There were several close finishes across the fleets with 13-18 knots of south westerly breeze and up to 2.5 knots of current on the race track making life tough for the 171 sailors from 21 nations.
Men’s and Women’s 470
Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis and Spain’s Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp are tied at the top on seven points in the Men’s 470 following an exciting day of racing.
With big breeze, strong current and plenty of waves Xammar and Herp stole the day as they posted two second places. However it could have been better as they lost out on a bullet in the opening race of the day.
The Spaniards took the lead early on in the race and held a narrow advantage over Mantis and Kagialis as the race played out. On the downwind run to the finish the Greek pair piled on the pressure and started to reduce the Spaniards lead with the finish line approaching.
Xammar and Herp kept their head on a swivel, keeping an eye on the Greeks whilst Mantis and Kagialis pushed on. Herp explained what occurred, “They gybed first and then we gybed just after them and they seemed to be gaining an advantage little by little. Thirty seconds before the finish line we took a big wave just at the moment they gybed and then we waited too long to gybe again. If we would have gybed earlier we would have had a safe lead but we waited and then we entered the finish at exactly the same moment.
“It was a photo finish.”
The Greeks had done enough to take the bullet to continue their solid start. After racing Mantis said, “It was tough. It was shifty and it was difficult to see a breeze because there was a fog. We had a good battle, we had some gybes and some big waves and in the end it was a photo finish at the line. It was nice.”
In the second race of the day, fourth in total, Russia’s Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov took the bullet with Xammar and Herp coming in second. The Spaniards made up for their disappointment in the first race of the day, moving through the pack. Herp concluded, “We were the best team of the day. We thought we would finish third but on the last downwind we were very fast and we were able to pass the Chinese guys. The left paid all day and we had good speed and we are happy with our day.”
As it stands the leading Greek and Spanish teams have a five point advantage over Sozykin and Gribanov and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP).
China’s Wei Mengxi and Yani Xu maintained their solid start in the Women’s 470 with a bullet and a fourth. Their advantage stands at five points over their compatriots Xiaomei Xu and Zhang Ping.
Men’s and Women’s RS:X
Olga Maslivets (RUS) holds an 11 point lead in the Women’s RS:X following an up and down day. She opened her account with a first and second but after a couple of errors she dropped down to 16th in the final race of the day. Nonetheless, as she discards her 16th, she leads the way on 10 points and is enjoying being back in Qingdao.
“It’s like huge deja-vu after the Olympics in 2008, ” commented Maslivets. “I really love the place and it feels so wonderful to be here especially with these good winds. The Chinese are really good competitors in all conditions. It’s their home waters so it’s really competitive. It’s tough to beat them but it’s really fun.”
Lu Yunxiu (CHN) sits in second with Hao Mei (CHN) a point behind in third.
Greece’s Byron Kokkalanis continues to dominate in the Men’s RS:X and put in another strong showing on the race track. From three races Kokkalanis took two bullets and a third to give him a 16 point lead heading into the third day.
Experienced racers Aichen Wang (CHN) and Max Oberemko (RUS) trail Kokkalanis in second and third.
Laser and Laser Radial
Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) excelled in the Laser Radial, posting double bullets to move into the lead. The Belarusian, 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao silver medallist, was clinical in the stronger breeze and current. However, Drozdovskaya is just one point ahead of Tina Mihelic (CRO) who discards her ninth in Race 1 following a third and a second.
2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao gold medallist Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) is third on eight points with Sara Winther (NZL) a point behind.
Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) maintained his lead in the Laser after he picked up his third race win of the regatta. The Croatian won gold in 2013 and has been using his knowledge of the venue to full effect, mastering the strong current that rips across the race area.
On the opening day Australia’s Tom Burton struggled with the current but was back to his best from the off on the second day. He took the bullet ahead of Pavlos Kontides but slipped 12th in Race 4.
Kontides stays in second overall whilst Wannes Van Laer (BEL) is third.
The wind is expected to decrease for the third day of competition. Racing is scheduled to commence at 13:00 local time.