Perth (Fremantle) delivered a little bit of everything today. The breeze covered approximately 50 degrees on the compass, rose with extreme variability and ranged from as little as 2-3 knots upwards of 14 knots in some isolated gusts. This extreme randomness created headaches & heart ache for some and proved to be just what the doctor ordered for others. It was a testing day in terms of patience for athlete and organizer alike. Ultimately the wind did behave just enough to get some tricky sailing in across all the course areas.
In the Star class, Bobby Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil continue to lead the way, and after scoring a 1-3 on the day have cushioned their lead. The dog fight in the class is from 5th through 12 spot where only 10 points separates this group of competitors. Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn are right in the centre of this fight, sitting 8th, well within reach of the top 5. However, they will have to fight for every inch to remain in the all important top 10 and book a date in the Medal Race. With 8 races already on the scoreboard, the pressure is mounting as the star studded fleet gamely battles in the trying conditions. The Star sailors earned a much deserved day off for Thursday the 15th before resuming the action on Friday.
credit: Paul Kane
The RSX men struggled to get racing in today. One race was abandoned well into it, and ultimately the groups were only able to get one race in versus the two scheduled. Zac Plavsic, currently in 13th overall and David Hayes in 32nd, are heading into the Gold fleet show down tomorrow and are setting themselves up for some solid overall performances. Thursday will be a big day as three races are now scheduled for Gold fleet, to get back on schedule. Three races might not seem like a lot but in a class where fitness is at a premium and heart rates are consistently close to the red line, a three race day can be a virtual back breaker if your physical side lets you down.
credit: Alex McKinnon
On the other courses, the Laser course had its share of weirdness today. Pressure lines, the look of the Doctor trying to come in, the return of the offshore morning breeze, almost becalmed at one moment, sailing upwind to make the reach mark, the fleet experienced just about every variable one could imagine. With 6 races now in the books, the fleet is split into Gold, Silver and Bronze groups. Canada will be represented in the Gold by Chris Dold (23rd) and David Wright (32nd). Game on tomorrow for the lads as the intensity is only magnified at this point. On the down side, Lee Parkhill had a trying day, scoring a Black Flag in his first race and having a shocker in race 2. Unfortunately the scores removed him from Gold fleet contention. Always the gentleman Lee, although extremely disappointed, has taken it in stride and looks to put up some solid finish to wrap up his week. 49er Canadians are led by Ladha/Inkpen in 29th, followed closely by Cook/Lowden in 34th.
The 49er, 470 women and Star take tomorrow off, with action continuing for the RSX Men, Laser and Women's Match racing.
Full results can be found at www.perth2011.com
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