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17 August 2010, 12:33 pm
Close Racing On Day One
Youth Olympic Games in Singapore
Great start to the regatta for Yong of Singapore

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore

Light airs in the morning caused a delayed start to racing on the first day of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
However racing got underway shortly after noon in a seven knot breeze with two races held back to back as scheduled.

Byte Cll Boys
Tweeters: Dawn Liu & Chai Xun)

The first race for the Byte CII boys saw Goncalo Pires of Portugal taking an early lead thanks to a right hand shift on the first work leg. Pires held his position throughout the race despite a strong challenge from Netherland Antilles' Just Van Aanholt, to win the first race of the series. Australia's Mark Spearman started strongly in third position, but was pipped on the finish line by Marco Benini of Italy.

However it was Van Aanholt who proved to be the winner of the day. A good start at the port-biased end of the start line allowed him to cross the fleet early and come round the top mark in second place behind Bermuda's Owen Siese. A well-sailed reach and downwind leg allowed him to gain first position by the leeward mark and he continued to extend from there, finally ending the day with a win. With a second and bullet, van Aaanholt tops the scoreboard on this opening day.

"It was a surprise," he said of his performance. "I was not expecting it; I would be happy with a top 10. The winds are good for me - there was wind, but not too strong."

Meanwhile, the next five spots behind Netherlands Antilles were hotly contested in the second race. The positions changed continuously on the second work and downwind leg, with Darren Choy of Singapore and Ian Barrows of the Virgin Islands first overtaking Owen Siese of Bermuda and then third placed Kaarle Tapper of Finland but then missing out on a shift later in the final leg that allowed Siese and Tapper to regain second and third spots by the finish.


Byte CII Girls
(Tweeters: Daniella Ng, Airiel Ruth Ho & Koh Ling Ying)

Starting the day with flat waters and no wind, the Girls Byte sailors were re-adjusting to Singapore's hot humid weather when a large cloud hovered over the National Sailing Centre bringing a light breeze to get racing underway.

The first race of the day took three starts with two general recalls, perhaps due to the general excitement of the fleet pushing the line too hard. However the ever fearful black flag preparatory signal for the third start made the fleet stay back from the line and the start was clear with a line sag in the middle.

The right side of the course seemed to be the more favoured side, however most of the fleet went left, and that paid off well as the wind shifted left. Lara Vadlau from Austria was the first boat on the right corner on the first upwind, but the fleet from the left crossed her by some distance, and she rounded mark one in 10th. She sailed the second upwind well to catch up, but leader Constanze Stolz from Germany had sailed into a commanding lead and was too far to catch.

The second race started off with a general recall again, with the pin end being more favoured. Vadlau had the best start off the line at the biased end. However not long after the start it looked like Daphne Van der Vaart (NED), Celine Carlsen (DEN) and Madison Kennedy (AUS) were all in a good position while the initial leaders at the pin end were losing out.

But the wind shifted back and Vadlau created a clear lead ahead of the rest followed by Ines Sobral (POR) and Stolz. After the downwind gate, Vadlau headed towards the left side again followed by Alexandra Rayroux (SUI) and Stolz, (who tacked after rounding a different gate) These boats came up tops at the first mark again with a clear lead.

German Byte girl sailor Constanze Stolz said, "I'm really excited and forward to the competition", and when asked what her target was she humbly said "I'll try my best".

She had a good start to the regatta with a first and second place, considering that she is more used to sailing the Laser instead of the Byte, making her day especially impressive. She will be one you could look out for in tomorrow's racing!

Speaking to the sailors this morning, many agreed that Singapore would have a home-ground advantage, both in terms of the hot weather and a better understanding of the wind conditions. Singaporean Natasha Michiko Yokoyama had a consistent day today with top-ten finishes for both races.


Techno 293 Boys
(Tweeters: Lo Manyi & Jeddy Tan)

After an initial postponement when the wind was only about three knots the AP flag was lowered around midday for the windsurfers to launch. Being the first start of the regatta, it was not surprising to see the boys pushing the line which resulted in two boards being scored OCS (on course side). It was quite an intense first race which saw a change of positions between the leaders throughout the race.

British windsurfer, Kieran Martin sailed a brilliant first race to move up from fourth place to go on to win. After a quick rest from the first race, the race committee started the second race and this time the windsurfers were more conservative at the start with many of them further back on the line.

Race two saw more excitement as there were some incidents which resulted in some turns being done. The leaders of the race, Kieran Martin and Mayan Rafic (ISR) were both way ahead of the pack on the last leg to the finish.

When asked how they felt about sailing today both Rafic and Martin agreed, "Good, but it is really tough because it's very hot. The wind for the second race picked up and there was a little planning on the left. It will get better for sure it will."


Techno 293 Girls
(Tweeters: Siobhan Tam, Ko Jia Yun & Lesley De Cruz)

The Girls Techno fleet were also delayed ashore but the sailors were keen to get on the water for their first race. Ka Kei Man from Hong Kong said, "I am looking forward to racing. It's fun in Singapore even though the weather can get a bit hot sometimes."

Once the wind had picked up to a consistent 7-9 knots the girls fleet launched but the race was postponed again during the start due to a 40 degree wind shift to the right and the race committee had to shift the upwind mark.

Finally the girls were able to start the first race of the day with Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam from Thailand leading right from the start. She had great speed and angle and was probably the lightest of all the girls at 48kg which gave her a great advantage in the light winds.

She ended up leading the fleet by at least 50 metres. Second was Veronica Fanciulli (ITA) and third Neomi Cohen of Israel.

However, the second race saw a turn of events for the leader board. The wind picked up a couple of knots and the race started with Cohen holding a good position over the fleet. Once again the left hand side of the course seemed to be more favourable with consistent gusts coming down the port lay line.

Kaewduang-Ngam had a bad start in this race however she had managed to catch up on the upwind leg only to drop her sail twice after rounding the top mark. It was a close fight between the leaders but it was Pei Lin, Audrey Yong of Singapore who crossed the line in front of Naomi Cohen of Israel.

At the end of day one three sailors share the lead with five points, Yong (SIN), Cohen, ISR) and Fanciulli (ITA)


Racing resumes tomorrow (Wednesday) with the earliest start being midday..

To follow racing sign up to the race Twitter feed, access photos and results on the Sailing competition at the Youth Olympic Games website visit: www.sailing.org/yog

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