July 27: It was another action-packed day of sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with five classes in action. Hear from our sailors below, and remember that you can a full list of results here.
Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser)
Perth’s Matt Wearn stormed back in to contention in the Laser class today, posting three top-four finishes to climb from 12th overall to 2nd by the end of the day. Wearn worked his way through the breezes best on a tricky day, and now has his sights set on Cyprus’ Pavlos Kontides who holds a nine point lead.
“It was good to get a bit of momentum and to feel like I’m starting to race like I know I can,” said Wearn after racing. “I came in feeling a bit frustrated with my precious races, so it was good to get that monkey off my back. It was difficult out there but to walk away in second is good, it’s confidence-building.”
The Lasers have a day off tomorrow before returning to action on Thursday with two more races.
Women’s One Person Dinghy (Laser)
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron sailor Mara Stransky overcame a couple of slow starts to post a pair of respectable scores on her third day of racing today.
“I had a windward/leeward incident with the Swiss girl and had to do a 720 turn,” said Stransky of her issues early in the first race. “I was a very long way behind everyone to begin with, but I thought it was a good chance to work on some mental toughness to see how many boats I could catch back again.”
And how did she go about getting herself in the right frame of mind to make her comeback?
“Mostly I was singing to myself. I’ve had races like that before and there’s been times where I’ve not been in the right mindset and just stayed there. But there have been other times where I’ve made some good comebacks so I knew I could do it.
“It’s kind of hard that its my first event back in 18 months and it’s the Olympic games so its pretty important,” finished Stransky. “There’s just a whole lot of things that I haven’t experienced in a while to do with racing in a big fleet, so there’s a bit of ironing out to do but I’m alright.”
Women’s skiff (49erfx)
Olympic debutant Tess Lloyd and 2016 Olympian Jaime Ryan hit the water for their first day of racing in the 49erFX class today. The team came in finely prepared and put together a solid day of racing that has them sitting in 11th overall after three races.
“We’re both pretty pleased to get the first day done,” said skipper Lloyd. “It’s been a pretty long lead-up and by today we felt really ready to go. Our main goal was to have a really consistent day today, so we are really happy to come away with the results we got.”
The duo have based themselves out of Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club for most of their preparation, and even though their friends and family cant be in Japan to support them they know there is plenty of support coming from back home. “I’m sure we are going to have our phones blowing up when we get back to the hotel,” said Ryan. “Our families were excited before we even started this morning so I think they’ll be really happy for us.”
Men’s Skiff (49er)
33-year-old Will Phillips and brother Sam have waited a lifetime to make their Olympic debut. The duo from Melbourne’s Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club are being coached by two-time Olympic 470 Champion Malcolm Page, so they were well prepared when they were forced to wait another hour for a shifting breeze to settle to start their one and only race for the day.
“We started off with a northerly gradient wind, and then before the race it died out to nothing after a big rain cloud came across,” said skipper Will.
“So we were sitting around for about an hour, then it came back in and half way through the second lap the race got abandoned because the breeze shifted about 90 degrees. We had the race committee reset the course and we got one race in the westerly and that was it.”
MEN’S ONE PERSON DINGHY HEAVYWEIGHT (FINN)
Finn sailor Jake Lilley is in Japan looking to improve on his 8th place finish at the Rio Olympics five years ago, and he used that experience to his advantage today when moving winds created havoc with race management.
“It was a day of two halves really,” said Lilley after racing. “We had the wind blowing off the land for the first race and then it just died. It did a 180-degree shift and came off the sea in a direction that we haven’t seen in almost five years.”
He was happy with his results on the opening day, and was only too aware of the importance of posting good scores on the opening day of an Olympic regatta.
“It’s really easy to throw it away on the first day,” said Lilley. “If you look at past Olympics that is where you can throw the regatta away, so it was really about getting away cleanly. I feel really relaxed and really calm. I’ve had a lot of support so I am feeling really comfortable and confident out there.”
– Australia Sailing