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Olympics - RS:X race day 5 - Only only one race today with Tom and Barbara both in the hunt.

Today all New Zealand’s yachties sailed just one race in Qingdao, China, late in the day after waiting for wind until around 4pm. Our two women impressed - both Barbara Kendall and Jo Aleh returning a 2nd place in their respective races. Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams returned a 4th place in the opening race of the Star class and Tom Ashley made a huge comeback in his race five, after sitting deep in the Men’s RS:X fleet, he climbed through to finish 5th.

MEN’S RS:X

Underway at 5:30pm local time the Men’s RS:X race five was sailed in winds of around 10 knots on course area B. It was a “topsy turvy” race, kiwi Tom Ashley rounding the first mark in 14th place, dropping as deep as 27th at the third mark only to stage an impressive comeback and finish the race in 5th place.

Points are relatively close around Ashley on 17 points, he’s only two points behind third place and three points off second. Shahar Zubari of Israel retains the lead after race five for the fleet.

Back on the water tomorrow the men’s RS:X are scheduled to start at 2pm on course area B with three races planned if time and conditions allow.

Men’s RS:X (provisional) top five results after five races

1st ISR Shahar Zubari - 8 points
2nd HKG King Yin Chan - 14 points
3rd GBR Nick Dempsey - 15 points
4th NZL Tom Ashley - 17 points
5th FRA Julien Bontemps - 20 points

WOMEN’S RS:X

With her best race yet at this Olympic Games, Barbara Kendall still sits in 6th overall but has closed the gap up on those ahead of her. Thailand’s Napalai Tansai struck out an early lead, but couldn’t hold on, Jessica Crisp (AUS) and Kendall passing her to take the top two spots in race five for the Women’s RS:X. At the finish Kendall was just 14 second behind the Australian.

With 25 points total, just one behind Bryony Shaw (GBR) Kendall will be back on the water tomorrow aiming to continue her form from today. Racing doesn’t start until 2pm for the windsurfers, who have to wait for the 49er class to sail on course area B before them, but if possible they will have three races.

Women’s RS:X (provisional) top six results after four races

1st CHN Jian Yin - 6 points
2nd AUS Jessica Crisp - 10 points
3rd ESP Marina Alabau - 15 points
4th ITA Alessandra Sensini - 16 points
5th GBR Bryony Shaw - 24 points
6th NZL Barbara Kendall - 25 points

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