Slow going at Laser Radial Worlds
Published on February 24th, 2020
Melbourne, Australia (February 24, 2020) – For the second day in a row, light and variable winds again caused havoc at the 2020 ILCA Laser Radial World Championship, allowing only one race as the wind drifted between south-west and south-east, rarely rising above 5 knots in strength.
During this qualifying stage for the 105 competitors, Maud Jayet of Switzerland handled the conditions best, adding a win in Blue Fleet to yesterday’s second placing. She leads defending champion Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), who had a third place today, by one point.
“It’s still early,” said Jayet. “It’s easy to get a bad race in these conditions so I’m happy with the results (so far).” Her secret for success? “I just haven’t been taking any risks, staying in the centre, playing the shifts. And I seem to have good speed, which helps.”
The Yellow Fleet winner today was Tuula Tenkanen of Finland, but she sits in 37th overall after a forgettable opening race yesterday. Current Olympic champion, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has been most consistent, with two third places which leave her in third overall.
Another consistent performance has come from Greek champion Vasileaia Karachaliou who has recorded a second and a sixth, which she says is in stark contrast to her opening races at last year’s Worlds. “I had two yellow flags (penalty turns) and a Black Flag (disqualification) so I’m just trying to be consistent in the top 10 this year.”
The light conditions are making it tough for those sailors still trying to win a place on their national team for the Tokyo Olympics. Australia, New Zealand and the USA, for example, have all their sailors out of the top 10.
Fifteen-year-old Mina Ferguson is the surprise leader of the Australian contingent, sitting in 14th place after a seventh yesterday and a 16th today. She leads the two main contenders for an Australian nomination, Zoe Thomson, who is 15th and Mara Stransky who is 19th.
Mina said she always does well in the light and was able to play the shifts to her advantage today.
New Zealander Olivia Christie has qualified her country for the Games, but needs a top 10 position to be certain of selection. She is the leading Kiwi but sits in 31st overall.
Sarah Douglas (9th) leads a Canadian contingent that includes Coralie Vittecoq (47th), Maura Dewey (90th), and Clara Gravely (95th). Five sailors represent the USA with the event as the final stage of the nation’s selection series. Paige Railey (28th) now leads selection followed by Erika Reineke (25th) and Charlotte Rose (54th).
Railey took over the selection lead by following her 27th from yesterday with a 4th today.
“It’s absolute mayhem on the water,” said Railey. “We started the race in eight knots and it died down to about three. Someone could be in two knots of breeze, and one boat length away, someone else could be in four knots. Downwinds are turning into reaches and upwind, if you’re out on a corner, it could work out. So you’re just trying to do damage control.”
The qualifying series will conclude tomorrow if at least four races are completed, and with better winds anticipated, three races are planned. Once qualifying is complete, the top 78 boats advance to gold fleet.
Russian Daniil Krutskikh leads the Men’s Radial World Championship, which is being held concurrently with the women’s event. He has won both races sailed so far and has opened up a three point lead over Australian Michael Compton. Slovenian Nik Pletikos, whose two sisters are competing in the women’s Worlds, is in third place.
The racing schedule is from February 23 to 28.
Day Two Results:
Women (Top 10 of 105; 2 races)
1 Maud JAYET (SUI) 3
2 Anne-Marie RINDOM (DEN) 4
3 Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED) 6
4 Vasileia KARACHALIOU (GRE) 8
5 Manami DOI (JPN) 10
6 Emma PLASSCHAERT (BEL) 11
7 Marie BOLOU (FRA) 12
8 Mirthe AKKERMAN (NED) 13
9 Sarah DOUGLAS (CAN) 13
10 Louise CERVERA (FRA) 18
Men (Top 10 of 66; 2 races)
1 Daniil KRUTSKIKH (RUS) 2
2 Michael COMPTON (AUS) 5
3 Nik PLETIKOS (SLO) 17
4 Jordan MAKIN (AUS) 18
5 Daniel COSTANDI (AUS) 20
6 Rhett GOWANS (AUS) 21
7 Caleb ARMIT (NZL) 23
8 Brody RILEY (AUS) 26
9 Zac WEST (AUS 4) 27
10 Zac LITTLEWOOD (AUS) 30
Source: Roger McMillan/Laser 2020 Media, US Sailing