Fleet Squares Up Under Breezy Sunshine
Day 3 of the 2016 Nacra 17 Rio Olympic brought the fleet back together as the overnight leading duo of teams struggled while the French push for a comeback. Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) dominated the day with a 2, 1, 1 to score only 4 points and move back from the teens into overall contention, now sitting 16 points back with three races and a medal race to go. The French team have won all four Nacra 17 World Championships and are heavy favorites for the gold medal. Until today they struggled in shifty conditions that were not to their liking.
The other celebrity movement was with Santiago Lange and Cecelia Carranza (ARG) pushing forward with a solid day of 1, 6, 9, into a tie for second only 3 points back of the lead. Santiago Lange is the oldest competitor in sailing and is looking for his third medal. He’s so old (how old is he?) that both his sons are racing in the games in the 49er Class.
Still holding the lead are Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Diardmind (AUS) on the strength of their first two days. Their 15, 11, 11, was no disaster but they blead points to the rest of the top 10 all day long and will need to regroup to finish out the event.
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) were in second overnight and slipped back to third. They will need to quickly forget the day and get refocused for a condensed conclusion to the event with everything still to play for.
Racing on the third day of competition was in very different conditions from the first two days. Under sunny and clear skies the sea breeze kicked in perfectly to 12 knots and while it wasn’t dead steady it was much cleaner racing than the scramble that occurred over initial racing.
The Nacra 17 racing will continue for a fourth day with another three races followed by a rest day and a medal race. Should the racing continue to play out there could be a large handful of teams all contending for medals right to the finish.
Germany, Austria, Spain, and the United States all scored under 20 points on the day to move up the standings. If any of the top 16 teams can score like the French did today they they could also pull into the medal conversation.