British World Champions Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON edged ahead in their battle with the Dutch on the fourth day of racing in the Women's Keelboat - Yngling event.
As in the Finn, Yngling sailors were supposed to hit the Chinese magic number of eight races on Wednesday, but hazy skies trapped the heat and reduced the breeze, meaning each fleet sailed only one Iight-air race in the late afternoon.
In race 7, sailed on Course E east of the Olympic Sailing Center, the USA crew of Sally BARKOW
, Carrie HOWE
and Debbie CAPOZZI
rounded the top mark in third but played the downwind shifts so that they rounded the Ieeward gate in first place. From there they extended their lead to win by over 1 minute. BARKOW said the team had taken their reserve day as a chance "to relax and refocus on our decision making and preparation."
Lying in third place and with three races of the Opening Series still remaining, the Americans will have their sights set firmly on making up more ground on the leading duo.
Behind the race leaders, the British trio of Sarah AYTON
, Sarah WEBB
and Pippa WILSON
again showed their ability to sail through the fleet and recover from a less than perfect start to finish in second behind the Americans.
"There was an individual recall at the start,"
WEBB explained. "We were very close and we weren't entirely sure whether to go back or not, but Pippa was pretty confident that we weren't over so she made the call, we backed her and off we went up the beat.
"We came through, pulled up through the fleet again and ended up with a really good result,"
Crucially they managed to change a five-place deficit to their closest rivals, the Dutch team of Mandy MULDER
, Annemieke BES
and Merel WITTEVEEN
, into a two-place gain by the finish, therefore extending their overall lead to five points.
Behind the top three, the Greek team of Sofia BEKATOROU
, Athens gold medallist in the 470 and Sofia PAPADOPOULOU
and Virginia KRAVARIOTI
have been steadily climbing up the leaderboard and a third place in today's race puts them fourth overall.
Overall Results - click here