Dane leads Laser Radial Women’s World Championship
Published on November 20th, 2015
Al Mussanah, Oman (November 20, 2015) – After a thrilling opening day at the Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) leads the field overnight, with Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in second.
In winds that reached 9knots, the 100 competitors enjoyed an exciting start to the intense six-day event.
Number 2-ranked Rindom (25), from Aarhus, Denmark comes to the event fresh from a win at the Semaine Olympique Francaise, La Rochelle, France in October. She continues to sail impressively and in Blue group today, managed to hold off current reigning world champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) who is in second place overnight.
Commenting on her win, Rindom said: “It was a really good day. I managed to have good speed, which is very important in this competitive fleet. In the coming days, I think it will be a fierce competition between today’s top 10, and I look forward to what lies ahead.”
Leader of Yellow group today and fifth overall in the overall rankings is Philipine Van Aanholt (ARU). Twenty-three-year-old Van Aanholt, posted a 10th and a 3rd to beat world ranked number one – Evi Van Acker (BEL), 30. Van Acker with a second and a 12th is lying 7th in the overall rankings. Commenting on today’s racing Van Aanholt said: “I think I made good decisions today and I am just really happy about it. The conditions are generally light and shifty which makes it really tactical, but I like it that way.”
One of the most impressive performances today came from Lijia Xu (CHN) – reigning Olympic champion. This 28-year old speed sailor who has spent the last two years recovering from back and knee pain, led both races in Blue group today and finished the day with a 1st and 10th, which leaves her in fourth place overall.
Commenting on her comeback, Xu said: “I am really pleased with my performance today after such a long time off. I had a forced break from sailing because I felt I could no longer sustain the heavy training and the intensive load of sailing the Laser Radial. I suffered a lot with lower back and knee pain so it is a bonus to sail here pain free. I am pleased to see my feeling is still there but obviously I need to practice more to get those boat handling skills, and fitness back.”
Another race winner today in Yellow group was Paige Railey. This high profile American Olympic sailor who has spent over a year recovering from a cycling accident is back on form again. She won the Pan American Games in Toronto in August and now looks set to challenge for a top place at this event.
Following a lavish, Laser Radial Women’s World Championship grand opening ceremony yesterday evening, which showcased the best of Omani cultural hospitality, and a tough day on the water today, the 100-strong fleet is taking time to relax this evening and prepare for day two of the regatta.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, David Graham (CEO Oman Sail) said this event will help to create a lasting legacy in Oman for female sailors: “Our Women’s Programme has created new career opportunities for Omani women in sailing, either as coaches or instructors, or as part of the region’s first all-female sailing team – regularly lining up alongside male teams and showing that sport can break down boundaries and provide equal footing on which to compete.”
It was evident from the sort of performance seen on the race course today that this women’s event is going to live up to its reputation. Jeff Martin, Executive Secretary of the International Laser Class Association, commented: “The 2015 Laser Radial Women’s World Championship is the largest and arguably the toughest of all the women’s Olympic sailing events. Here in Mussanah we have 100 of the world’s best women sailors from 48 countries across five continents.”
The second day of racing (races 3 and 4 of the Qualifying Series) continues tomorrow (Saturday). Once again the fleet will split into Yellow and Blue groups, with the first race scheduled for 1200 local time (CET +3).
Report by event media.