Medal Race Win - Aquece Rio Test Event
Friday, August 21, 2015 - Rio de Janeiro
It was medal race day for the Laser class at the 2015 Aquece Rio Test Event. The stage was set for the ultimate battle of the best sailors in the world. Top 10 Laser sailors took to the Bay in 6-12kts of variable wind. The Medal race course, situated under Sugar loaf mountain, has a lot of variable wind. "It comes from either side of the mountain. It can be 10kts one minute and nothing the next," says Parkhill. "You just have to wait for something to happen and not overthink it. You need to make split second decisions that work in your favor."
Canada's Parkhill got off to another great start playing the middle right on the first windward leg, taking advantage of some angle at the top to close in on leader Tom Burton who had extended to the right. A textbook run saw Parkhill overhaul Burton and round the bottom mark in the lead. Early gains were made on the right on the second windward leg-Parkhill for the win. "We had Plan A, B, and C today. Fortunately we didn't have to activate any other plans. Plan A was to take the lead and win. The plan all came together!" delighted coach Steve Mitchell. "The aim here was to get into the medal race here in Rio and we did that fairly well. We wanted to log more time in Rio, learn what we do know and don't know about the venue, identify the weaknesses and figure out how to approach the next year."
Parkhill sailed a fairly consistent event despite some struggles that pushed him back in standings yesterday. "I hadn't won a race this week, but I knew I could. As they say, better late than never! It's a good rebound after yesterday, I didn't have a great day. It's amazing to win a race at the Olympic venue and gives me good confidence for next year that I can win a race when I need to, against the best sailors in the world."
Parkhill is coming to the end of an intense major competition season, logging four major regattas in the last three months, including the Laser World Championships and the Pan American Games. "Competing and winning a medal at the Pan Am Games on home soil was a unique experience, having my friends and family cheering me on in my home country. Winning a medal race at the Olympic Test Event is equally as special. It is a positive step forward towards the ultimate goal of an Olympic medal."
Results - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/rio2016/results/index.php
photo credit: Jesus Renedo/sailingenergy