Belcher and Ryan take the lead at Tokyo test event

As Ready Steady Tokyo – Sailing, the official test event for Tokyo 2020, reaches its mid-way point, it’s fair to say that all 353 athletes here have been put through their paces so far.

Day 3 produced a different bout of weather to the previous two days, with shifting winds and tricky conditions shaking up the standings somewhat. The variety of racing scenarios faced by the sailors will provide them with plenty of experience for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in one year’s time; the old regatta adage of “consistency is key” certainly applies here.

One team who have demonstrated this with a typically professional performance so far are reigning Nacra 17 Olympic champions, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG). They won two of today’s four races to move up into second place, also picking up a fourth and a 12th (discarded). And though Lange was disappointed to finish the day with their worst result of the week, he believes they have both taken a lot out of a varied three days of racing.

“It was a really difficult day – really tiring for an old man!” he said. “It’s a shame we ruined the day a bit in the last race, but overall we are happy; we sailed well with some really good racing. It seems like sailing in Japan is about getting used to difficult conditions and performing.

“Today we were expecting the wind to die to a sea breeze, but actually the last race was in some of the strongest winds. We need to be really focused to understand what the wind does every day, so we learn something for next year.”

Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti (ITA) remain in front, despite also picking up their worst result of the week today (ninth). John Gimson & Anna Burnet (GBR) move into the top three with a race win, while Iker Martinez & Olga Maslivets (ESP) took the fourth win of the day.

Rio silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) had a very consistent day with a scorecard of 4, 3, 3, 4 to move into fourth place overall.

There’s a new leader in the Laser fleet; Jesper Stalheim (SWE) has risen to the top with a string of consistent results. Picking up two seconds and a third today, and with his discard a 15th from earlier in the week, he’s knocked Sam Meech (NZL) off top spot.

Assessing the week’s mixed conditions, and up against a strong fleet, Stalheim knows it will be difficult to maintain his good form so far.

“Apart from a bit of a shocker in the second race, I’ve had a really good week,” he said. “We’ve had a bit of everything. Today we had a shifty offshore wind, whereas on the first day we had epic southwest winds and big waves. It looks like there will be two more light wind days coming up, so we’ll see what they get!

“Both of the Aussies and Sam [Meech] have been quite consistent so far. They’re really strong – they’ve been the strongest throughout this season. It will be hard to keep them behind me, but I’ll try my best!”

The Swede has a nine-point lead over Meech, who won one of today’s three races, with Matt Wearn (AUS) in third and Rio champion Tom Burton (AUS) two points further back in fourth.

William De Smet (BEL) and Chris Barnard (USA) won the other two races of the day.

In the Laser Radial fleet, a 32nd-placed finish for Maria Erdi (HUN) sees her lose her lead, as she already has a discard of 35th from yesterday. Emma Plasschaert (BEL) now leads the way, ahead of Sarah Douglas (CAN), who won one of today’s races to move up into second. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Svenja Weger (GER) picked up the other race wins.

Australian Mara Stransky continues to struggle in the conditions, scoring 35th and 25th today to bein 30th overall.

The 49ers got four races in, and Kiwis Peter Burling & Blair Tuke have regained top spot with two second places and a third. Lukasz Przybytek & Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) move down into second, despite winning a race, while Benjamin Bildstein & David Hussl (AUT) keep third after picking up two wins today. Mathieu Frei & Noe Delpech (FRA) bagged today’s other race win.

Australian brothers Sam and Will Phillips were one of four crews to suffer a UFD, dropping them to 14th place with three races remaining.

The 49erFX fleet now have nine races under their belt after also completing another four today, and Charlotte Dobson & Saskia Tidey (GBR) keep their lead, topping off with a win to build a 10-point advantage. Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA) stay second, with Alexandra Maloney & Molly Meech moving into the top three having collected a race win today. The day’s other two victories were taken by Helene Nass & Marie Ronningen (NOR) and Tamara Echegoyen & Paula Barcelo (ESP).

Tess Loyd and Jaime Ryan had a 20th in the last race, which becomes their discard, ut they remain firmly in the top 10, in seventh position overall.

Elsewhere, Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (AUS) have taken top spot off Jordi Xammar & Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) in the 470 Men, who took a win apiece today. Anton Dahlberg & Fredrik Bergström (SWE) stay third, with the top three 16-points clear of the rest of the pack. Paul Snow-Hansen & Daniel Willcox (NZL) claimed the day’s other race win.

It’s tight between the top two in the 470 Women’s fleet, with just a point separating Ai Kondo Yoshida & Miho Yoshioka (JPN), who won the final race of the day, and Hannah Mills & Eilidh McIntyre (GBR). Camille Lecointre & Aloise Retornaz (FRA) are nine points behind the Brits in third, with Linda Fahrni & Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) and Haiyan Gao & Mengxi Wei (CHN) claiming the day’s other two victories.

