Britain’s elite sailors will get a shot at bringing home medals in four classes on Saturday as the first major regatta to be held at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing venue reaches its peak.
James Peters and Fynn Sterritt will lead the British charge as World Cup Series Enoshima concludes with the first of two medal race days – double-points battles featuring the top ten boats.
Peters and Sterritt will start the 49er medal race in pole position thanks to a run of consistency that has seen them only finish outside the top ten twice in nine races.
But it couldn’t be closer at the top – the pair are tied on points with Poland’s Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski, and are only four points ahead of third-placed Kiwi duo Logan Dunning-Beck and Oscar Gunn.
Despite the pressure, Peters and Sterritt are backing themselves for World Cup Series Enoshima glory.
“To be on top of the pile is exactly where you want to be going into tomorrow,” said Peters. “Fynn and I know we can perform well in these types of races and are confident that we can take the overall win.
“The points are very tight going quite a few places back so we really do have to simply focus on sailing a good race.
“We know these guys are good sailors and can also win regattas, so this evening and tomorrow morning we’ll focus on getting rested and prepared to come out the blocks fast.”
Among those looking to leave Japan with medals round their necks will be 49er FX pair Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey and windsurfer Bryony Shaw, lying second in their respective fleets.
And the Nacra 17 pairing of John Gimson and Anna Burnet remain in striking distance of the podium as they start their final race in fifth, three points off third and nine from second.
The medal races can be watched live from 1200 local time (GMT+9) at www.britishsailingteam.com.
With just a handful of knots blowing off Enoshima, the sailing venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, on Friday, race officials sent sailors from the Nacra 17, 49er, 49er FX, Finn and RS:X classes home.
While the cancellation guaranteed medal race spots for some sailors, it denied others the chance to fight their way into the top ten in their fleets.
A frustrating set of results on Thursday saw 49er pair Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell slip to 11th, while Kieran Holmes-Martin and Tom Squires’s 11th and 12th positions mean they will miss the RS:X medal race.
Meanwhile the Laser, Laser Radial and both 470 fleets launched, but only the Lasers were able to get a race in.
The British Sailing Team’s Lorenzo Chiavarini notched up his second consecutive race win, while Elliot Hanson kept his hold on the leaderboard with a sixth.
“Another good day and another win for me,” Chiavarini said. “I managed to get a good start, tack across and find a bit more pressure than the others. From that point it was an easy win, but I wish I could have a few more like that in the future!
“I have to keep starting well and use my speed advantage in the light stuff to get into the medal race. Then I’ll be happy.”
The Lasers, Radials, 470s and Finns will aim for more fleet racing on Saturday ahead of their medal races on Sunday.
You can watch all of the medal races live at www.britishsailingteam.com from 1200 local time (GMT+9).
Sailing fans that don’t fancy setting their alarms for 3am will be able to replay the medal races on the British Sailing Team website.