Mistrovství světa RS:X – Perth, Australia

 V australském Perthu skončilo Mistrovství světa ve třídě RS:X. Mistrem světa se stal Dorian van Rijsselberghe z Holandska před Polákem Piotrem Myszkou (pozor nezaměňovat s Filipem Myškou CZE333 Tongue out) a třetí skončil Nimrod Mashich z Izraele.

Karel Lavický skončil na 53. místě a Patrik Pollák hned za ním. Ani jeden tedy účast na olympiádě zatím nevybojoval.

Day Six – Men: 

Dorian van Rijsselberghe NED went in to the medal race under pressure. His 8th in the 10th race yesterday had gifted the lead to Pole Piotr Myszka. One point separated them at the start. With medal race points counting double, whoever won this duel would be the 2011 RS:X Word Windsurfing Champion.

The Start boat was moved away from its 'traditional' spot close to the Northern breakwater in Bathers bay so that the second slalom end gybe mark could be placed right in front of the grandstand.

With the preliminaries dealt with the fleet split in half with the New Zealanders leading the group going right in to the building pressure being delivered by the 'Doctor'. At the top mark for the first time, it was Byron Kokalanis GRE who lead with Ivan Pastor ESP 50 metres back in  2nd and Julien Bontemps FRA 3rd.

These guys were not 'players' in the struggle for supremacy. The battle was further back

It was the Flying Dutchman who rounded 4th with a clear lead over the two Polish sailors. Przemyslaw Miarczinski was closest. Piotr was effectively out of touch with Dorian and now had to focus on protecting the silver medal position from Pont which he did.

JP Tobin NZL had gone into the medal race trailing Tom Ashley his compatriot and was determined to make it an three. He has beaten Tom in a straight fight twice already this year. Their duel will go on but JP is out to load the deck in his favor by the biggest margin possible.

Tom won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. To displace an established medal winner in the national selection for 2012 will be tough which is why JP has to do more than ever to establish that he is the 'man to pick.

On the other hand spectators are wondering how Przemsylaw can be picked to go to the Games when Piotr beat him to become the 2010 RS:X World Champion and beat him again to take the silver medal at the 2011 RS:X Worlds too.

So Dorian is the 2011 RS:X World Windsurfing Champion, Piotr is  second and Nimrod Mashiah ISR take the bronze.

The RS:X Race Committee are to be congratulated for delivering the best possible racing they could. Sometimes in difficult circumstances. A big thank you to them for their hard work and dedication.

The Perth 2011 organisers are also to congratulated in taking the ISAF Sailing World Championships and moving it forward from 2007 in a big way. There is still more work to be done to bring Olympic sailing into the 21st century in terms of media and technology and perhaps even more fundamentally in defining a clear vision and strategy that will accommodate the sailors desire for great racing, the public's growing appetite for online coverage and the sponsor's desire for TV coverage.

We are moving in the right direction but there's still a long way to go before the sport moves fully into the modern era…

Here are the nations qualified: NED, POL, ISR, NZL, GRE, POR, ESP, FRA, BRA, CAN, GER, CYP, SUI, UKR, ARG, CHN, KOR, JPN, HUN, HKG, CRO, NOR, ITA, LTU, USA, RUS, MEX, AUS

Host Country Qualified by right: GBR

Those to qualify in 2012: COL, BUL, THA, EST, CZE, SVK, TPE, SIN, VEN, DEN, PHI, PAK, LAT, PER, EGY, SLO,

RS:X Men's Top 10

1. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 33.0
2. POL82 Piotr Myszka 40.0
3. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 52.0
4. POL126 Przemyslaw Miarczinski 52.0
5. NZL151 JP Tobin 61.0
6. NZL181 Tom Ashley 64.0
7. GRE8 Byron Kokalanis 66.0
8. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 71.0
9. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 73.0 
10. POR75 Joao Rodrigues 86.0

Full Results

Day Five – Men:

Piotr Myszka [POL] the 2010 RS:X World Windsurfing Champion is in no mood to pass his crown on to someone else. He went out on to the centre course determined to put himself in a position to attack Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] in the medal race tomorrow.

The way it played out has probably exceeded his wildest dreams. He posted two second places but Dorian faltered. Normal service was delivered in the first race of the day – 3rd – but in the second he dropped to 8th.

The problem is that he just cannot discard it. Remember that 16th he scored in race 3. He must be kicking himself tonight for not reading the course board on the back of the start boat correctly. Talk about putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.

