A day plagued by light winds saw the athletes battle it out in the tricky conditions. Mashich described it perfectly “It was crazy out there today. The wind was crazy, shifty and gusty”.
Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberghe shares the overall lead with Israel’s Nimrod Mashich after light winds plagued Centre Course on Wednesday, 14 December.
It’s close at the top however as the number of points separating van Rijsselberghe (NED), Mashich (ISR) and Piotr Myszka (POL) in third, is just two.
The Blue and Yellow fleets had one race apiece, leaving van Rjisselberghe and Mashich tied in first place overall while Olympic Games veteran, Joao Rodrigues (POR), just made it into the top ten in 10th place.
Light winds of less than 10 knots greeted the windsurfers Wednesday, forcing race officials to postpone the Yellow fleet’s Race 5 for almost an hour. Then after it started, it was abandoned because of a 70 degree wind shift.
Despite their three hour wait on the calm Centre Course, Chinese windsurfers Yikai Huang and Aichen Wang said the postponement was not too frustrating.
“The wind shifts happen very often for sailors so we’re used to it. It’s not just in Perth – it’s everywhere,” the Chinese sailors said through a translator.
But the day was not completely lost for the fleet. They raced once again, this time unmarred by another postponement.
Spain’s Ivan Pastor took the initial lead, with Julien Bontemps (FRA), Jon Paul Tobin (NZL), Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and Joao Rodrigues (POR) following in his wake. But in a sharp changeover, Rodrigues overtook while Andreas Cariolou (CYP) also caught up.
The race ended with a win for Rodrigues, with Pastor second and Cariolou third.
Cariolou, who now stands in 14th place overall, said the race had put him in good stead.
“Today’s race was really good for me. The wind was shifty but not as much as in the morning so it was still good,” Cariolou said.
But the conditions did not suit everyone, with yesterday’s favourite Nimrod Mashich (ISL) placing fourth.
“It was crazy out there today. The wind was crazy, shifty and gusty,” Mashich said.
The Blue fleet was off to a flying start despite the wind picking up to only 11 knots.
World number eight and Greece’s only Men’s RS:X competitor, Byron Kokalanis, immediately took charge with a clear lead ahead of Myszka (POL) and van Rijsselberghe (NED).
But when it seemed as though Koklanis was bound for a win, Shahar Zubari (ISR), proving his world number three ranking, cut in from the outside and joined the leading three.
There was a cluster of sailors on the final leg of the race, so much so that it was hard to tell who out of Zubari, van Rijsselberghe, Myszka, Koklanis, Pierre le Coq (FRA) and Elliot Carney (GBR) was leading.
But van Rijsselberghe emerged to take first place, closely followed by Myszka in second and Zubari third.