The Doctor wasn't needed today, as a solid SSE system breeze and some localized showers brought plenty of breeze and with it a great degree of variety to the race courses. Winds again ranged from as little as 7 knots to upwards of 20 knots in the localized squalls. The variance in the breeze was to the liking of some and chagrin of others.
The second week of the event is starting to take shape with some interesting story lines developing. In Star land, the series leader after 4 races, defending Olympic Gold Medallists from GBR Percy/Simpson, received their second yellow flag for kinetics (pumping rule) in Race 5, forcing them to withdraw from that race. The story deteriorates as Ian Percy has appeared to have injured his lower back causing the team to not compete in Race 6 and dropping them down the leader board. Things don't look good as Percy has indicated that they are likely done for the event. Sticking with the Star's a tight battle is being fought throughout the fleet and none tighter than at the top of the standings where Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of BRA have a slim one point lead over Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki of Poland, who are tied for second on equal points with Mark Mendeblatt and Brian Faith of the US. Canada's top team of Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn scored a 7 – 15 on the day. Clarke explained that it was a difficult day on the water with a wide range of 6-20kts with unpredictable shifts. 'You couldn't even buy a shift out there today'. Clarke/Bjorn are currently in eighth after 6 races.
The RSX men's fleet has an equal log jam at the top with Nimrod Mashich of ISR holding a slim lead over a pair of team mates from Poland who are on equal points in second place. Zac Plavsic of Canada opened the day with a stellar performance putting up a first place to go along with an 11th in race two to sit 10th overall. This marks the first time a Canadian has won a race in the RSX class at a World Championship! Zac's coach, Kevin Stittle was very pleased and says 'Zac was in control. It was not just a lucky race. He really worked for it. He did not round the first mark first but just seemed to get on the right side of every shift and catch every puff as it rolled down the course. He just nailed everything.' An outstanding start to the event for Plavsic who has shown moments of brilliance throughout the year, (two podium finishes at World Cup events) and to put one together here at the Worlds would be outstanding.
David Hayes had a decent day with a 26 and 25 today to put him in 32nd overall.
Tom Slingsby of AUS leads the way in the Laser fleet with an impressive 9 point lead after 4 races over defending Olympic Gold Medallist Paul Goodison of the GBR. Slingsby put on a clinic in the difficult conditions on the Laser course scoring a pair of bullets. The top Canadian performer on the day was Chris Dold with a solid third place finish during the first race of the day, and although he slid to 18th in race 2 he sits 23rd overall. Other Canadian scores in the Laser fleet included a pair of 'lucky' 13s for Lee Parkhill and a 12-21 from David Wright. David was fashioning a matching pair of 12s until a mishap at the bottom mark took him out of contention.
On the 49er course Jon Ladha and Daniel Inkpen scored and impressive second place finish in their sixth race of the event, while Gordon Cook and Hunter Lowden put up a sixth in the middle race of three for the 49er fleet today. This has turned into a well fought battle for these Canadian teams as they currently sit 32nd and 33rd overall respectively. The pressure is on for the 49er sailors as the top 25 advance to the Gold fleet at the end of tomorrows racing which is well within striking distance of the top two Canadian teams.
The 470 team Archibald/Dexter continue to struggle with boat speed but are very positive and on a sharp learning curve. They currently sit in 40th overall.
On a disappointing note, the Canadian 470 Mens team did not qualify the country for 2012 as previously indicated. The Dutch Team (NED 77) was disqualified in the evening after the medal race took place on December 11th. It was a measurement violation. Although the Canadian's overall position remains at 29th, a Swiss boat switched places with disqualified Dutch boat and thus the Swiss finished ahead of the Canadians making the Canadian's 20th country rather than 19th. Only 19 countries qualify for London at this event. The Canadian 470 team Ramsay/Leigh are still pleased with their overall performance having achieved their goal of top 30 at this event.
Wednesday marks a big day for all Canadian competitors as the final qualifying series races will be held before splitting into Gold – Silver and Bronze fleet racing for the remainder of the week. The Doctor looks to make a house call tomorrow with solid sea breeze conditions predicted, which for some will be a welcome change from the overcast and tricky conditions that have opened this second week of racing.
Complete results at www.perth2011.com.
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