Tonight, the first medal races have been sailed. Both 470 and Laser races were exciting to the end. In the 470, the Russian Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov were unbeatable, a fair win for this duo. Elliot Hansen wins the gold in the Laser after some close racing in the medal race.
Sozykin and Gribanov take a solid win
In the 470 there was tension till the end. After two generals before the start, the tension really went up a level. Once the fleet could finally start, the Russian guys immediately took the lead. The race for second and third was really exciting until the end for Italian Matteo Capurro with Matteo Puppo, and Afrodite Kyranakou with Anneloes van Veen (the Netherlands). The Italians won this battle, but it wasn’t enough for the silver medal. This one goes to the Dutchies, while the Italians will receive a bronze medal. Van Veen: “We are very satisfied with the result, especially because we were sailing in the men’s field. The Russians were very smart today, we didn’t even get a chance to get close in first place.”
Elliot Hanson ensures his golden medal
For the Laser final, the wind was getting stronger. A clear start where Croatian Tonci Stipanovic immediately took the lead. He had a bad day so far, so really had to be aggressive in the finals. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t enough, he finishes the medal race in second place and ends up at 5th place overall. The British Elliot Hanson finished 6th in the medal race, enough to take the gold. “It was a real close race, I was happy to get back into the race. First lap was a bit shaky, but I had a good last two laps with a good speed.” Second place is for Charlie Buckingham (USA) and third place for Matthew Wearn (Australia) who made a great come back after a tough day yesterday.
Medal races saturday
Laser Radial started this day with a long delay, but in the end they could race their planned races. Emma Plasschaert is one of the favourites this week, and she’s going into the medal race in a fourth place: “I’m looking forward to the medal race. The conditions should be great, better than the last few days. I’ve been pretty consistent during this regatta, so hope to get a solid medal race as well.” Today we saw a great comeback from Dutch Marit Bouwmeester. “It was a great day today. This morning I wasn’t assured of a place in the medal race yet, but with two wins today it worked out perfectly.” She will start the medal race in second place, with a big gap between her and number one Manami Doi (Japan): 18 points.
The top 10 for the 49er didn’t change a whole lot today. Favourites this week are German Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf, who are in the lead after 12 races. With an eight-point gap between Portuguese Jorge Lima and Jose Luis Costa, and 26 points in front of the Belgium Yannick Lefebvre and Tom Pelsmaekers, they don’t have to win every medal race. The format for the 49er medals exists of three short races with single points to divide.
Medal races 49erFX will guarantee some close racing
In the 49erFX is the Croatian team with Enia Nincevic and Peiar Cupac leading. They’ll compete in the medal races against three Dutch teams, three British teams, Germans, Americans and French sailors. “It’s gonna be tough, it’s top ten boats with really close racing,” said Nincevic. The preparation of the British Hannah Mills and Alain Sign didn’t go as planned, as their trapeze broke down during the last race. Sign: “It was a bit disappointing to have some gear problems, but we’re happy to be in the medal race.”
Excited for the new RS:X format
The RS:X started 4 hours after their planned races. We’ll find the top 12 windsurfers from the week at the starting line tomorrow, starting with 0 points. The RS:X class will race with a new format: the top 12 after the fleet races will start in the quarter-final, six of them will go through to the semi-final and finally four windsurfers will battle for the podium places. Olympic champion van Rijsselberghe looks ahead: “A lot of things can happen on the last day. It’s do or die. It will be quite interesting to see what’s gonna happen.”
Full schedule of tomorrows medal races can be found here.