Four Medal Races set for Sugarloaf + How to follow race day #9

Associations, Sailing, Sports — By on August 16, 2016 at 2:49 PM

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing CompetitionFind out what’s on the agenda at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition today and find out further information on how to follow the racing, watch the tracking, download imagery and follow World Sailing on social media.

It’s another warm day with 26 degrees Celsius set for race time. With very light airs forecast from somewhere in the south, the prospect of getting today’s racing away on time at 1300 hours looks a bit touch and go.

After yesterday’s day of long waiting with no wind on the inner courses, followed by yesterday afternoon’s storm that put a dramatic end to proceedings, there’s a lot to catch up on. If the wind comes good then we’ve got four back-to-back Medal Races on the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course. It starts at 1300 hours with the Women’s Laser Radial, closely followed by the Men’s Laser at 1345, the Finns at 1430 and concluding with the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihulls at 1515. The Medal ceremonies are set to take place from 1630.

It’s a big day for the 470s with three races scheduled on the Niterói course, and the Men’s and Women’s Skiff fleets each contest three races on the inner courses.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing CompetitionMen’s One Person Dinghy – Laser

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) has already secured Croatia’s first ever medal in Olympic sailing, with the silver guaranteed. With a ten-point buffer on Tom Burton (AUS), the only sailor that can threaten Croatian gold, will Stipanovic look for a match race with the Australian? Burton meanwhile has the dilemma of going all out for gold, or doing his best to defend silver from Sam Meech (NZL) who is ten points behind his fellow Antipodean. Then again Meech has a similar worry, with three hungry athletes desperate to get on that podium. Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) is the closest threat to the Kiwi, nine points back, and a point further back are the reigning World Champion Nick Thompson (GBR) and Robert Scheidt (BRA). The legendary Brazilian has a massive task on his hands to win bronze, but if anyone is man enough for the job, it’s the five-time Olympic medallist.

Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial

The fight for gold in the Women’s Laser Radial will be a three-way battle between Marit Bouwmeester (NED), Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Annalise Murphy (IRL). For the Dutch and Irish sailors, this is familiar territory as there are similarities with the showdown four years ago at London 2012. Bouwmeester is looking to improve on London silver, Murphy would just like to stay on the podium after tearfully missing out last time.

The difference from London is that Bouwmeester has eight points on Rindom and ten on Murphy. Also looking to attack for the silver and bronze medals are the competitors in fourth and fifth, 2012 bronze medallist Evi van Acker (BEL) and Tuula Tenkanen (FIN).

Heavyweight Men’s One Person Dinghy – Finn

Giles Scott (GBR) has already said how happy he is to have wrapped up the Finn gold medal before contesting the Medal Race on the notoriously fickle Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course. With a 24-point lead over second place, the four-time World Champion will sail Tuesday’s Medal Race as a formality. Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) holds a 13-point lead over Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), which sets up the Slovenian nicely for the silver medal, while the Croatian will have to be mindful of the fourth and fifth placed sailors, Caleb Paine (USA) and Max Salminen (SWE) in the fight for the remaining medals. If Zbogar were to finish last and either of the American or the Swede were to finish first, they could just take the silver provided the Croatian is worse than third. Sounds like a tall order, but Salminen won an ‘impossible’ gold medal at London 2012 sailing with Freddie Loof in the Star. Strange things can happen in Medal Races, especially on this race course.

Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470

Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have extended their lead over arch-rivals Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS). Once again, whatever the wildly variable conditions in Rio can throw at the Croatians. With an 11-point gap between them, Belcher will really need to turn it on for the final three qualifying races if he’s to retain his Olympic crown. Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) are in third. Three races are scheduled on Niterói out on the ocean.

Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) hold the lead, although the team now closest to them are the Americans four points back, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA). Third place is held by Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO), although just a point behind are reigning World Champions Camille Lecointre and Hélène de France (FRA) and a point further behind the French are Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN). With three races scheduled on Niterói course, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) have to put in a sensational day to get back in medal contention after picking up two disqualifications in their series.

Women’s Skiff – 49erFX

Today the 49erFX fleet lines up on Aeroporto course for the conclusion of its qualifying series. Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) fired in two bullets from the previous day’s three races on the Niterói course, moving the reigning World Champions to the top of the scoreboard. Behind them are two former World Champion crews, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) who are four points behind the Spanish in second, and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) just one point behind the Kiwis in third overall. Although previous leaders Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) have slipped to fourth overall, the Danes are only nine points off the lead.

Men’s Skiff – 49er

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) have opened up an 18-point lead over Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER). Even if the gold is beginning to get away from the Germans, they do at least have a healthy 15-point lead over the reigning Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS). After scoring two firsts and a third place out on the ocean yesterday, it will be interesting to see if Julien d’Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA) can carry that momentum on to the flatter water of Escola Naval today, and attack for the podium. Lukasz Przbytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) are the best of the rest and could still move into the top three, as could Ireland, Great Britain, Denmark and Argentina.

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