The men went out for an 1100Hrs start in a building breeze today. For the first race, the harbour was like a leopard with patches of breeze spread randomly. For the second, the wind had built to give a more even cover.
Those who have sussed the wind system find that they can predict which way to go. For others its still a bit of a mystery. One team who has obviously read and understood the play book is the one from Holland.
Dorian van Rijsselberge [NED8] set a blistering pace yesterday to take the gun twice. No change in service today. Two bullets. He now leads the RS:X Men's Windsurfing World Championship by 3 points.
Keeping up the pressure just behind are Nick Dempsey [GBR1] who posted a pair of 2s today to claim second place overall as his own; Ricardo Santos [BRA1] who also also scored a pair of 2s to clear just a little space on the bottom step of the podium; Nimrod Mashiah [ISR21] who won the first race of the blue group today and Przemyslaw Miarczynski [POL126] who 'only' managed a 4 and a 6 but still dropped to 5th.
Hanging onto the back of this leading pack are Dorian's team mate Casper Boumann [NED52] who could be a little more consistent and Joao Rodrigues [POR75], the number one seed, who won his first race of the championship today.
To see this battle play out over the three days of the finals is going to be fascinating. The championship is wide open. A Mexican stand off. Who blinks first, blows it.
There are 6 really heavy hitters in the top ten who have either won a major championship or an Olympic medal and then there is Dorian.
Marina Alabau [ESP5] and Blanca Manchon [ESP1] won both races today. The dream team from Spain led their respective groups from start to finish and now stand one and two on the overall standing.
Marina has a 5 point cushion over her team mate who is leading the chasing pack. Then comes Marine Rambaud [FRA30] who is stitching her campaign back together after her BFD yesterday.
In truth the only other women challenging for the bottom step of the podium are Agata Brygola [POL20], Flavia Tartaglini [ITA46] and Eugenie Ricard [FRA22]. The rest of the top 10 are just not quite ‘on song'. Each one has banged in one or two good results but they are struggling for consistency.
Going into the rest day tomorrow, Nikola Girke [CAN17] is in unfamiliar territory. This is the first time she has top tenned at this point. She puts this down to the group of fellow RS:X women racers she has been training with this summer. They had fun. They learnt alot from each other. They learnt through the RS:X Reach-4-The-Top Training Program. They shared the cost of a coach provided. Result… Progress.
From Tuesday onwards, the groups are fixed. The Gold men and the Gold Women will be called out at the same time. The schedule therefore is to start the Gold Groups at 1100hrs and the Silver at 1300hrs.
In the meantime, everyone will have some down time to relax and consider their options. So please check back on Tuesday morning.