With one point between them a major head-to-head is in prospect.

Back in 3rd Przemyslaw Miarczyinski [POL] is 13 points off the pace so probably not able to overhaul his countryman. But he will be fully occupied by Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] who started this regatta in a blaze of 1s and 2s and then took his foot off the gas pedal to slip steadily down the order. He’s 2 points back.

There will be a three way standoff for the bronze medal. Tom Ashley came into the mix today. He blew the fleet away in the 15 knot sea breeze in the 9th race in the series by the simple expedient of reading the pressure spot on.

Straight off the start, he put in a long tack out to the right hand side of the course, tacked one and crossed the whole fleet as the smoked up the starboard layline to the windward mark. Rounding with a decisive lead, Piotr could find no way back and nor could Dorian who was scrambling to make up places from behind.

5th in race 10 did not quite do it for him. He is now 8 points adrift of the bronze medal which translates into 5 medal race places between him and Pont. It’s a tall order.

Elliot Carney [GBR] went into the day just one point off a place in the medal race. He was down in the pits area in plenty of time to check his equipment and make some precautionary replacements. He clearly was going out to secure that coveted first medal race spot.

Sadly it wasn’t to be . In race 9 he went left towards the grandstand where the strong sea breeze was forced to rise over the sea wall reducing the pressure significantly. He repeated the mistake in race 10 to post a 14 and a 19 and drop back to 14th overall just behind Nick Demspey [GBR] who has had a less than sparkling regatta to put it mildly.

The reverse is true for Elliot who is now on the verge of a big breakthrough just like Zac Plavsic [CAN] whose time training with Dorian and JP has paid off handsomely.  He was back on form today posting a 9 and a 6 to finish 12th overall which is possibly the highest placed finisher by any North American athlete in a decade.

And the country that did not make the cut to qualify his nation for London 2012 ?

Well, The Russian athlete Dmitrii Polishchuk finished his championship off in style to climb well out of the danger zone. That means that the last country through the door is Australia with Tim Gourlay and Luke Baillie just doing enough to make their shot at qualification stick

And the unlucky one… was Grillo Santiago from Colombia. The one saving grace that he can take home with him is that he finished on top of the pile of also-rans. Now 16 countries will go to Cadiz, Spain for the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships to fight over the last 9 national qualifying places. Grillo knows that one of those places has his name on it.

Here are the nations qualified: NED, POL, ISR, NZL, GRE, POR, ESP, FRA, BRA, CAN, GER, CYP, SUI, UKR, ARG, CHN, KOR, JPN, HUN, HKG, CRO, NOR, ITA, LTU, USA, RUS, MEX, AUS

Host Country Qualified by right: GBR

Those to qualify in 2012: COL, BUL, THA, EST, CZE, SVK, TPE, SIN, VEN, DEN, PHI, PAK, LAT, PER, EGY, SLO,

RS:X Men's Top 10

1. POL82 Piotr Myszka 24.0
2. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 25.0
3. POL126 Przemyslaw Miarczinski 38.0
4. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 40.0
5. NZL181 Tom Ashley 46.0
6. NZL151 JP Tobin 51.0
7. GRE8 Byron Kokalanis 64.0
8. POR75 Joao Rodrigues 66.0
9. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 67.0 
10. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 67.0

Full Results

Day Four – Men:

Consistency is king and the Dutch Flyer is proving to be the King of Consistency. Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] set a blistering pace in the off shore winds on the Leighton race track to day leaving his rivals distinctly off the pace.

He has extended his lead as we come to the business end of the regatta. Posting a bullet in the first. A 4th in the second. And a 3d in then 3rd. He was the only one to master the tricky 15 knot plus conditions.

Piotr Myszka [POL] put in a 6th and a 2nd but blew the third race. Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] went 8, 12, 5. Prsemyslaw Miarczynski [POL] posted a 15th then redeemed himself with a bullet before falling to 8th in the third. Byron Kokalanis [GRE] crashed to 43rd in the first before finishing the day with a 3 and a one.

I think you get the point.

Dorian leads by 6 points tonight and is obviously in a special place that no one else can find. With two more races on Saturday in which to claw back some ground, the threat to Dorian's crown is looking less likely than ever to upset his rhythm.

Elliot Carney [GBR] ceded his place in the top 10 to Julien Bontemps [FRA] but there's just one point in it so with his tail up and he can still make his first major medal race. This his moment. His time to come out of the shadows and become a number that no one can ignore whatever they have won in the past.

