• Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) in the Women's Match Race. Photo OnEdition.
    Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) in the Women's Match Race. Photo OnEdition.

The scheduling was done a long way in advance, so it was pure coincidence that the last match race today pitted the two unbeaten skippers against each other – Olivia Price of Australia and Ekaterina Skudina of Russia.

In the early rounds today, Skudina despatched the win-less Portugese crew by a comfortable 41 seconds and Price beat New Zealander Stephanie Hazard by 15 seconds.

So it all came down to the final match of the day. Olivia Price explains what happened:

“We went into the pre-start with a pretty basic plan. Everything got quite aggressive, a lot of circling and the wind was picking up so it was quite interesting.

“We had a collision where we were on port but she had just completed a tack and was coming down into us and she t-boned us. We did everything we could to avoid her and she received a penalty.

“That was interesting but we continued the race and were happy with our start and moved on from there. We led the whole way around the race so the penalty didn’t matter in that regards but we were happy with the way that we sailed and kept to our system.”

Because the girls are being shielded from the media, no-one is quite sure what that system is. But whatever it is, it is working. With five matches still to sail, the Australians are almost guaranteed a spot in the quarter finals.

Tomorrow they sail against Anna Kjellberg (SWE) and Renee Groeneveld (NED).

- Roger McMillan

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