as the Olympics, according to triple gold medal legend Ben Ainslie. The reason is that many national teams are using the event as a crucial component of their selection process.
So anticipation was high this morning when the sailors arrived at the Olympic centre, but the wind had other ideas, toying with the race officials as they tried to set fair race course in the light and shifty conditions. The Match Racing got started on time, others were not so lucky with the Laser Radial’s waiting ashore until 17:00 before being sent afloat.
The RS:X wwindsurfing fleets got going at a reasonable hour, and managed a couple of races for both the men and the women. Blanca Manchon from Spain showed the class that made her the 2010 World Champion with two bullets to lead overall from France’s Charline Picon, hot on her heels with a first and second.
The top guns are all here. Marina Alabau (ESP) is back in 3rd place and deteremined to get the better of the other half of what was once the 'Spanish Dream Team', Blanca Manchon. Alessandra Sensini (ITA) who is campaigning for her 5th Olympic medal is in 9th overall having placed 4th and 5th. Back in 18th, is Bryony Shaw (GBR) who had an 'average' first day with 2 top ten finishes. This is going to be a closely fought battle.
In the RS:X Men it was Poland’s Piotr Myszka that matched Manchon’s results with two wins, but with a slightly bigger advantage, this time to his countryman Lukasz Grodzicki, who is in second overnight with a first and third. Britain’s Nick Dempsey won the second race to pull himself into third overall.
Here's what he had to say... "You never quite know what to expect do you? It’s been a couple of months since my last regatta and this is one of my important ones this year so I really want to do well here this week. Today was a really, really good start and I’m very happy,”
“The wind in the harbour always seems to be a bit better than the wind out in the bay and luckily we’re racing in the harbour this week so we’re quite fortunate with the conditions"
“Today was always going to be a really important day because it might be our only light wind day so it’s really important to get a good solid start and there are going to be a few people with some big scores today that are going to be in contention at the end of the week. We had 7-9 knots which is full body breaking conditions – I broke myself, put it all in and it paid off.”
Monday 6th June
RS:X MEN - Windsurfing - Sailed: 2
1st POL 82 MYSZKA Piotr Myszka 2pts
2nd POL 738 GRODZICKI Lukasz 4pts
3rd GBR 1 DEMPSEY Nick 5pts
1st ESP 1 MANCHON Blanca 2pts
2nd FRA 4 CHARLINE Picon 3pts
3rd ESP 5 ALBAU Marina 4pts