New Zealand’s Olympic Sailors fared well on day two of the Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth as both Dan Slater in the Finn, and Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner in the Star won a race each.
“It was nice to get away out of the blocks and be able to sail my own race where as yesterday I got sort of got trapped at the start and forced to do things” said Dan Slater after racing.
The breeze built up to 15+ knots for the early afternoon, and some of the Finn fleet struggled with the tough conditions. Dan led the fleet from start to finish around all course marks, and won convincingly with a margin of 30 seconds over the next boat.
In his second race, 36 year old and third time Olympian Dan Slater finished sixth, leaving him sixth overall after four races and with six races remain before the top ten competitors progress to the medal round.
“It’s all about the points at the end of the day; the position doesn’t really matter until the last few days. If the points are close than anything can happen...I closed that gap today” Dan continued.
Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner’s win was much closer fought for; they only stole the lead on the final leg from the Norwegian team who led every other mark rounding, and got to the finish line ten seconds before them.
“We sailed well, were going fast and got a few nice lanes and good starts; we were up there and sailed well down wind” said Hamish.
This relatively new pairing sailed to a 12th place finish in their second race of the day and are ranked tenth overall in these still early stages of the regatta.
“It’s the Olympics, it’s so tight. You see it on the race course, everybody rounds the top mark within 20 seconds and it’s all on down the run” Hamish continued. “There's sixteen guys out here that can win a race and they’re all very very good so we know it’s going to be a tough regatta and just got to keep chipping away”.
The NZ Women’s match racing crew continued steady form as they did yesterday with one race win and one loss. The are approaching the half way point of the round robin and have two wins and two losses to their record.
Three other fleets made their 2012 Olympic debut today: the Laser (Andrew Murdoch), Laser Radial (Sara Winther) and Men’s 49er (Peter Burling/Blair Tuke).
In the first 49er race Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were subject to an individual recall, but went back to clear their penalty and did an amazing job to come back up through the fleet and finish 9th.
“It was pretty tricky... same as always when it’s blowing out of the south west, but it was good fun sailing on pretty flat water” said Blair after sailing
“We went back not sure if we were over but I think we ended up 9th which is better than being OCS in the first race of the Olympic games, a lot of the other good guys went back as well so yeah, we sailed well to get through.”
Standings- Day 2- July 30th
6th - Dan Slater (Finn) - 7, 12, 1, 6
8th - Peter Burling/Blair Tuke (49er) – 9, 7
9th - Andrew Murdoch (Laser) - 12, 8
10th - Hamish Pepper & Jim Turner (Star) - 15, 7, 1, 12
27th Sara Winther (Laser Radial)- 31, 23
Women’s Match Racing- Round Robin: Two win, Two loss