Back in the national qualification zone, the battle is between Australia, Colombia and Russia for the last 2 coveted slots. There are only 4 points in it so which country is excluded is by no means certain.

Tomorrow, Friday is a rest day so no racing here in Perth for the RS:X Windsurfing Fleets. We're back on Saturday for last two course races and the forecast is for the breeze to be on. Some will be praying for the Doctor to do his stuff. We've only had one genuine day of sea breeze in the last 10 days…

RS:X Men's Top 10

1. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 14.0
2. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 20.0
3. POL82 Piotr Myszka 23.0
4. POL126 Przemyslaw Miarczinski 31.0
5. GRE8 Byron Kokalanis 34.0
6. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 36.0 
7. NZL151 JP Tobin 37.0
8. POR75 Joao Rodrigues 40.0
9. NZL181 Tom Ashley 40.0
10. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 51.0

Full Results

Day Three – Men: 

Today did not look promising. Not promising at all. Bright sunshine maybe but the wind was absent. The AP duly went up at 1200hrs and the guys were held on the beach for 30 minutes. Then the fun and games began

The yellow group went out for the first start of the day. One general recall, they got into race 5. The wind was still not co-operating. Up and down. Left and right. Until after 37 minutes with what were once the fleet leaders buried in the pack, the win gods threw  a curve ball and shifted 100 degrees plus.

The Race Committee had no choice. The ISAF Race Management Guidelines state clearly that the PRO can shorten or lengthen a leg but he cannot shorten a course. All that effort had to be consigned to the dustbin. The Race was abandoned.The fleet was sent ashore to recover their sense of humour and take a break

The blue fleet had more luck. Their only race of the day went off without a hitch. Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] recovered his equilibrium and took the gun. Piotr Myszka [POL] kept the pressure up by posting a 2nd whilst his compatriot, Przemyslaw Miarcyzinski  bombed to 12th. Shahar Zubari [ISR] finally made an appearance in the top 3. And,  Zac Plavsic [CAN] put in this worst race of the championship so far to drop out of the top 10.

The one young gun still confounding the sceptics is Eliot Carney who is rattling off mid top 10 finishes as if he had been at this game at this level for years… which he hasn't. Good on ya Carnage 🙂

Now back to the Yellow fleet, who were finally recalled to the starting zone at going on 1600hrs. Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] was one athlete who was heaving a sigh of relief when the first race of the day was blown off. He was deep in the pack and dreading every moment of it. In the re-run, he finished 4th but now shares top spot overall with Dorian with a massive 6 points off 5 races.

No-one in front of him could do any damage to the top group but Tom Ashley [NZL] put in a stinker – 12th – and dropped to 5th, the place previously occupied by Toni Wilhelm [GER] who has now descended to 7th after posting a 19th.

There are now 6 points covering places 5 to 11 with a queue of people waiting to take the Otis in to the top 10 if any one puts a foot wrong again. 8 of them are carrying a discard they would rather forget leaving Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] and Piotr Myszka [POL] in s strong position going into the gold fleet racing starting tomorrow.

That covers the drama at the business end of the fleet, so lets look at who made the cut and who has been consigned to the silver fleet

Santiago Grillo [COL] is the last man in with David Mier y Teran just one point ahead. These two will be fighting tooth and nail for the last Olympic qualification place. There are 30 countries in the gold fleet including Great Britain who have a place at the Games by right as the host country.

28 nations will qualify here in Perth at the ISAF Sailing World Championships so although these guys are a long way off the medal places competition will be intense right through to the last man standing.

The 17 nations left in the silver fleet will get their chance to qualify at the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, Spain in March where the winners will get to share a US $45,000 prize pot.

RS:X Men's Top 10

1. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 6.0
2. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 6.0
3. POL82 Piotr Myszka 8.0
4. Przemyslaw Miarczinski 10.0
5. NZL181 Tom Ashley 14.0
6. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 17.0
7. GER3 Toni Wilhelm 17.0
8. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 18.0
9. GBR7 Elliot Carney 18.0
10. POR75 Joao Rodrigues 20.0

Full Results

Day Two – Men:

Overnight 36mm of rain had deluged Perth in just 30 minutes but the low pressure was still hanging around this morning. We woke to total cloud cover and the same wind direction that had delivered solid gold racing on day 1.

Now, the men racing in the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships were scheduled to race on the centre course starting at 1230hrs. The Blue fleet went out first with the start boat close up against the northern breakwater.

Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] strode into the lead which had extended to 2 minutes on his second visit to the top mark. The race win was in the bag. He just had to complete the course to post his first bullet of the day. Unfortunately he had not paid enough attention to the course signals on the stern of the start boat… He presented himself at the finish line one lap early and then had to play a desperate game of catch up finally finishing 16th

He made up for it in the second by firing in a bullet but the beneficiary of his dumb mistake in the first was Zac Plavsic who made history and climbed a personal Everest too by pouncing on Dorian's mistake and taking the gun. A Canadian athlete has never before won a race at an Olympic class windsurfing world championships.

Asked what he thought of the centre course today Zac said "It's like playing snakes and ladders. In that board game finding a ladder can move you right up. The reverse is true of the snakes. I just managed to find more ladders than snakes today"

Well done Zac for proving the sceptics wrong for the second day. The other guy who has had the best 2 days racing in his life is Eliot Carney. He popped in a 3 and a 6 today and now is 6th overall.

On coming ashore he said "I'm tired but really happy… Just trying to keep a lid on my emotions… These have been the best 2 days racing I have ever had" He's come good just as Nick Dempsey has gone off the boil. He is loathing the conditions in Perth. The weed in the water being a big bug bear. Not to mention the empty spectator stands and the compromises that he is being forced to make to the altar of media friendliness when the official coverage seems almost bereft of windsurfing action.

Equal second are the Polish pair, Piotr Myszka and Przemislaw Miarczynski. This ding dong battle is not going to stop any time soon. Unlike what was billed to be a needle match between the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, Shahar Zubari and his team mate from Israel, Nimrod Mashiah.

This one finished before it began. Nimrod sits on top of the leaderboard with a mere six points whilst Shahar is buried in 19th place with forty three. He is spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which race to discard but he favours the 16th place that he scored in race 2 at the moment.

Tom Ashley [NZL] is putting a nice series together. Placing 2nd and 3rd today, he's back to his imperious self in 4th place overall while JP is paying the price for the wound in his left foot. The one inflicted by that mean little fish, the Cobbler. He just could not apply the necessary pressure on it to do better than a 6th and a 10th today

We're moving to the business end of the qualification round tomorrow with the points close enough to put 7 sailors in with a chance of making the cut. As for the number of countries going to qualify, on our current calculations the silver fleet will be fighting over the 3 remaining places not already taken by those in the gold fleet.

RS:X Men's Top 10

1. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 6.0
2. Przemyslaw Miarczinski 10.0
3. POL82 Piotr Myszka 10.0
4. NZL181 Tom Ashley 14.0
5. GER3 Toni Wilhelm 17.0
6. GBR7 Elliot Carney 20.0
7. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 21.0
8. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 22.0
9. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 23.0
10. CAN33 Zac Plavsic 25.0

Full Results

Day One – Men:

The day dawned overcast here in Fremantle at the ISAF Sailing World Championships with the wind blowing offshore and building from a quiet start to top out at 15-17knots in the second race of the day in the RS:X Men's Windsurfing World Championships.

The 2010 RS:X World Champ, Piotr Myszka [POL] came  storming off the start line to win race one but had a contratemps with a large fish in race 2 which resulted in him taking an involuntary trip 'over-the-handlebars'… He recovered to take 2nd place and share the top step of the podium with Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] who mirrored the exact same scoreline.

The 'Dutch Flyer', Dorian van Rijsselberghe holds 3rd overall tonight having put in a one and a three and lay the base for his title challenge.

Back on top form after a trying recovery, Tom Ashley [NZL] instantly demonstrated that he has lost none of his flare, coming straight out and taking second in race one. He followed that with a 7th and sits just one point  in front of his countryman JP Tobin as I write… BUT and there is a big but in this case, JP lodged a protest within the time limit against Tom over an alleged incident at the bottom gate so, they will both be in the 'room' later.

It just goes to show the importance of this event in the great scheme of things. It may be the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships. It may also be account for 75% of the qualification places wanting to race at the 2012 Olympic Regatta but that's not all. The third and possibly most important issue is that athletes from the same team are competing against each other for that coveted individual selection place on their national Olympic team.

Tom and JP have locked horns already. Expect more fireworks in the Polish team where Piotr Myszka is up against triple Olympian, Przemyslaw Miarczynski and in the Israeli team where Nimrod Mashiah is duelling with Shahar Zubari.

