Saturday, August 14, 2010

 The Laser Medal race had Canadian fans up and cheering as David Wright won the race boosting himself to 7th overall while Mike Leigh fought gamely throughout the race leading at times and eventually finishing 6th to secure a Bronze medal in the Skandai Sail for Gold event. This finish combined with performances over the course of the year has also seen Mike finish 3rd overall in the World Cup standings for the year. The race featured a race within the race as Tom Slingsby of AUS and Paul Goodison of GBR tangled with each other throughout the race, Goodison was the only sailor capable of wrestling away Slingsby title and the Aussie was having nothing to do with that eventually sailing Goodison to the back of the fleet before breaking away and closing on the tail enders of the fleet. His score was irrelevant with Goodison a 1/4 leg behind and the Aussie heads into the forth coming World Championships with a Gold Medal in his pocket.

The Paralympic fleets wrapped up yesterday with Canada securing a Bronze Medal in the Skud class - John McRoberts and Brenda Hopkin, while 2008 2.4 mR Gold Medallist Paul Tingley came away with a 4th place finish. All in all the Skandia event was a solid test for the Canadian squad and has set everyone up to go forward into the fall season.

2 Canadians have confirmed their respective berths in the Laser Class Medal Race. Mike Leigh of Vancouver and David Wright of Toronto both punched their collective tickets to the final today and sit 3rd and 9th overall respectively. Racing continues on all course areas with Nikola Girke looking to maintain her medal race position while Tyler Bjorn and Richard Clarke have crept ever closer with a 5th in todays’ first race, leaving them at the moment just outside the medal race hunt with a race remaining.

 

Friday, August 13, 2010 ~ Final Day Scramble!

The final races in qualification have set up a series of battles for the final Medal race positions. In some fleets the leaders have distanced themselves from the pack of wolves chasing but to a fleet the scramble for the final berths in the prestigious grand final will be an all out war.

Canadians are situated both as leaders and as the scrambling wolves. Mike Leigh in the Laser fleet leads the way for the Canadian fan base, he is currently sitting 2nd overall, eight point ahead of 3rd. Tom Slingsby of Australia has proven to be a formidable opponent at this event and currently enjoys a runaway lead with a 31 point bulge on Mike, but as they say ‘it ain’t over till it’s OVER!’

Sticking with the Laser's David Wright has scratched and clawed his way back into the fight and currently sits 9th in what is one of the tightest battles going with only 5 points separating 6th through 11th place.
 
Nikola Girke posted a 9 - 3 in the last two races to sit in 10th with a 3 point lead over 11th. The "wolves" of our team include Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn in the Star class who fashioned a solid day to sit 16th heading into todays racing. In what can only be described as intense racing that sees the first 12 boats commonly crossing the finish line overlapped the Canadian duo is looking to put the pressure on the leaders today and force their hand into the Medal Race. Zac Plavsic is another Canadian looking for a stellar close to the event, he presently sits 18 points from the promised land, but with the variability in the racing demonstrated daily the option remains open yet slim to take a run at the end game.
 
Forecasts look to produce a solid race day with 12-18 knots projected under sunny skies from the NW. More to come as the excitement builds to a crescendo.
 

Wednesday, August 11 ~ Day 3

Moving day as the 3rd day of many events is affectionately referred to, when the drop races kick in and the Gold and Silver fleets are determined came and went on a beautiful yet difficult day of racing in Weymouth. “Beautiful", YES, sunshine, no rain, modest temperatures and winds of 8-12 knots across most race course areas. Weymouth delivered yet another solid day in a demonstration of the array of conditions one must excel in to be a performer at the Olympic venue.

Canadians were on both ends of the movement scale, with a few teams sliding out of the Gold fleet categories and several others making a positive move up the leader board. Big movers on the day included David Wright of RCYC who posted a stellar 4 – 1 on the day to climb to 14th overall and within striking distance of the medal race (top 10), similarily Mike Leigh continues to put together a solid event, posting a 10 – 5 for the day, and cementing himself amongst the top ten with the 10th being his current drop race thus putting him in a solid position entering the second half of the event. Zac Plavsic in the RSX men’s division continues to hold strong, staggering slightly with a 17th in race one but responding with a respectable 9th in Race 2 of the day to sit 15th overall and within 9 points of the elusive Medal race grouping.

Elsewhere, Paul Tingley sailed a solid day posting a pair of 4th place finishes to sit in a tidy 4th place overall, with breathing room behind him but needing a good second half of the event to close on the current podium placing boats. Sticking with the Paralympic side of things, John McRoberts and Brenda Hopkin remained true to form putting up their fourth and fifth consecutive 3rd place finishes in the Skud fleet to maintain 3rd overall.

On the down side of things Gordon Cook and Hunter Lowden in the 49er class had a tough go for the day and narrowly missed the top 25 boat gold fleet cut-off (by 4 points), similarily Nikola Girke had a challenging battle dropping from the top 10 to 15th with a pair of off par scores. None the less the team all continue to battle and with two days of quality racing remaining much remains to be seen and learned about this Olympic venue.