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23 August 2010, 01:06 pm
Leaders Begin To Make Their Mark
Youth Olympic Games in Singapore
Darren Choy SIN heads into the lead in the boys Byte fleet

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore

The winds at the National Sailing Centre (NSC) on day five of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore looked promising early in the morning.
However as a storm approached from a south easterly direction, the wind speed slowly decreased. This was sufficient enough for the Race Committee to postpone racing. At about 13.00 hrs local time, the AP flag came down and all sailors eagerly launched for two more races sailed in light and shifty conditions.

Consistency was the name of the game today and the leaders in all fleets began to make their push for medal positions.


Byte CII Boys
Tweeters Chai Xun and Dawn Liu

It was local boy Darren Choy (SIN) who got the best starts and was the most consistent in some shifty conditions on day five of the Youth Olympic Games regatta. Choy chalked up a third and a fourth to rise to the top of the leaderboard with a gap of four points.

The first race of the day was won by Jack Collinson (NZL) who sailed a very conservative race throughout, as the breeze steadily built from 7 - 10 knots. However Collinson suffered a bit in the second race dropping down the pack to 21st.

"I was hovering between second and fourth throughout the race, but at the last mark I managed to surf past a wave and steal the first position, so I am really happy." remarked Jack with a grin.

"Even though I got 21st for the second race today, I still felt it was well sailed because initially I was 26th but then again at the bottom mark I managed to gain five positions by rounding on the outside of the cluster of boats." quipped Jack

Summing up the day he said "The wind and sailing conditions in Singapore are really actually very nice, it's just that the winds are not that consistent. However when they are, it's just like any other international sailing venue."

Having completed two races, the Race Committee reset the course and tried for a third but alas to no avail. The wind completely died halfway through the downwind leg as a huge shift caused the race to be abandoned.

The other big improver of the day was Ian Barrows (ISV) who moves up to second in the overall rankings with a fourth and a fifth whilst former leader Kaarle Tapper (FIN) drops to fourth overall.


Byte CII Girls
Tweeters KOH Ling Ying, Airiel Ruth HO and Daniella NG

Lara Vadlau of Austria continues to score in the top five adding a fourth and third today to open up a comfortable lead on her opposition.

The wind was coming from a completely different direction today and the sailors had to get used to the new conditions. Unsure of which side to head, the fleet was evenly spread out throughout the course. The starts proved to be extremely important as the leaders all had clear starts on either ends.

Niki Blässar (FIN) had the best start in race seven with a boat length lead right after the gun. She played the middle of the course but the left side of the course was better and the boats on the left, Min Gu (CHN) and Constanze Stolz (GER) crossed ahead to finish first and second respectively. Third boat to finish was Daphne Van der Vaart (NED).

For race eight, the first mark was laid considerably closer to the start line than previous races and the sailors knew that a good start would be key to rounding the first mark in a good position; hence they pushed the start line. Unfortunately, Sofiia Larycheva (UKR) was caught OCS and called back.

The sailors stuck to their previous tactics regardless of whether they were successful or not. Stolz and Gu headed to the left whilst series leader Vadlau, headed to the right. But it was the Dutch girl Daphne van der Vaart who sailed the best course to go on and win quite comfortably from Blassar with Vadlau in third.

The storm that hovered over the land caused the wind to die out at sea and the fleet were heading in all sorts of directions due to the resulting big shift, so the race committee had no choice other than to raise flag N (abandon race) flag over A (no more racing for the day).


Techno 293 Boys
Tweeters Jeddy TAN & LO Manyi

Mayan Rafic of Israel continues to dominate the Boys Techno windsurfers with two more bullets today, opening up an eight point lead overall.

The first race of the day started after an hour postponement due to light winds. By the time the boys started, it was blowing about 10 knots with a pretty strong current.

Rafic had a good start with full speed off the line, bow ahead, placing himself in a good position. There was an individual recall with Maxime Labat (FRA) and Alejandro Luis Monllor Pacheco (PUR) being scored OCS. Rafic went on to win the first race with a comfortable lead. In second place was Michael Cheng (HKG) and finishing third was Kieran Martin (GBR) who sailed a fantastic downwind, being the only board planing, catching two positions half way down the last leg to the finish.

Race eight started in about 12 knots with Martin (GBR) making a brilliant start with great acceleration off the start line at the pin end. However, there was an individual recall again after the start which led him to suspect himself being OCS. He then went back to round the pin end after sailing on for about 10 boat lengths was already quite a long way back in the fleet. However, he did not give up and fought back hard to sail an exceptional upwind to round the top mark in second place. On the second upwind mark, he rounded in fifth place and sailed another fantastic downwind being the only board planing again, to eventually finish in third place. Winning the race again was Rafic (ISR) and in second was Labat (FRA).

There was no third race for the Techno boards as the wind dropped well below planning conditions.


Techno 293 Girls
Tweeters : Lesley DE CRUZ, KO Jia Yun, Siobhan TAM

Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam of Thailand scored her third bullet on a row to open up a commanding lead in the Girls Techno 203 board fleet. She now leads by 11 points from Naomi Cohen of Israel in the overall rankings.

Race seven for the Techno Girls started in around 7-8 knots. It continued to pick up and shift slowly to the right. Ka Kei Man (HKG) had a fantastic start with Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) right below her.

The majority of the fleet headed to the left side of the course leaving Hanna Idziak (POL) as the only windsurfer that took a risk and went to the right. The current was flowing from the left side of the course to the right; therefore the girls opted to go against current inshore where the current was weaker
.
Kaewduang-Ngam had superior speed and quickly overtook Man to take first place around the windward mark and extended her lead even further on the downwind. There was some incident between Pei Lin, Audrey Yong (SIN) and Veronica Fanciulli (ITA) which resulted in both girls dropping their sails.

Kaewdang-Ngam held on to win, followed by Naomi Cohen (ISR) and Daniele Benedetti ITA.

In Race eight, the wind had picked up to 12 knots and the sea got slightly choppier. Kaewduang-Ngam once again sailed a great race and finished first with a 50 metre lead. Fanciulli who looked very comfortable in the medium wind finished in second place with Valentina Serigos (ARG) in third.

There will be one more full day of racing tomorrow followed by one final race on Wednesday to decide the medals.

For photos please visit the YOG Sailing website here

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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