Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw stole the show in the Women’s RS:X taking three consecutive race victories to hold a steady lead over her rivals at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The British racer, who won bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, was in exceptional form, mastering the conditions and ruling the waves on one of the outside course areas.
“We were out on Course C today so we had quite a bit of swell and waves,” said Shaw. “The wind was between 10 and 13 knots and I was pleased to be sailing fast.“
Shaw proved to be a class above the rest as she read the conditions perfectly to lead at the first mark in all of the races as she explained, “I got a good start in the first race but not such a good start in the second race. The wind had just started flicking to the right so I made a gain from going to the right in that race. The first two races I rounded first and was able to extend my lead.
“In the last race we had lighter winds. I had a great start by the committee boat and really good height and speed and managed to round first again. It was quite a physical race that one. I kept it quite simple and stayed between my competitors and the mark and managed to win that third race. It was a really good day.“
With 270 sailors from 38 nations competing in Abu Dhabi, the British sailor is just one of many competitors who are revelling in the Emirati capital. With a blend of old traditions in a modern metropolis there is plenty for the sailors to learn and enjoy, both on and off the water, “I’ve tried to immerse myself in the culture and we’ve been going out for dinners and the people here seem really friendly,” added Shaw.
“The conditions today were fantastic. To be sailing out there in board shorts and for it to be warm, sunny and to be sailing in planing conditions is the best for windsurfing. I’ve had a great time here so far. It’s been a short regatta for them to try and set up but it’s going well.“
China’s Qiaoshan Weng is second overall following a third, second and a discarded 14th. Charline Picon (FRA), 2014 Women’s RS:X World Champion, is third overall after an up and down day that included a second, a fourth and a discarded 14th place finish.
Top 5 RS:X WOMEN after the first racing day
1. Bryony Shaw (GBR) – 2 pts.
2. Qiaoshan Weng (CHN) – 5 pts.
3. Charline Picon (FRA) – 6 pts.
4. Blanca Manchon (ESP) – 8 pts.
5. Kamila Smektala (POL) – 10 pts.
Full results …
Youngsters Pawel Tarnowski (POL) and Louis Giard (FRA) are showing their experienced counterparts how to race in Abu Dhabi as they top the bill in the Men’s RS:X fleet.
Tarnowski, 20-years-old, stormed into the lead following an exceptional day on the water. He amassed two race wins and a third and holds a two point advantage over Giard, 21-years-old, who took a pair of seconds and a third.
The youngsters lead their more experienced rivals but only time will tell if they are able to continue it through for a podium finish on Sunday 30 November.
Top 5 RS:X MEN after the first racing day
1. Pawel Tarnowski (POL) – 2 pts.
2. Louis Giard (FRA) – 4 pts.
3. Piotr Muszka (POL) – 6 pts.
4. Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) – 7 pts.
5. Toni Wilhelm (GER) – 8 pts.
Full results …
RS:X racing resumes on 28 November in the Emirati capital from 12:00 local time.
The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking.
Click here to view live tracking.
Text & Photos by ISAF/RS:X