By Andy Rice via World Sailing; Photos by Sailing Energy
Men’s One-Person Dinghy
Matt Wearn (AUS) keeps on getting better and better throughout this Olympic Games. With opening scores on day one of 17,28, it looked like the Australian was not going to live up to his billing as one of the favourites for gold. But since the wind turned to the south and got stronger, so the waves got bigger, and the change of conditions have played to Wearn’s strengths, winning both of today’s races.
“Coming back from the first day was tough mentally more than anything,” said Wearn. “You expect to have a great start to the regatta. And obviously that didn’t happen. So it was sort of back to the drawing board. And it was a little bit more frustrating that one of those results was because of a breakage as well. Obviously, that’s the last thing you want happening in the Olympics. But it’s been a couple of good days now, still another three races to go though.”
Pavlos Kontides (CYP) went into the day with an eight-point lead. He might still have been leading but for a ‘second yellow flag’, the dreaded penalty flag used by the on-water umpires who watch out for any infringements of Racing Rule 42, kinetics. The Cypriot was very unhappy with the decision against him. “I don’t want to discuss it or how I feel. I will just try to forget about everything and just focus on tomorrow.”
With two races to sail on Friday before the Medal Race, Wearn holds a 15 point advantage over Kontides, who’s now only five points in front of third-placed Hermann Tomasgaard of Norway. Waiting to pounce on any mistake in fourth place overall is 48-year-old Robert Scheidt, the five-time medallist from Brazil.
See full results here.
Women’s One-Person Dinghy
Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) was more excited at the performance of her good friend Annalise Murphy (IRL) who rediscovered her mojo in today’s full-hiking, wavy conditions. In Rio, Rindom took Olympic bronze behind the Irish sailor’s silver and today they each came off the water with a first and a second place, Murphy taking the first race and Rindom the next.
“I’m so happy for her because we have been training together now for the last eight years,” grinned Rindom. “And I remember in Rio, we were jumping in the water together finishing second and third. She just needs those days like today. She’s such a brilliant sailor. I am so happy for her.”
The gold medallist from Rio, Marit Bouwmeester (NED), has mounted a courageous comeback all week after a shaky start to the regatta. The Dutch double Olympic medallist has sailed with her back against the wall, but blew any realistic chances of the gold after a black flag disqualification for starting too soon in race 7. Now back in seventh, she has an outside chance of getting back to silver or bronze.
“Well, at least I don’t have to look at the scoreboard anymore,” said Bouwmeester, struggling to face up to her disappointment. “I guess my back’s against the wall but I have to make the most of tomorrow.”
Rindom needs to sail sensibly to preserve a whopping 21-point advantage over Tuula Tenkanen, the Finnish sailor who leads a bunch of rivals on very similar points.
See full results here.
Friday’s action will see the Men’s and Women’s One-Person Dinghies conclude their Opening Series.