Qingdao Sailors challenged by current and breeze
Published on September 17th, 2015
Qingdao, China (September 17, 2015) – Qingdao’s testing current and variable breeze put the 320 sailors from 32 nations racing across nine classes to the test on the second day of competition at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
A southerly breeze in between 8 – 12 knots, sometimes less, alongside a strong current meant that if you read the conditions well, you would reap the rewards with good results.
Putting that theory into effect was Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR), Isabella Bertold (CAN), Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) as well as Justin Liu and Denise Lim (SIN) as they head into the third day at the top of the leader boards in the Laser, Laser Radial, Women’s 470 and Nacra 17.
Laser and Laser Radial
Great Britain’s Lorenzo Chiavarini and Canada’s Isabella Bertold were the dominant forces in the Laser and Laser Radial as they advanced into leading positions.
Chiavarini’s performance was, without a shadow of doubt, the stand out one of the day as he posted double bullets in incredibly challenging conditions.
Qingdao’s strong current can play a huge effect with racing and Chiavarini knew exactly how to play it as he advanced to top spot, opening up a nine point gap over Wannes Van Laer (BEL) who posted a 3-2.
After racing Chiavarini said, “It was pretty tricky and reading the current was pretty important. It was very fluky with the wind because there wasn’t much constant breeze especially in the second race. In that race reading the current was key.
“My starts were retty solid today as well as my speed. Yesterday I did those well but I was pretty unlucky in the first race with a left hand shift. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The weather’s probably going to be similar.”
Van Laer is followed by overnight leader Cy Thompson (ISV) on 15 points with Pavlos Kontides (CYP) fourth on 23 points.
In the Laser Radial, Canada’s Bertold picked up a pair of seconds and shares the lead with Japan’s Manami Doi.
“I had a lot of fun today,” said Bertold. “I tried to be really patient on the race course, and before each race I reminded myself to have a good sense of humour if things didn’t go well.”
The first victory of the day went the way of China’s Shiqian Yi who grabbed the lead early on and was able to maintain it with clean air in her sails. She sits in 13th place. Min Gu (CHN) notched up the second race win and as a result sits fourth overall.
Men’s and Women’s RS:X
The RS:X competitors had a hard hot day on the water with a mixture of conditions meaning their fitness was tested to the max.
With the sun beating down and a variable breeze in the region of 8-10 knots, sailors were working their sails hard over the trio of races and it was Switzerland’s Mateo Sanz who had the best day in the men’s division to advance to top spot.
“Today was a bit more windy than yesterday so for me it was better as yesterday was really hard,” explained Sanz, sitting on the slipway as recovery from his hard work. “We had to pump a lot and today I think we had 9 knots, maybe 10 and we had one race planing and I did really well. I got a six, a first and a fourth so I’m pretty happy.”
Fresh from qualifying for the Swiss Sailing Team, Sanz is using Qingdao to prepare for the RS:X Worlds where he’s bidding to qualify his nation for Rio 2016. “We came here thinking about that because it’s really good training ahead of the world’s in Oman and over there it’s light wind and here we want light wind to get ready.”
But in the mean time he’s focussed on the job at hand, “I’m just going to try and be in top three again to maintain a podium place; I want to do that all throughout the regatta and that would be great.”
And on Qingdao itself Sanz added, “It’s a really nice city but I think we need a bit more wind,” laughed Sanz. “I think the Chinese are really strong in light wind and there’s maybe two or three that go really fast in planing so I think if we have more wind, it will be easier for me to be in the top.”
Sanz has a Chinese contingent for company in the top three with Tao Li and Bing Ye two points behind him.
In the Women’s RS:X, Jiahui Wu (CHN) continued her excellent form by adding another race win to her tally. With four wins from six races as well as a second and a discarded third, Wu has opened up an eight point lead ahead of Peina Chen (CHN).
Men’s and Women’s 470
In the Men’s 470, China’s Hao Lan and Chao Wang lead at the top with a bullet and fourth place from the day to finish on eight points. The good results mean that a 19th place yesterday is discarded.
The Chinese pair lead Spain’s Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera who are in second on the leaderboard with 11 points as they discard an OCS and count a sixth place.
The first bullet of the day went to a much improved Yong Chen and Youjian Wen of China, who also took a seventh but still find themselves someway down the leader board with average results from the opening day of racing.
The Women’s 470 sees Japan’s Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka on top with consistent finishes over the two racing days with another two second places and six points overall. Just behind with bullet and a discarded ninth place are Chinese duo Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao on eight points.
Jiaxin Li and Shaung Tian from China scored a 12th and two 15th place finishes in the first three races of the regatta, but managed to turn that around with a bullet in the final race of the day. They will hope that will trigger a good string of results for the rest of the week rather than a one off.
Justin Liu and Denise Lim continued where they left off in the Nacra 17 with two bullets. In the third and final race of the day they took a third which they discard to sit on five points overall.
Always just one step behind the pair from Singapore are Hong Kong’s Tat Choi Fung and Yu Ting Chan who took another second and third before an eighth which they discard. They are second on 12 points.
Taking the only bullet away from the Singaporean leaders were the Chinese pair of Zijin Wen and Rubei Yuan who sit in third on 14 points with two fourth place finishes their other results on the day.
Starting the day well in the Finn was China’s Lei Gong taking the first bullet, but he followed that up with a discarded OCS in the fourth race. He sits on top of the leaderboard on four points with his good results from the opening day.
Another OCS was given to China’s He Chen in the fourth race who sits in third place overall on six points. Sandwiching Gong and Chen is fellow Chinese sailor Luwen Shen in second overall who took advantage of the two rival’s mistake to take the final bullet of the day. Shen also has six points.
In the 49er the teams keep exchanging wins with Korea’s Bongjin Chae and Dongwook Kim just ahead, although they had an OCS from today which they discard and have to be careful in the coming days not to repeat that and hand the initiative to compatriots Sungwook Kim and Hoyeob Yang.
Racing is scheduled to commence at 12:00 local time on Friday 18 September.
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About the ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup is a world-class annual series for Olympic sailing. It is open to the sailing events chosen for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Its centre piece is the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup will consist of five regattas for all ten Olympic events and where possible, Formula Kite Racing. Qualification places for the ISAF Sailing World Cup final are up for grabs at each event. The final will bring together the top 20 boats in each Olympic event and an Open Kiteboarding event where the World Cup Champions will be crowned.
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Melbourne – 7-14 December 2014
Miami – 25-31 January 2015
Hyères – 20-26 April 2015
Weymouth and Portland – 8-14 June 2015
Qingdao – 14-20 September 2015
2015 Final Abu Dhabi – 27 October to 1 November 2015