Australians Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries sit just two points outside the top 10, in 12th position.

In the RS:X Men’s fleet, Mengfan Gao (CHN) went from third to first, collecting a race win along the way. Thomas Goyard (FRA) and Mattia Camboni (ITA) follow, with Piotr Myszka (POL) & Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) also winning races today.

Yunxiu Lu (CHN) continues to dominate in the RS:X Women, with a 12-point lead over second-placed Katy Spychakov (ISR), who won the last of three races. Charline Picon (FRA) moves down into third, while Stefania Elfutina (RUS) took two victories today to move within a point of her in fourth.

And on Day 3 of racing in the Finn fleet, Zsombor Berecz (HUN) is back in front ahead of Giles Scott (GBR), with a race win taking him nine points clear of the Brit. Andy Maloney (NZL) triumphed in the day’s other two races and he is now within two points of third-placed Nicholas Heiner (NED).

Jake Lilley (AUS) sits in seventh position, comfortably within the top 10.

Racing continues tomorrow at around 12:00 for all fleets, apart from the Laser Radial, 470 Men and 49er who begin at 14:00.

49er (21 boats)

1st: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) 3 1 1 (13) 9 4 3 2 2 – 25 points
2nd: Pawel Kolodzinski / Lukasz / Przybytek (POL) 2 4 7 2 3 5 (11) 6 1 – 30 pts
3rd: Benjamin Bildstein / David Hussl (AUT) 4 (19) 6 3 5 7 1 1 17 – 44 pts

14th: Sam and Will Phillips (AUS) 5 5 2 8 18 12 16 16 (22 UFD) – 82pts

49erFX (23 boats)

1st: Saskia Tidey / Charlotte Dobson (GBR) 1 4 1 2 2 3 5 (12) 1 – 19 pts
2nd: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 5 2 4 5 1 (8) 2 2 8 – 29 pts
3rd: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) (14) 7 2 3 6 1 4 8 3 – 34 pts

7th: Tess Lloyd / Jaime Ryan (AUS) 4 13 8 15 3 19 6 3 (20) – 73pts

Laser (35 boats)

1st: Jesper Stalheim (SWE) 5 (15) 2 2 3 2 – 14 pts
2nd: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 2 (13) 1 12 7 – 23 pts
3rd: Matt Wearn (AUS) 3 4 8 (14) 8 4 – 27 pts

4th: Tom Burton (AUS) 4 8 6 4 7 (13) – 29pts

Laser Radial (41 boats)

1st: Emma Plasschaert (BEL) 6 (14) 12 2 8 3 – 31pts
2nd: Sarah Douglas (CAN) 9 12 (19) 7 1 10 – 39pts
3rd: Mária Érdi (HUN) 1 2 (35) 32 7 2 – 44pts

31st: Mara Stransky 29 41(BFD) 5 22 38 25 – 119pts

Finn (22 boats)

1st: Zsombor Berecz (HUN) 3 1 3 2 (8) 1 – 10 pts
2nd: Giles Scott (GBR) 1 6 2 (10) 4 6 – 19 pts
3rd: Nicholas Heiner (NED) 2 2 7 7 6 (9) – 24 pts

7th: Jake Lilley (AUS) 9 11 8 (14) 7 3 – 38pts

Nacra 17 (21 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 3 1 3 2 7 7 (9) 2 – 26 pts
2nd: Santiago Lange / Cecilia Saroli (ARG) 5 6 2 11 1 1 1 4 (12) – 31 pts
3rd: John Burnet / Anna Gimson (GBR) 6 5 5 7 7 2 2 1 (8) – 35 pts

4th: Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) 4 (20) 13 5 5 4 3 3 4 – 41pts

Men's 470 (22 boats)

1st: Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 2 3 3 (8) 3 1 – 12 pts
2nd: Jordi Xammar / Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) 1 1 4 (20) 1 10 – 17 pts
3rd: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergsrom (SWE) (5) 2 5 4 4 3 – 18 pts

Women’s 470 (20 boats)

1st: Ai Kondo Yoshida / Miho Yoshioka (JAP) 2 1 (15) 4 6 1 – 14pts
2nd: Eilidh McIntyre / Hannah Mills (GBR) 3 2 3 3 4 (9) – 15pts
3rd: Aloise Retornaz / Camille Lecointre (FRA) 9 3 2 7 3 (11) – 24pts

12th: Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries 7, 7, (16), 12, 7, 16 – 49pts

Full results here

By Liz Owen – World Sailing, with additional material from Mysailing.

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