RS:X World Windsurfing Championships - Damage limitation on “Discard Day”

Saturday, 23 September 2017


Day 4 of the RS:X World Championships being held in Enoshima, Japan saw tight racing in difficult and frustrating conditions. With the majority of sailors in the Gold Fleet picking up their worst result today, it was a serious case of damage limitation to the scorecard and ensuring that any hopes or dreams of winning this event were kept alive.
 
With what is seemingly become standard practice in the weather conditions here, the fleet were held ashore for an hour as the light breeze built to a lazy 8 knots – which had dropped down to just 5 knots by the time the Gold Fleet men and women got to the race course area on Sagami Bay. This would be the first time at this event that all of the top sailors in the fleet would race together and start to thrash out who would be the medal race contenders. The contest throughout the three races today would not disappoint!

In a strong case of kleptomania, the Chinese women’s RS:X team seem to be stealing every race win available and are proving the toughest competitors, especially in light, hot pumping conditions. With three different sailors taking a race win today, and four sailors in the top five, this formidable force is beginning to dominate and crush the rest of the fleet.
 
In race 1, it was Japanese sailor Megumi Komine, capitalising on a good start and a well picked wind shift on the first upwind on the left hand side of the course, who led around the majority of the course to be finally picked off by Manjia Zheng (China). Further back in the pack, others were struggling such as Stefania Elfutina (Russia) who picked up an uncharacteristic 29th place which promptly became her discard.
 
In race 2, it was the turn of China’s Jiahui Wu who led from the start, got the same shift on the left hand side, and never looked back as she won in relative comfort in such a tight fleet. In race 3, another Chinese sailor in Yunxiu Lu, who again led around the course but was chased hard by another compatriot in Xianting Huang.
 
On todays final race win, Yunxiu Lu commented, “I lost concentration in the first two races and I scored a 17th and 24th so it wasn’t very good for me. In the third race I knew I had to do something different and tried some different tactics which was good as I won the race”. Lu sits in fifth place overall and is the fourth Chinese woman.
 
The only sailor to break the stranglehold of China on the results contin

ues to be the defiant Pole Zofia Klepacka who sits in third overall. Zofia, who picked up scores of 10, 10 and 22 said, “It was a really tough day with lots of pumping, it was shifty but also just plain hard work. I’m really tired but happy to not have thrown away the regatta.”.
 
Another happy sailor was Blanca Manchon from Spain. “Today was a really crazy day. It was really tough and the downwinds were so tight as the whole fleet arrived at the downwind gate at the same time. There were lots of opportunities to overtake but also to go backwards so I am happy with my results. I gave birth nine months ago so this is even better result for me. I will take it year by year but I am still aiming for Tokyo”. Manchon is in sixth and will need another solid day tomorrow to keep alive any hopes of a medal. Overall, Jiahui Wu (China) leads from Piena Chen (China) with Klepacka in third. The points between the top two Chinese sailors is down to just 0,7 with Kelpacka five points adrift – this is sure to go down to the wire for the medals.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 September 2017 )