Reporte clase 2.4mR
5 SEPTEMBER 2012, 04:31 PM
Finishing Line In Sight For Lucas As Rivals Flounder Golden Opportunity
Helena Lucas (GBR) guaranteed herself a spot on the 2.4mR podium at the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing competition with one race to go.
With bigger winds on the penultimate day Lucas had her worst day of the regatta so far with an eighth and a fifth place finish in the days races. Despite a race win apiece from Heiko Kroger (GER) and Thierry Schmitter (NED), in second and third, they were unable to drastically reduce Lucas’ 11 point overnight lead after poor results in the other races.
“I have my eye firmly set on that gold medal but I’m not too excited yet as I still know there is a job to do,” Lucas said. “I had a really solid second race but it was really tight racing, one minute I would be leading and then the next minute it wouldn’t be looking so good.”
Kroger came down in 10th in Race 9 and whilst Schmitter’s sixth brought the gap between him and Kroger to two points, Lucas’ lead was only shortened to nine. The Brit can afford to finish in ninth place on the final day to claim the first British Paralympic sailing gold medal.
At the start of the first race, Lucas was well back in 13th place on part of the first leg but the only woman in the fleet must have been even more disappointed when reigning Olympic champion Paul Tingley (CAN) arrived at the first mark to slip ahead of her. He had earlier been pinned close to the starting boat and was forced to set out way behind the rest of the fleet. Lucas rounded in 10th place.
Schmitter, who held the third position in the regatta overall at the start of racing, led at the first mark and Damien Seguin (FRA), fourth-placed in the regatta, rounded in sixth. More heartening for Lucas was the sight of Kroger trailing behind her in 13th position.
By the second mark, Schmitter was still leading, followed by LeBlanc, but by now Lucas had overtaken Canada’s Tingley. As she rounded in ninth position she would have seen her important rivals falling further behind her; Tingley to 12th and Kroger in 13th.
Schmitter and LeBlanc were still leading at the third mark and SEGUIN had moved up to third place. LUCAS rounded eighth but now her close rivals were right on her tail, Tingley eight seconds behind and Kroger 21 seconds further back. On the final downwind run to the line, Lucas managed to hold back Tingley to keep eighth place, but only by five seconds, and Kroger followed them in 10th. Schmitter finished first, followed by LeBlanc and Seguin.
In the second race of the day Tingley sailed cleanly away from the start, taking the right-hand side, chased by Lucas, who left Kroger to lead a pack heading left. Tingley was leading by the first mark, followed by Schmitter, with Lucas slotted into fourth place ahead of Kroger. But at the first mark all the main medals rivals were within 17 seconds of one another at the top of the fleet. A collision took Matthew Bugg (AUS) and Niko Salomaa (FIN) out of the race and the fleet swept on with most of Lucas’s important rivals slotting into position ahead of her.
At the second mark, Norway’s Bjornar Erikstad led the way, with Lucas forced to watch Tingley, Kroger and Schmitter rounding ahead of her. At the third mark, Lucas’s rivals piled on the pressure, pushing her into sixth position, with Seguin joining the line ahead of LUCAS as they entered the final leg.
On the fast downwind, Lucas pulled into fourth place at one point, ahead of Tingley. She then blocked Schmitter, but Tingley slipped over the line ahead of her in third behind winner Kroger and second-placed Seguin.
1. Helena Lucas (GBR) – 26pts
2. Heiko Kroger (GER) – 35pts
3. Thierry Schmitter (NED) – 37pts
4. Damien Seguin (FRA) – 44pts
5. Paul Tingley (CAN) – 47pts
Reporte Clase Skud
5 SEPTEMBER 2012, 02:33 PM
Australia’s Dan Fitzgibbon And Liesl Tesch Win SKUD18 Gold With A Race To Spare
Australia’s Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch won SKUD18 gold on the penultimate day of racing at the Paralympic Sailing Competition with a race to spare.
With a six point leading heading into the final race the Australians are discarding their worst finish of third from Race 4. And with only race wins and second place finishes on their score card they can not be overthrown on 14 points.
Jen French and Jp Creignou (USA) are second on 20 points whilst Great Britain’s Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) are third on 22 points. Neither crew can be caught so medals are guaranteed but the colour will be decided on the final day of racing with one race scheduled.
Fitzgibbon and Tesch revelled in the stronger breeze and left their rivals in their wake in the first race, leading at every mark to record their fourth victory of the series so far.
John Mcroberts and Stacie Louttit (CAN) led off the start line and crossed ahead of the fleet on the first upwind leg but had to give way to the Australians while rounding the first mark. As the Canadian challenge faded during the race, dropping them to sixth at the finish, the Americans powered through to take second. The British duo had the most work to do to lift themselves from sixth at the first mark to third at the finish.
The second race of the day was sailed in lower winds of around 12 knots, conditions that clearly suited the Italian crew of Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) who shot off the start line into a lead they held to the finish.
Behind them, the Australians and Brits slugged it out on the first two legs of the course for second place before the British pair faded away, eventually finishing fifth. Unable to catch the Italians, Fitzgibbon and Tesch had only to keep a cover on French and Creignou who had climbed up to third.
1. Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) – 14pts
2. Jen French and JP Creignou (USA) – 20pts
3. Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) – 22pts
4. John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit (CAN) – 34pts
5. Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) – 46pts
Reporte Clase Sonar
5 SEPTEMBER 2012, 03:09 PM
Sonar Gold Goes To Hessels, van de Veen And Rossen (NED)
The Netherlands Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen and Mischa Rossen wrapped up gold with a day to spare in the Sonar after another consistent day that saw three races sailed on Portland Harbour.
With a bullet, a second and fifth place finish from three races the Dutch trio hold an unassailable 20 point lead and with just one race remaining, they cannot be caught.
“I have won a gold medal before but only in the worlds,” said an ecstatic Hessels. “There are more competitors in the world championships, but this is the Paralympics and it has more meaning. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Van de Veen added, “We’re happy, we didn’t know we were that far ahead already.”
Eight points separate places second to eighth which will make a thrilling finale on the final day of racing and with the gold medal already sewn up the Dutch trio do not have to sail. Hessels said, “If we will compete we still want to win every race that we race. It doesn’t affect our tactics, only that we will look at the standings and we will stay clear of everybody else who is still in the chase for the second and third places. We will not be in their way whatsoever. We really don’t want to screw their race up.”
Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) won the day as they recorded two race wins and an eighth to move from seventh to third. They are just two points off of Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka and Robert Prem (GER) in second. John Roberson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas (GBR) received a discretionary four point penalty and fall out of the podium places.
Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary and Eric Flageul (FRA) are tied on 42 points with the Norwegians whilst the Australian and American crews are six and seven points out of.
The final day of racing will see the crews fight for the silver and bronze medals and with mixed results across the fleet all week nothing is certain.
1. Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen & Mischa Rossen (NED) – 20pts
2. Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka & Robert Prem (GER) – 40pts
3. Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) – 42pts
4. Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary & Eric Flageul (FRA) – 42pts
5. John Robertson, Hannah Stodel & Stephen Thomas (GBR) – 45ps