Brits score more race wins as Aarhus heats up

Written by 7th August 2018 Featured-post, World Championships

A brace of race wins for windsurfer Kieran Holmes-Martin and Nacra 17 pair Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface rocketed them up the leaderboard.

As the mercury rose to 30 degrees in Aarhus, Denmark, and the winds remained light, Holmes-Martin, 23, was rampant in the men’s RS:X fleet.

Relishing the pumping conditions, Holmes-Martin started with a solid sixth before breezing the next two to end the class’s third day of racing in fifth overall, just eight points off the lead.

“These are definitely my favourite conditions,” Holmes-Martin said. “On the first day in the breeze it was about damage limitation for me, but today was a day to put good results on the board.

“I haven’t been paying too much attention to the forecast for the rest of the week but I won’t be sorry if it’s light. Hopefully I can carry this form into the rest of the regatta. I’ll enjoy a rest day tomorrow and we’ll see what the rest of the week brings.”

Kieran Holmes-Martin

Kieran Holmes-Martin. Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Buoyed by her first race win on Monday, Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Bryony Shaw added another win and a second to her tally to go into the women’s RS:X gold fleet racing in seventh, nine points from first.

An 8, 2 for Emma Wilson moves her into fifth, while a trio of mid-fleet finishes sees early leader Saskia Sills slip to 24th.

Saxton and Boniface got over the disappointment of disqualification in the first Nacra 17 race of the day to notch up two wins.

The brace of victories move them up to ninth after two days of racing, and keeps their hopes of defending Saxton’s 2017 world title alive.

“We’re very happy to have won two races at the world championships – that’s something you can’t say every day,” Saxton said.

“With our disqualification we are going to have to count every other race so we have to keep putting in good results from here on in.”

Fellow Brits John Gimson and Anna Burnet will go into the third day of Nacra 17 racing in seventh thanks to a string of consistent results all inside the top eight bar one race.

Jack Wetherell

Jack Wetherell. Sailing Energy/World Sailing

In the Laser Standard fleet, Britain’s Jack Wetherell had a good result snatched from him when the wind disappeared on the final run an hour into the opening race.

Wetherell had sailed a blinder up to that point to round the top mark in fifth, but with the race turning into a lottery due to the lack of breeze the race committee decided to abandon it.

When the race was finally re-run it was British sailors Elliot Hanson and Lorenzo Chiavarini who came to the fore, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

To round off Wetherell’s frustration, he was was disqualified from the race for starting prematurely.

Rio 2016 Olympian Nick Thompson turned his fortunes round after a disappointing opening race to win the second with a downwind masterclass.

As the 49er FX blue fleet headed out to complete one race to catch up with the class’s yellow fleet, Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey began the day in pole position.

A 19th sees them head into gold fleet racing in fourth overall just one point behind third-placed Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht of Austria and one point ahead of reigning Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze.

An eighth for Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth moves them up to 15th overall as the 49er FX crews head into two days of racing to determine the 10-boat medal race fleet.

In the Finn class Ed Wright retains pole position going into the final day of fleet racing thanks to a second in race eight, while Ben Cornish slipped to 14th.

Only one race was held in the Laser Radial, with Georgina Povall finishing 21st, Ali Young coming home 28th and fellow Brit Hannah Snellgrove placing 51st.

The men’s 470 fleet will race tomorrow – a planned lay day – to complete their gold fleet series with Luke Patience and Chris Grube sitting in 10th overall.

The Aarhus 2018 race committee decided that the women’s 470 fleet will not race tomorrow – and so Hannah Mills  and Eilidh McIntyre will go into the class’s double points-scoring medal race in third, ten points off the lead, with Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter will start the race in eighth.

In the men’s kiteboarding, Guy Bridge surged to the top of the leaderboard having won 10 of his 12 races.

French rider Nicolas Parlier is sandwiched in second between Bridge and his brother Olly in third.