The Medal Race day provided entertainment for the fans crowding the grandstands and Bather's Beach board walk. Although far from windy there was enough breeze to provide solid racing for all with the wind ranging from 7-13 knots. Each of the four fleets had intriguing story lines and tight battles throughout the top 10. Full results of these races and more can be found at www.perth2011.com.
Nine different countries secured medals today out of the 12 medals available, with the Netherlands and GBR being the only countries to score more than one medal on the day. GBR lead the charge with 3 medals, two from their powerful Finn fleet, including a Gold by Giles Scott and a Bronze from Ed Wright, while their third medal came in the 470 men with a Silver. Netherlands secured two medals with PJ Postma securing the Silver and Marit Bouwmeester securing the Gold in the Radial class. The Gold Medal winners across the 4 classes included NED in the Radial, AUS in the 470 Men, much to the pleasure of the hometown crowd lining the beach front, ISR in the RSX Women's class and GBR in the Finn.
There was much attention on the incident involving 5 time World Champion Ben Ainslie in the Finn class, from the previous day. The international jury found Ben in gross breach of sportsmanship after he boarded a Media boat between race 9 and 10, and had an altercation with the boat driver and camera man. The jury disqualified him from the two races on the day, and he was not allowed to drop these races, dropping him to 11th overall. The full international jury decision can be found Here. There is no place in sport for this type of incident between athlete and the media and although it has drawn tons of press to sailing, it does not cast a proper light on our fine sport.
The Star class racing got underway with the first 2 races of their championship. One of Canada's strongest medal chances lay in the Star class with the veteran Richard Clarke and crew Tyler Bjorn leading the charge. The day early on looked like a typical Fremantle day with a building sea breeze under clear skies, although it initially built much along the standard lines the breeze eventually backed off as the cloud cover developed over the course of the day. Race one started in 13 knots and ranged in velocity from 9-13 knots, while race 2 started in upwards of 15 knots and diminished to 12 knots by the finish. Clarke/Bjorn had a solid start to the day putting up a 12th in race one following this up with a sixth in race two. Clarke explains, 'it was a one sided race course in the first race – that was pretty obvious, but I was not going to try to win the pin in the first race of a World Championships'. Clarke/Bjorn team currently sits in seventh overall and racing continues through until the medal race on December 17th.
Confused weather remains on the horizon for the next couple of days, creating a little uncertainty to the start of week two, however CST weather guru, Eric Holden predicts that the forecasts will return to the more typical sea breeze conditions in the latter part of the week. The Laser, 470 W, RSX Men and 49er all start racing tomorrow! Stay tuned for a lot more action!