49erFX - Kiwis make a move on the podium
The Brazilians have shown remarkable consistency throughout the week, although even Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze put a slight blot on their pristine copybook with a 12th in the middle of three races on Friday. The other scores were a 5th and a 7th, however, which means the reigning Olympic Champions continue to hold a healthy 14-point lead over the second-placed team, reigning World Champions Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech rebounded from a disappointing opening day to gold fleet racing with scores of 3,1,12 which lifts the New Zealanders to third place, displacing the British by a single point. After suffering a UFD disqualification the previous day for starting a fraction too early, Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey will have to carry all their scores from today, 10,23,3. The Brits will have to keep a close eye on the chasing Norwegians, defending European Champions Helene Næess and Marie Rønningen whose 4,4,6 scores were the most consistent of the day. The only other crew to keep all their results inside the top 10 were last year's Junior World Champions Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengstrom who lie in 6th overall after today's solid scores of 8,3,9. While all the teams ahead of them are seen regularly on the podium of major 49erFX regattas, the young Swedes are looking more and more comfortable competing alongside the world's best.
Today's conditions out in Weymouth Bay were stronger than forecast, and as yet the sailors have hardly had to bend their legs. The forecast continues to predict a much lighter concluding weekend which could shake up the pack. Whether or not that is sufficient to threaten the Brazilian lead, however, we'll have to wait and see.