The latter had a less than explosive start to his challenge

Beside these super racers, something very interesting is happening. New names are appearing in the top 10. Elliot Carney [GBR] long thought of as Nick Dempsey's second string, popped in a 3rd an 8th to take 9th overall. Zac Plavsic [CAN] who has been training with Dorian and JP, smacked in a 4th and a 9th to claim 11th place.  Robert Willis, The American Team Rep in the Pan Am Games, put in 2 top ten finishes in a class field. David Hayes [CAN] should not be forgotten either. With a 9th and a 12th on his scorecard tonight, he can be there when the scores are being counted to decide who competes in the medal race

There will be cynics out there who will say that this was just the first day. That this will be a long regatta. That the hot shots who were firing on three cylinders today will come back into it. And they may be right. But that's not my point.

My point is that North American Windsurfing is showing signs of recovery after  along time in the wilderness since the 'Gebhardt Years'. That despite all the obstacles that they have to face a determined new crew is elbowing its way to the front of the fleet mainly under their own steam. "Good on them" I say "And more power to their elbow"

It's inspiring to see such passion and determination start to bear fruit. They have worked hard and they deserve their places in the sun even if that sun passes behind a cloud in the next few days.

Today, they have shown they have the potential to mix it with the 'best-of-them'. In fact, some of the 'best-of-them' would pay dearly to acquire the scorelines the new kids on the block have posted to day for they languish far below on the leader board. They may even be going to bed tonight fearful that their championships are already 'cooked'

Go Canuks ! Go Yanks! Kick Butt!

RS:X Men's Top 10

1. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 3.0
2. POL82 Piotr Myszka 3.0
3. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 4.0
4. Przemyslaw Miarczinski 5.0
5. GER3 Toni Wilhelm 8.0
6. NZL181 Tom Ashley 9.0
7. POR75 Joao Rodrigues 10.0
8. NZL151 JP Tobin 10.0
9. GBR7 Elliot Carney 11.0
10. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 11.0

Full Results

Day Seven:

In a dramatic medal race for the RS:X Women here at the ISAF Sailing World Championships, Lee Korzits [ISR] hung on to her gold medal positions by just 2 points after a strong challenge form Zofia Noceti Klepacka [POL]

As predicted yesterday Zofia proved too hot for Marina Alabau [ESP] to handle. She burst off the start line just behind Maayan Davidovich [ISR] who was first to the breakwater underneath the grandstands.

Her Polish supporters ashore were having heart palpitations as Zofia hung on until the last nano second to make her tack away from the windless zone close to the boulders.

She came out strong to cross the other 8 racers on port in the building breeze of 9-11 knots. At the top mark, It was Maayan round first. Zofia second, then the chasing pack lead by Marina followed with Lee deep.

On the first downwind, Huang Yue [CHN] muscled herself into contention snatching 3rd place from Marina before the bottom gate. Zofia was now in world championship winning position.

She didn't put a foot wrong on the extended second upwind.

Attention switched to Lee who was making a last gasp attack to clutch a couple of valuable places back. She knew that if there were only four boards between her and Zofia, her 2011 RS:X World Title was safe.

Coming into the bottom gate for the last time. Maayan had built a substantial lead. Zofia was on the left close the spectators on the breakwater. Oh, NO….

WEEEEED… she had to spin the board round to free her fin. As she came out to the middle of the course, would she still be in front of Huang? She had to be to retain silver. It was tight. Her lead had been whittled away. It was less than 5 meters

Zofia redoubled her effort. She had started this RS:X championships slowly having lost a dear friend. Now she focused on delivering on her promise to race for him. The gold had been snatched from her grasp but she had to make sure of silver.

Taking the left hand gate mark, she gybed with meters to spare. We held our breath. Huang was fighting back.  Zofia glanced over her shoulder saw the danger and woomph she pressed her advantage home. Second place in the medal race was hers AND the silver medal

The top two at the 2011 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships just a few short months ago had swapped places. Lee Korzits [ISR] is the World Champion. Zofia Noceti Klepacka [POL] is the vice World Champion and RS:X European Champion.

RS:X Women's Top 10

1. ISR 1111 Lee-el Korzits 31.0
2. ESP5 Marina Alabau 33.0
3. POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klpepacka 45.0
4. CHN47 Huang Yue 60.0
5. FRA 4 Charline Picon 64.0
6. ISR 10 Maayan Davidovich 73.0
7. GBR 94 Bryony E Shaw 74.0
8. CHN 7 Li Ling 84.0
9. ITA 11 Laura Linares 87.0
10. UKR9 Olga Maslivets 87.0

Complete results are here

Day Six:

Race 10 in the RS:X Women's World Windsurfing Championships is done and dusted here at the ISAF Sailing Worlds. There just remains the small matter of who is going to pick up which medal tomorrow afternoon after the medal race.

