The third day of the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta saw the start of the Men's and Women's RS:X Windsurfing racing.
Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) locked horns immediately and finished day equal on 3 points apiece.
Nick won the 2009 RS:X World Windsurfing Championship here two years ago. On day one here he laid down his marker, picking up an enviable pair of results – a second and a first – from his opening two races of the 11 series. He goes to the top of the leaderboard with Dorian on equal points in second.
Dorian, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Men's RS:X titleholder, dominated race one beating Nick by seven seconds. But in the second, Nick blew the rest of the fleet away rounding every mark in the lead to finish 53 seconds in front.
Nick said, "It was a long way downwind today but it was good racing. We always think that the harbour is shifty and the bay is calm but today it was very much tactical racing. It was technical, but the conditions were great – we had some really nice sailing conditions, quite tricky, which caught a few people out, and I’m really happy to have had a solid day"
“I am fast in these conditions,” he continued. “I’ve been fast most of the year, but it’s all starting to come together a little bit more, and all my kit’s working well. I’m liking it out there and feel quite comfortable.”
Throughout the day the wind was blowing between 12-15 knots.
This is what Dorian had to say...
"It was nice out there. It was a bit shifty on the breeze but as long as the sun comes out it's nice."
Brazil's Ricardo Santos finished the day in third place after recording an opening day card of 3-7 to lead the peleton by one point.
Nick's game plan is to take it race-by-race and beat his rivals by one or two places over the course of the day. By the end of the week, that strategy will hopefully have built up a winning margin. There’s a long way to go. Day 2 will be a bit lighter. That will mix the results right up a bit but the racing will be tighter with everyone going much the same speed. It's all down to who makes the best calls and most importantly who wants 'it' the most.
Over in the RS:X women's windsurfing fleet, It was Spain's Marina Alabau who fired in a pair of bullets to grab the early initiative in the 34-strong fleet. She is going to be hard to beat as she has dominated just about every regatta she has entered this year.
Lee-El Korzits (ISR) finished 42 seconds behind Alabau in Race 1 to take second place closely followed by Zofia Klepacka (POL). In Race 2 Klepacka was closer to the Spaniard coming 13 seconds behind and the Polish RS:X sailor ends the opening day in second place overall on five points.
Britain's Bryony Shaw, the Beijing bronze medallist, got off to a solid start and now sits in 5th place overall having posted an 3 and an 8.
She said “some girls were going better than others and I think I got myself stuck in there which is good!. The women aren’t racing at all in the harbour this week, and everyone that’s trained and raced here over the years has honed their skills for the harbour so it’s tricky when they start throwing in these changes. I kind of thought we’d have some racing on other courses but not exclude the harbour completely."
“It’s OK that they’ve mixed it up, but it has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons a bit!”
RS:X Men’s Windsurfing results: http://www.sailing.org/uploads/WPIR2011/RSXM_Results.pdf
RS:X Women’s Windsurfing results: http://www.sailing.org/uploads/WPIR2011/RSXW_Results.pdf