As the reigning World Champions and world #1 crew BUNDOCK and ASHBY came to Qingdao as hot favourites and BUNDOCK explained the Australians have their sights firmly set on the top step of the podium, "We definitely want to win gold. The Spanish sailors performer very well today. They are our main competitors."
The two leading crews, who between them have won the past four Tornado World Champions, are beginning to pull away from the rest of the fleet, with third place Iordanis PASCHALIDIS and Konstantinos TRIGONIS (GRE) 12 points further back on 32 points.
Santiago LANGE and Carlos ESPINOLA (ARG) and Francesco MARCOLINI and Edoardo BIANCHI (ITA) each have 33 points. Johannes POLGAR and Florian SPALTEHOLZ (GER) follow with 34.
POLGAR and SPALTEHOLZ had the best day's sailing with low points of 6, 1, 5.
The shifting wind on Course Area E dealt random cards to the Tornado fleet and no-one dominated the races.
In the first race, Oskar JOHANSSON and Kevin STITTLE (CAN) flew around the course in winds that started at 13 knots and dropped to nine knots towards the finish. They never let PASCHALIDIS and TRIGONIS or Carolijn BROUWER and Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL) pass them.
Lighter and trickier conditions prevailed in race 6. There was a remarkable fleet inversion on the second run, in which POLGAR and SPALTEHOLZ rocketed from 13th to second, while MARCOLINI and BIANCHI plummeted from first to 12th. The Italians clawed their way back to a fourth place finish.
Even the regatta leaders are having trouble with the conditions.
"The wind was very tricky and there was a lot of inconsistent current," said BUNDOCK after the races.
Double Olympic gold medallists Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) finally found some form yesterday. They posted 11, 3, 3 scores to move up to 11th overall and in sight of a place in the Medal Race.
Overall Results - click here