The scores look like this

Lee Korzits [ISR] 21.0
Marina Alabau [ESP] 27.0
Zofia Noceti-Klepacka [POL] 29.0

4th place Huang Yue [CHN] is 25 points back. Lee just has to sail a conservative race strategy, stay out of trouble and the gold medal is hers. No doubt Zofia will prove a handful for Marina to deal with tomorrow. She was on fire today .

Two bullets put her in easy striking distance of silver. She has to put two boards into the gap in front of best buddy Marina to take a step up. Tomorrow will prove an exciting day on centre course. Let's hope the Shrimp fishing boat chartered to remove the big mats of seaweed are especially vigilant on their morning duty.

Back to today and a quick glance at the scoreboard will tell you that Charline Picon [FRA] and Bryony Shaw [GBR] both had bad days in the office. Charline could only post a 24th and a 13th whilst Bryony fared little better with an 18 followed by an 11.

Somehow Bryony managed to convert a storming start into a near disaster. Charline on the other hand never really shone through as brightly as we all know she can. It's time for them both to re-group.

This morning there were 5 points covering places 9 to 14. In the mix was Alessandra Sensini's [ITA] place in the medal race. She started the day on 10th and had to put it all together to stay there. Race 9 did not do it. 11th meant she was beaten by three of her rivals and the coveted 10th place slot was in serious jeopardy

7th in race 10 was too little too late. For the first time in an eon, Alessandra will not go out to race tomorrow. I'll  repeat that just in case you haven't fully recovered from the shock…

Alessandra will play no part in the medal race.

It was Maayan Davidovich [ISR] who crashed the party with Olga Maslivets [UKR]. They both put in a solid performance on the Leighton course area scoring a 5th and a 6th and 3rd and 4th resepectively to elbow their way up to 8th and 7th place respectively  in front of Li Ling [CHN] and Laura Linares [ITA]

That's the set up for the big day. It'll go down to the wire…

Postsrcipt: JP Tobin [NZL] is in hospital tonight having stood on a Cobbler. That's a little fish who likes to hang out in the weed on the shoreline. He has a nasty spiney back ready to drive into the sole of your foot. Very painful and unpleasant. Wish him a quick recovery, please. I know he has trained hard for this event. It would be very rough justice indeed if he failed to make the start line on Monday.

Post PostScript: The RS:X Men's fleet posted their views on Facebook. They clearly want to race in two groups…

RS:X Women's Top 10

1. ISR 1111 Lee-el Korzits 21.0
2. ESP5 Marina Alabau 27.0
3. POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klpepacka 29.0
4. CHN47 Huang Yue 54.0
5. FRA 4 Charline Picon 56.0
6. GBR 94 Bryony E Shaw  58.0
7. UKR9 Olga Maslivets 67.0
8. ISR 10 Maayan Davidovich 71
9. CHN 7 Li Ling 72.0
10. ITA 11 Laura Linares 73.0

Complete results are here

Day Five: 

The Race Committee here at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth Western Australia have made the decision to divide the RS:X men into 3 groups of about 30 racers in each.

This unprecedented decision has been made despite class representations to ISAF asking that the fleet be divided in two as usual. The given reason is that the diameter of the centre course is a mere .90kms.

It seems that the idea of rotating fleets into the centre course to give spectators a variety of sailing classes to watch has not been fully considered neither has the possibility of falling behind the schedule. When and not if this happens, 9 starts will be required on a windward leeward course in a maximum of 6 hours.

No way can there be more than one fleet racing on the same course at once.

So what does this mean for the sailors themselves?

  • Well, if they have ambitions to race in the gold fleet it will mean that every result they have in the qualifying round will probably have to be in the top 10
  • And if, due to light winds or thunderstorms, we fall behind schedule someone is bound to suffer. That is to say that when the hard choices are made the bronze fleet will be short of racing.

Ask the sailors, our clients in fact, if they are happy about this and to a man they say NO…

We've asked nicely and we have been denied so we're going public with our request to the powers-that-be to reconsider their decision and build more flexibility into the program by splitting the RS:X men's fleet into two groups and rotate other fleets into centre course so all sailors in all fleets have some experience of racing on centre course before their medal races…

Day Four:

The forecast was for some big breeze this afternoon. The Doctor did not deliver here in Perth at the ISAF Sailing World Championships. One only had to look at the cloud cover for the reason.

