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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Aussies Sailors Are Looking Good For Gold In Rio

Tom Burton is positioned to bring home the first sailing medal on Monday in Rio (Tuesday 3am AEST) but will have to sail the race of his life to determine the colour. Meanwhile, Ashley Stoddart has finished ninth and also competes in the Medal Race on Monday in Rio (Tuesday 2am AEST) in her first Olympic campaign.
Tom Burton Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
After a few days of unusual weather, the sea breeze finally returned to Rio de Janeiro, delivering a full day of racing today. Jake Lilley (Finn class), Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin (Nacra 17) and Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen (49er) were also in action today with the 470 men and women having a scheduled day off.
Tom Burton Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Tom Burton, who had a shaky start to his Olympic regatta, has sailed consistently over recent days and has built a significant enough point score to assure him of a medal. However, the colour of the medal will come down to the double-point medal race, which will be held on Guanabara Bay on Monday (Tuesday 3am AEST)
Tom Burton Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Obviously it’s nice to have a medal locked in. Tonci (Croatian Tonci Stipanovic) will probably have plans to lock gold away, so I think it will be a good race. It hasn’t really sunk in, when I look at the points, I think it will sink in a bit better,” Burton said.
Tom Burton Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Asked about the conditions over the past five days of racing, Tom said, “We always knew we were going to get a range of conditions and we could really get anything, so it was good to be able to perform in whatever we got.”
Ashley Stoddart Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In another impressive performance, Laser Radial sailor, Ashley Stoddart has secured a place in Monday’s medal race in Rio (2am Tuesday AEST).  Stoddart finished the preliminary series with a seventh and an eighth in today’s two races and is currently laying ninth overall. Only the top 10 boats compete in the medal race.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“I didn’t really know the points going into today, I just knew that if I had a good day, it was possible, so I just went out. We had a pretty interesting day because we were on both an outside course and an inside course, so it was really interesting,” Stoddart said.
Ashley Stoddart Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Pretty wavy outside, we had a developing sea breeze so it was building as we were out there. It was hiking conditions and really nice sailing out there. It was all on for the last race, everyone was hiking as hard as they could, and there was no rest or anything, everyone was going as fast as they can,” she added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
The Laser Radial have a scheduled day off tomorrow and the medal race takes place on Monday in Rio (2am Tuesday AEST). Looking ahead to the race
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“I think the medal race is a completely different ball game to fleet racing, double points. I will just approach it like any race, try and get around the course as quickly as possible, so that’s what I’m going to try to do. Take a bit of rest now and go in as refreshed as I can."
Jake Lilley Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Meanwhile in the Finn class, Jake Lilley has sailed consistently well to move up to third place overall. Lilley has two races remaining in the preliminary series, and is sitting in the box seat ahead of Tuesday’s medal race (Wednesday AEST).
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It’s a different element again and as I said at the start of the week, that’s what this venue, Rio, is. You have to be good at everything and it’s really proving that," he said about Asked varying conditions across the courses this week.

“There’s still two races remaining and everyone’s got a big score, so no-one can afford to put another big score on the board. You’ve just got to take it one race at a time,” he added.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Sydney’s sailing cousins Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin continue to lead the Nacra 17 fleet, despite an average day on the water. The cousins crossed the finish line in 15th, 11th and 11th in today’s three races; however, their closest competitors also scored high results today, which means the Aussies hang on to the lead by three points ahead of the teams from Argentina and Great Britain who are tied in second place.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“It was a strange day out there. We really didn’t manage the environment as well as we should have. I didn’t anticipate that it was going to be that shifty. We’re surprised that we’re still in the lead, but that’s exactly where we want to be and we’re going to continue to work towards that,” Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We thrive under pressure, we’re an awesome team. We love flat water and shifty conditions so we’re hoping the Navy course tomorrow will bring us some of that. We just want to sail our best. Today wasn’t our best, but we’re ready to bring it home tomorrow,” added Darmanin.
Waterhouse/Darmanin Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Racing on Aeroporto course today, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen had mixed results today in the 49er class. Making up for one of yesterday’s races today, the 49er completed four races finishing the day at 7th overall.
Outteridge/Jensen Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“Today it was pretty nice, it was perhaps 10-14 knots, perfect, little oscillations on the breeze, maybe slightly right-handed drop but about as good as it gets for 49er sailing today,” Jensen said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
The Aussies performed very well in the first two races of the day, picking the shifts nicely to finish second in the first race and fifth in the second. The following two races were not so good for the defending gold medallists, where they finished 11th and 12th, in that order.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
“We had a good first race, good recovery in the second race. We just couldn’t piece the second two together as well as we’d like, we were moving backwards rather than forwards, which was a bit frustrating," Outteridge said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"I think we were getting ourselves into good spots, we just need to complete those races and just try to cut down those errors,” Jensen added.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
The 49er class is only halfway through their racing and will have tomorrow off, as it is a scheduled reserve day.

Australian Sailing Team Media

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