Today was the final day of fleet racing for Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in the Star class. Qualification for Sunday’s medal race hinged on the two remaining races today . They began the day in ninth position and thanks to an eleventh and seventh result they maintained their ninth overall and will thus compete in the medal race on Sunday.
The pressure was very much on the duo to remain in the top ten and win their place in the Star medal race and they did not disappoint. In spite of finishing Race 9 in eleventh position they did not let that phase them and came out fighting in Race 10,the final fleet race. In the first leg they moved swiftly from eleventh to fifth within the fleet. They held their position at the front of this incredibly competitive fleet to finish in seventh place less than 90 seconds behind the leaders Percy and Simpson (GBR). They finished the fleet racing in ninth overall and with 75 points. The leaders Percy and Simpson (GBR) have 18 points, followed by Scheidt and Prada (BRA) on 26 points and Loof and Salminen (SWE) on 30 points. The medal race is worth double points added to their fleet racing score and unfortunately this means that O’Leary and Burrows will not be in contention for a medal but they will have reached the hallowed height of having raced in the top ten of this hugely competitive class at an Olympic regatta and ahead of many illustrious names in the Star Class that surprisingly did not make it.
Annalise Murphy was back on the water today following the Radial fleet’s rest day. She put in a less than impressive performance, by her standard during the competition already, with a tenth place finish in the second race of the day and now sits second overall with only one point separating her from the leader.
She dominated the fleet in her first race of the day maintaining pole position until the third mark when Lijia Xu (CHN) edged just in front of her. The pair continued to battle it out for the top spot for the rest of the race, never allowing the other competitors to challenge them but ultimately it was Xu (CHN) who crossed the line in first place. Murphy’s main rivals Bouwmeester (NED), Young (GBR) and Van Acker (BEL) finished fourth, sixth and eighth respectively meaning Murphy extended her lead to eight points. Race 8 saw Murphy finish in tenth place and lose pole position for the first time in the competition. She’s now second overall on 23 points one point behind Van Acker (BEL) on 24 points. However, should the wind be anyway light tomorrow she will be entering a bit of of a danger zone as she has already used up her worst discard of 19 points. The three other most dangerous opponents threatening her are Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 26 points, Lijia Xu (Chn) 30 points and Alison Young (GBR) 37 points. With just two races remaining before the Medal Race, wind and good results will be vital for Murphy as she is, currently, without the comfort cushion for the Medal Race referred to in earlier reports.
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had a busy day with three 49er fleet races. They had a fourteenth, seventh and fifteenth leaving them eleventh overall. James Espey had his penultimate day in the Laser class. He’s currently thirty eighth overall following a twenty seventh and twenty eighth. Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan had their second day of racing leaving them twenty fifth overall after four races.
The 49er class will have a rest day tomorrow and will resume racing on Sunday.