The four Olympic events on show on the opening day of the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta faced a light wind test across two racing areas inside Guanabara Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Laser and Laser Radial fleets, racing on the Ponte course, and the Men’s and Women’s RS:X, sailing on Escola Naval, had to contend with a 6-10 knot southerly breeze. Bathed in Rio’s winter sun the competitors were put to the test with those who had done their homework on the light conditions coming to the forefront.
2015 Olympic Test Event – Laser
London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Pavlos Kontides CYP and five time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt BRA hold the early advantage in the Laser after a consistent day on the water. The pair are locked on nine points apiece with Kontides sailing his way to a 2-7 and Scheidt, a 6-3.
Tonci Stipanovic CRO started the day off with a standout performance that saw him beat Kontides by 17 seconds as he explained, “It was really light conditions. In the first race I had a plan to stay on the right [side of the course] and I was heading first to the right but the guys in the middle had some more pressure so I was sixth by the up mark. Immediately in the downwind I passed two boats, then on the upwind I stuck with my plan to stay right and there was more pressure and I finished first.”
Stipanovic was unable to capitalise on his outstanding start and could only manage a 14th which leaves him fourth overall at the early stage of the competition.
The day’s other race victory went the way of Nick Thompson GBR who is fifth overall.
2015 Olympic Test Event – Laser Radial
Marit Bouwmeester NED was impressive in the Laser Radial and leads the way on eight points. She opened her day up with a second and followed it up with a sixth.
Veronika Fenclova CZE is two points off the Dutch sailor after an 8-2 with Gintare Scheidt LTU third on 13 points.
Race victories were picked up by Manami Doi JPN who is ninth overall and the fourth placed Paige Railey USA.
The remaining racing areas on the opening day were filled with the sailors from the other six Olympic events who were fine tuning their preparations for the start of their competition. Racing continues on Sunday 16 August at 13:00 with all ten of the Olympic events taking to the water.