Predominantly blue skies, sunshine and light to moderate winds greeted sailors on Day 5 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships with competitors in four classes putting aside the disappointment of Tuesday’s postponements by asserting themselves in the fleet racing on Wednesday.
Fleeting appearances from the elusive ‘Fremantle Doctor’ sea breeze set the pace in the Women’s Match Racing on Wednesday with winds of 13 to 18 knots proving a challenge for some of the crews in Group B, despite earlier wind shifts that enabled the first four flights to engage in tactical racing.
Throughout flights 34 to 43, some crews struggled to clear and fill their spinnaker while others used the windward marks to make strategic advances in the final downwind run.
Morning racing was highlighted by the tense match between defending world champion Claire Leroy (FRA) and Spain’s Silvia Roca. Leroy was unable to ward off a well-executive jibe from Roca, forcing the French crew to sail in ESP-2’s backwind. Despite the loss, Leroy’s crew share equal first place the Women’s Match Racing round robin with seven wins and a single loss.
During the afternoon flights, teams began sailing at higher angles to keep their sails in full motion as the wind decreased in Fremantle’s Inner Harbour.
Australian sailors seemed to have more success, with AUS-2, led by Olivia Price, out sailing SWE-1 and NED-2 respectively to post a tally of seven wins and three losses to join Leroy’s French team in equal first overall in the round robin stage.
Spain’s two boats, skippered by Tamara Echegoyen (ESP-1) and Silvia Roca (ESP-2) share third place overall.
Women’s Match Racing is scheduled to continue at 1000 Perth time on Thursday on the Harbour course.
(From the Perth 2011 website: www.Perth2011.com)
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