The blue fleet went out into the light stuff for a 1200hrs start with the line set no more than 100 metres off the harbour wall and the finish set just off the beach. Spectacular viewing was guaranteed for all.

Natalia Kosinska [NZL], Peina Chen [CHN] and Angeliki Skarlatou [GRE] dominated the silver fleet although Gelly did not come to the fore until the 2nd race of the day. She posted a 16, 1, 1 scoreline whilst Natalia reciprocated with a 1,2,9.

It was Peina who was Miss Consistency with a 2,3,5. She now heads the silver fleet with a six point margin..

By the time it came to the first gold fleet start, the breeze had built but it was still marginal. This was the day that Bryony Shaw [GBR] had to attack Lee Korzits [ISR] if she was to have any chance of snatching the world title from her grasp.

It just did not happen.

Bryony had a disaster in the first race placing 20th. OK that was her discard. Now she had to finish in the top 3 in the next 2 to stand a chance of striking Lee where it hurts… in the points table

6th showed promise in the second but was disappointing. Then 12th in the third sealed it. Her chances of standing on the top of the podium are over. The best she can hope for is bronze.

Zofia Noceti-Klepacka [POL] has taken over third spot two points ahead  and Charline Picon [FRA] is putting her campaign together just one point back. This then is a three way fight.

The beneficiary of Bryony's misfortunes is Marina Alabau [ESP] who placed 2nd in Race 6 – the first of the day – followed by an 8th in Race 7 and a bullet in race 8. Despite having to carry that damaging 8th place, she is still 7 points clear of 3rd place Zofia.

It's really a case of "if only'. Day one, Race 2 did the damage. After the rest day tomorrow she has to keep the pressure up with two sparkling results and just hope that Lee blows up in the process. It's possible but she looks totally dominant.

She dropped race 6 in which she finished 9th but recovered with a 2 and a 3 to take a 7 point lead. For her, it's a case of keep on keeping on and focus on the end in mind rather than winning each race outright.

From here, she looks set for the first big win of her career. She's coming good with the Olympic Regatta just 8 months away. Perfect timing.

Questions: Will Israel do the double?

It's a distinct possibility. They have two hot contenders in the RS:X men's fleet. Shahar Zubari and Nimrod Mashiah are both here to do business. The men start racing on Monday and there are some big names eying medals… Tom Ashley [NZL], JP Tobin [NZL], Nick Dempsey [GBR], Dorian van Rijsselberghe [NED] to name but a few.

We'll take a look at the RS:X men's fleet tomorrow…

RS:X Women's Top 10

1. ISR 1111 Lee-el Korzits 14.0
2. ESP5 Marina Alabau 20.0
3. POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klpepacka 27.0
4. GBR 94 Bryony E Shaw  29.0
5. FRA 4 Charline Picon 30.0
6. CHN 47 Huang Yue 35.0
7. ITA 11 Laura Linares 45.0
8. ITA 46 Flavia Tartaglini 52.0
9. CHN 7 Li Ling 56.0
10. ITA 25 Alessandra Sensini 57.0

RS:X Women's Results Overall 

Day Three:

Yesterday's rain and thunder was soon forgotten this morning as the fleets were called out into a building breeze after a short postponement at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth Western Australia.

This was going to be make or break day for Blanca Manchon [ESP] and Alessandra Sensini [ITA] who were sailing together in the RS:X Blue Group. There was determination in their faces as they left the beach to go out to the first start of the day.

They both delivered. Blanca took 2nd and Alessandra 3rd behind Bryony Shaw [GBR] who is on fire. Blanca slipped in the 2nd race of the day posting an 8th and Alessandra in the 3rd with a 14th.

Sadly it looks like the dream of a podium finish is out of their hands now. They can only hope to take advantage of others' mistakes now.

As for Bryony, this is the best start to a regatta she has had since La Semaine Olympique Francaise last year. Her 1-3-2 results today mean she is the only woman in the Blue fleet with a score in single figures after the discard tonight.

Over in the Yellow Group, Lee Korzits [ISR] is also on form. That is rather understating the case. She fired in 2 bullets and a second today, dropped a fourth place and now has a narrow 3 point lead at the top of the overall results.

