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RS:X windsurfing - not enough wind, again!

The Qingdao International Regatta suffered a third day of cancelled racing due to a lack of wind on Sunday. Overall standings remain the same as sailors wait for wind to appear and racing to resume at the Olympic sailing venue.

The first of the medal races are scheduled for Wednesday, with more planned for remaining classes on Thursday, however organizers have allowed for a reserve day which may be used in order to complete a full series.

Kiwi board-sailor Tom Ashley, who is currently lying in 2nd place overall has had a tight battle with local sailor, Yuan Guo Zhou of China, in the four races sailed so far. On Saturday it was Zhou who just had the better of Ashley and slipped ahead of him to take the lead on the points table.

Ashley describes the two races sailed on Saturday…

“Conditions were similar to the other day- 4-7 knot easterly breeze with moderate chop and current,” says Ashley. “I'm sailing pretty well and feeling very strong but I made a couple of key mistakes which proved costly.”

“In the first race I got a great start and headed left with my main competitors. I lived very nicely with them as we sailed to the left
hand side, then tacked before them and headed back to the right. It
turned out that the breeze was slightly stronger on the right, but
that the wind shifted left as we got near the top mark.”

“These two factors combined pretty poorly for me, as I was passed by guys on both sides and left in the middle with nothing! I rounded 15th at the top mark, then passed five on the reach, another five on the downwind and two more on the second upwind to come back to third. The race was won by Zhou of China.”

“The second race went much better for me. I started next to the Chinese
guy and headed to the left hand corner again. We had a pumping battle
all the way up the upwind and I rounded first, 5 metres in front of
Zhou and about 100 metres ahead of the rest of the fleet. I stayed
ahead on the reach and extended on the downwind, but chose the wrong side of the downwind gate and lost my lead. I sailed a very poor
second upwind and didn't manage to pass him again, finishing second in the race.”

“Overall I was fairly happy with the day. It was disappointing to let the
Chinese guy have a piece of me in both races as I know that he is a
very tough competitor and it will not be easy to pull too many points
out of him, however I'm feeling fantastic physically and I'm sure I'll
be able to do some damage in the next few races. I am now in 2nd
overall, one point behind Zhou and 11 points ahead of Julien Bontemps
of France, who is lying 3rd.”

For full results visit the regatta website.

Qingdao International Regatta 2007
New Zealand’s Current Standings
(Individual Race Results in brackets)

Tom Ashley – Men’s RS:X – 2nd (3, 2, 3, 2)
Barbara Kendall – Women’s RS:X – 9th (7, 6, 12, 13)
Hamish Pepper & Carl Williams – Star – 3rd (4, 6, 2)
Dan Slater – Finn – 18th (7, 17, 19, 22)
Andrew Murdoch – Laser – 4th (20, 7, 2, 4)
Jo Aleh – Laser Radial – 1st (9, 1, 3, 1)
Carl Evans & Peter Burling – 5th (6, 9, 16, 3)

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