The end of day 3 at the Skandia sail For Gold Regatta and the trapdoor opened and then instantly shut. Those who fell, fell into the silver fleet from which there is no way back. Those who avoided the drop are now fully focused on establishing a top 10 position that will guarrantee them a tilt at glory in the double points scoring medal race on the final day.The business end of the RS:X women's fleet has Blanca Manchon hanging on to a 3 point lead over over France's Charline Picon in 2nd with Bryony Shaw [GBR] seemingly off the pace a further 12 points back. You'd be wise not to write the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist off though. She is racing on her home water and knows a thing or two about closing out a regatta.
These three will have to have all their wits about them to hold off the peleton which includes the rest of hard charging 'Team France' plus at its head the quadruple Youth World Windsurfing Champion, Laura Linares [ITA] who recently picked up a podium finish at the RS:X European Windsurfing Championships in Sopot, Poland.
Over in the RS:X men's fleet, fellow Brit, Nick Dempsey popped in a 2 and a 1 to build a 5 point lead over Joao Rodrigues [POR]. He will certainly have to 'do the business' to maintain his place. Dorian Van Rijsselberge [NED], Jon Paul Tobin [NZL] and Julien Bontemps [FRA] are pushing hard only 1 or 2 points behind. Then comes Vice World Champion, Nimrod Mashiah [ISR] and Fabian Heidegger [ITA] another 2 points back so to say that the noose is tight and tightening fast at the front of the RS:X men's fleet is an understatement.
It's going to be an interesting final three days for sure. Nick said "The difficult thing today was the starts, you could win or lose the race by the way you performed on the line so it was really important to ensure a safe start." If Blanca can go on nailing her starts [picture by onEdition above] she is a sure fire bet to go into the upcoming RS:X World Windsurfing Championships full of confidence.
RS:X Men Results (After six races ) Complete Results (you can see gold and silver split here)
1st Dempsey GBR 8 points
3rd Rodrigues POR 13
3rd Van Rijsselberge NED 14 points
4th Tobin NZL 15 points
5th Bontemps FRA 15 points
RS:X Women Results (After six races)(Complete Results)
1st Manchon ESP 14 points
2nd Picon FRA 17 points
3rd Shaw GBR 29 points
4th Linares ITA 33 points
5th Tartaglini ITA 34 points
Read about all the sailing action at Skandia Sail for Gold Click Here
Thanks to the Waterhound, ISAF and Skandia Gold site for contributing to this article. All photos credited onEdition