The other sailor who had to perform today was Marina Aalabau [ESP]. Despite the intense pressure, she did not buckle. Her 1-2-3 results put her in 3rd place overall tonight just one point behind Bryony.

But, she is on notice. One more bad result and she is history as far as the podium is concerned.

It is these three who are well clear of the chasing peleton lead by Huang Yue [CHN] with Charline Picon [FRA] for company 7 and 8 points back respectively.

Tomorrow things are going to get even harder. The top 50% will race in the gold fleet so Lee, Bryony and Marina will go head-to-head. The battle for supremacy will be joined properly.

RS:X Women's Top 10

1. ISR 1111 Lee-el Korzits 5.0
2. GBR 94 Bryony E Shaw  8.0
3. ESP5 Marina Alabau 9.0
4. CHN 47 Huang Yue 16.0
5. FRA 4 Charline Picon 17.0
6. ITA 11 Laura Linares 19.0
7. POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klpepacka 19.0
8. ITA 46 Flavia Tartaglini 19.0
9. CHN 7 Li Ling 21.0
10. ISR 10 Maayan Davidovich 22.0

RS:X Women's Results Overall 

Day Two:

The Race Committee at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships abandoned all racing at 1350 local time on the afternoon of Day 4, Tuesday 6 December.

After a morning of loud thunder, lightning and sometimes heavy rain, the Race Committee made the decision to abandon racing for the day.

The forecast of electrical storms and possible wind gusts up to 100kph continuing through to evening kept the fleet sailors killing time in the boat parks hoping for an afternoon's start.

Late on Tuesday, the Race Committee announced that all fleet races would start at the earlier local time of 12 noon on Wednesday, 7 December.  Competition Manager Skip Lissiman said it was hoped weather conditions would allow an extra race to be sailed in each of the four fleet classes.

The other delayed races will be held on either Thursday or Friday which are nominated lay days, according to each class.

"Safety was the ultimate concern today," Lissiman said. "The electrical storms posed too big a danger to sailors on the water
 

Day One:

Today started light – and shifty. Here at the ISAF Sailing Championships in Perth Australia, it was the RS:X Women's yellow fleet who went out to race first.

The big swings in wind direction were mirrored by some big scores. Marina Alabau (ESP) put in a 3rd and an 11th which she can live with but would have been happier not to have a potential discard already

Jessica Crisp (AUS) was trapped by a big shift in race 1. There was no way back from the back of the pack. She redeemed herself in the second with a bullet but she'll be hoping that tomorrow will not be her ground hog day.

It was Charline Picon (FRA) who probably had the best damage limitation technique with a 7th and a 3rd she now sits in 10th equal Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) – 2,8 – and Li Ling (CHN) – 4,6 –

By the time the blue fleet were called out in the early afternoon, the wind had picked up to 9-11 knots. Marginal planing conditions like this are much more enjoyable but still demanding as there were still big swings in direction.

Lee Korzits (ISR) came out and banged in a bullet followed by a 4th. Bryony Shaw (GBR) is loving it too. Posting a 2 and a 3 she shares top spot tonight. It's good to see her come straight out of the box with 2 good results. Not her normal style which is to start slowly and come through to take a podium place at the death.

Laura Linares (ITA) fills the 3rd slot tonight having won the 2nd race after a 5th in the first.

There are some big names deep in the peleton tonight. Their dreams of gold might have already been shattered. Blanca Manchon (ESP) the 2010 RS:X World Windsurfing Champion and 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year is one. Alessandra Sensini (ITA) is another. Zofia Klepacka (POL) who was heavily fancied to win coming into this big championships, yet another. There are others…

They say that you cannot win a regatta on day one but you can certainly lose one with a couple of big scores. It's these big names who will be playing catch up all week, relying on their experience and sheer bloody minded determination to pull through.

It's going to be a long week of racing for the RS:X women on centre course. The smallest. The closest to the shore. And possibly the most demanding too…

RS:X Women's Top 10

1. ISR 1111 Lee-el Korzits 5.0
2. GBR 94 Bryony E Shaw 5.0
3. ITA 11 Laura Linares 6.0
4. CHN 47 Huang Yue 9.0
5. CHN 3 Zhu Huali 9.0
6. ITA 46 Tartaglini Flavia 10.0
7. FRA 4 Picon Charline 10.0
8. GER 369 Delle Moana 10.0
9. CHN 7 Li Ling 10.0
10. POL20 Brygola Agata 10.0

RS:X Women's Results Overall

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