The British team extended their overall lead on day two of racing in the Yngling fleet at the 2008 Olympic Games, whilst behind them the competition remains extremely tight.
On Course E, the Women's Keelboat - Yngling sailors raced their third and fourth races of the scheduled 10-race opening series, to be followed by the double-points Medal Race for the top ten teams. Sailors had sunny skies with cumulous clouds forming above the coastal range. Winds were from the southeast with flat seas and an occasional white cap. Racers started the day with the current flowing in the direction of the wind.
The scores after four races demonstrate just how close the Yngling fleet is.
, Sarah WEBB
and Pippa WILSON
(GBR) are out in the lead with 16 points, while Silja LEHTINEN, Maria KLEMETZ and Livia VARESMAA (FIN) are seven points behind in second place.
"It was a tough day today,"
the 22 year old WILSON explained. "The breeze was really up and down and in different directions. We always keep calm and try to make the best of the situations we've got."
Whilst AYTON and WEBB won gold with Shirley ROBERTSON
in Athens, WILSON is new to the team and compete at her first Games. "I'm having fun, but I'm also trying to concentrate as much as possible. I can't not enjoy sailing with these girls, but of course we are focused and thinking always of the next race,"
, Annemieke BES
and Merel WITTEVEEN
(NED) are in third with 25 points. Americans Sally BARKOW
, Carrie HOWE
and Debbie CAPOZZI
(USA) have pulled into fourth place with 29 points. Their position is not very secure because the next 10 boats are no more than 10 points behind.
, Ute HOEPFNER
and Julia BLECK
(GER) started in the middle of the line and went left during the first leg of the third race of the series. They were the first to pop their spinnaker and MULDER, BES and WITTEVEEN followed suit.
Anne LE HELLEY
, Catherine LEPESANT
and Julie GERECHT
(FRA) overcame a 33-second deficit to take the lead around the right gate at the end of the first lap of the course.
The French and the Dutch stayed in first and second for the remainder of the race, but positions were shuffled behind them.
The Finnish team moved from fifth to third on the final run while Dominique PROVOYEUR
, Kim REW
and Penny ALISON
(RSA) slid from seventh to 11th.
The South Africans rebounded in the fourth race of the series and clinched second place at the top mark.
Just as Siren SUNDBY
, Lise Birgitte FREDRIKSEN
and Alexandra KOEFOED
(NOR) extended their lead from 11 seconds at the first weather mark to nearly a minute (close to 100 metres) on the South Africans, the South Africans extended their lead on the Greek team of Sofia BEKATOROU
, Sofia PAPADOPOULOU
and Virginia KRAVARIOTI
Both SUNDBY and BEKATOROU steered their boats to gold medals in Athens. SUNBY won the women's single-handed event in the Europe Dinghy while BEKATOROU sailed the 470.
The battle that raged for the early part between AYTON, WILSON and WEBB and BARKOW, HOWE and CAPOZZI in the front of the fleet took place in the middle of the fleet during the fourth race.
The Americans recovered from being ninth at the first mark to finishing fifth and the British Yngling team climbed to seventh after being as deep as 14th in the 15-boat fleet.
Overall Results - click here