respectively and now has a points' total of 34 behind ASHLEY on 26.
It's Poland three and four on the leaderboard with Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL) climbing into third place overall after a fifth and seventh in racing today. Countryman Piotr MYSZKA (POL) slips from third overall back to fourth.
Barbara KENDALL (NZL) is now six points clear of Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) at the top of the women's fleet. In race 7, KENDALL struggled and had her poorest race yet with a 15th though she promptly responded to that with a win in race 8.
SENSINI was third and then ninth in racing today and holds onto second place, six points adrift of KENDALL. Behind her the order changed with Marina ALABAU of Spain overtaking her team mate Blanca MANCHON (ESP), who slipped to fifth place overall. Faustine MERRET of France sits between the Spanish girls in fourth place on the board at the conclusion of day four.
Racing resumes tomorrow.
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Gold Fleet Men - Race Seven
In the light tricky conditions off Takapuna Beach today Maxim OBEREMKO of Ukraine brought home the first race of the day climbing through to cross first after rounding mark one in seventh place.
Makoto TOMIZAWA of Japan was second and overnight leader ASHLEY of New Zealand was third, 25 seconds behind the race winner. Wearing the blue vest for second overall PASTOR of Spain was 11th in race 7.
Gold Fleet Women - Race Seven
The Chinese sailors were strong in race seven's light conditions taking crossing first and second. Mingli DUAN and Peina CHEN battled it out early in the race before DUAN opened up a lead on the final leg and won by just over a minute. Wearing the blue vest today SENSINI of Italy was third in race 7.
Overall leader KENDALL had her poorest race yet with a 15th place.
Gold Fleet Men - Race Eight
Chi Ho HO Of Hong Kong had the race of his regatta leading from start to finish and winning race 8 with a 46 second margin over ZUBARI of Israel in second. Frederico ESPOSITO of Italy was third with Jon-Paul TOBIN of New Zealand in hot pursuit just two seconds behind.
ASHLEY was 13th in race 8 while PASTOR was back in 25th place.
Gold Fleet Women - Race Eight
KENDALL came out in race 8 and responded to her race 7 result with a convincing win. She fought with Lise VIDAL of France early in the race but VIDAL dropped away and finished fourth while KENDALL crossed in first. Pauline PERRIN of France was second and MERRET, also of France, was third.