Champagne sailing on day 3 in Rio

by World Sailing (as amended by SKUD18)

The cliché, ‘champagne sailing’ is often overused in the sport. In simple terms, it’s used to refer to a picture perfect, sunny day of sailing with breeze not too strong, not too light.
Often seen written down in many sailing press releases, it can sometimes be hard to avoid using the term. Today’s conditions in Rio de Janeiro have all the hallmarks of a champagne sailing kind of day so it’s one we must use.

Having now completed 6 races, defending SKUD18 Paralympic champions, Australia’s Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch, day by day eek out more of a lead on their rivals, as yet again they leave the Marina da Gloria at the end of a race day top of the leaderboard.

Fitzgibbon has previously summed up his partnership with Tesch saying that he was ‘the still water to her rapids’, and in true form he calmly and quietly described the day, “The key ingredient to being successful was just keeping it together, keeping your head on and just keeping on sailing. That’s all we could do and just try and do as well as we could.”

Three races and scoring a 1,2,1 has taken its toll on the Aussie, but it doesn’t matter, there’s a gold medal at stake, “The conditions were opposite from yesterday. A real test of endurance, crazy. But in sailing we get everything and that’s why we love it.” He continued, “I’m pretty tired after three races today and a long day yesterday. I’m keen to get home, recover and be back tomorrow.”

With Fitzgibbon and Tesch top on six points, leading the chase behind the flying Aussies is now Great Britain’s Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell who started the day well, but ran in to trouble with their boat, “Unfortunately for race three today, during start sequence we were fine. Gearing up ready. But our gib sheet fell off or snapped or something and we had to retire. It was unfortunate because we had gained some momentum today.”

The momentum they gained was from a bullet and second place which did eventually help move them up the leaderboard as everyone else around them also fell foul in the final race of the day.

The Britons are in second with 14 points with Canada’s John McRoberts and Jackie Gay just behind on 16 points after they scored a 3,4 and a discarded 12th. Current world champions Poland mirrored the Canadians scores with a 3,4,12, but due to an earlier round disqualification they have to carry the double digit score. They have 24 points in fourth.

Here is a link to a live blog, tracking and results on the World Sailing website.

Photo © Richard Langdon / World Sailing