October 31, 2015
Tom Burton leads Lasers with superior display at ISAF Sailing World Cup
The battle for gold in the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final is turning into a classic contest of skill and concentration in Abu Dhabi, with the sport’s top elite athletes turning on a spectacular display in near perfect conditions.
The second day of the Sailing World Cup grand finale brought offshore breezes of 9-13 knots at Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club.
It was another good day for Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw, defending champion in the Women’s RS:X, who followed up her second place in the first of the three races with victory in the last to hold a two-point overall lead from Italy’s Flavia Tartaglini, the second race winner.
Australian Tom Burton, leading the 20-boat Laser fleet overnight, once again showed his liking for conditions in Abu Dhabi, and second place in the day’s opening race won by German Philipp Buhl saw him extend his advantage to 3 pts over Robert Scheidt, the five-times Olympic medalist.
Marit Bouwmeester won the first of two races in Abu Dhabi.
In the Laser Radial Holland’s Marit Bouwmeester won the first of two races from Josefin Olsson and, after discarding her 8th position in race two, ended the day leading the Swede by three points.
Austria’s defending champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar are having a great battle with Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the Women’s 470 class, and there is nothing between them after two days of fleet racing.
The first day of the regatta had been a mixed one for Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar, as their opening win was followed quickly by disqualification for a false start in race two.
They reclaimed the outright lead by winning today’s opener from Mills and Clark who were placed third. But the British girls reversed the positions in the second race to draw level with last year’s gold medalists.
Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar are joint leaders in the 470 class.
Great Britain’s Tom Squires stayed on course for gold in the Men’s RS:X when he snatched victory in the last of the day’s three races after earlier 7th and a 2nd place finishes.
Another intriguing contest for gold is developing in the 49er class, with Poland’s Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki tied at the end of the day with Italy’s Stefano Cherin and Andrea Tesei.
The Poles followed their first race win with two 4th positions, while Cherin and Tesei fitted a race victory in between two 2nd places. British brothers Rory and Neil Hunter climbed to third by taking the third race of the day.
There are still two days of racing left, but already multiple world champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are looking good for another pair of Men’s 470 World Cup gold medals in Abu Dhabi.
Finishing second in today’s first of two races to Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström, the Australians won race two to earn a four-point advantage over Americans Stuart McNay and David Hughes who’s opening 4th place was followed by a disappointing retirement.
Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic scored victory in both of today’s races in the Finn class to take a 4pt overall lead from Britain’s Edward Wright and Turkey’s Alican Kaynar who are tied in second.
The open kiteboarding event was continuing through the afternoon off the Corniche in Abu Dhabi as defending champion Oliver Bridge of Great Britain looked to add to his hat-trick of race victories from the previous day.
After tomorrow’s third day of fleet racing, the top ten athletes from each of the eight Olympic sailing classes, as well as the open kiteboarding competition, will move forward into Sunday’s medal races to decide who leaves Abu Dhabi with World Cup gold, silver and bronze.