After a frustrating day spent ashore as heavy winds forced the cancellation of all races yesterday, the 280 plus sailors from 60 nations returned to the Bay of Buzios this morning eager for competition. With the lay day scheduled for tomorrow, competitors had to balance the chance to push as hard as possible with staying tactically aware in the very tricky light wind conditions. Only two crews managed to hold on to their overall lead; although Great Britain, Singapore, New Zealand and France all still hold one top spot, joined now by Israel, Italy and the host nation Brazil
Tomorrow Volvo Ocean Race-winning skipper and five-time Olympic medallist Torben Grael (BRA) is set to arrive in Buzios and ahead of his arrival Brazil's sailors performed strongly today. In particular it appears his daughter Martine Grael had read the script, as she and crew Kahena Kunze followed up a seventh with a race win to jump to the top of the Girl's 420 leaderboard.
In the Boy's fleet there was a change of leader. Ali Masters (GBR) had a great day with 1, 2 scores, but it's Ron Asulin (ISR) who moves top overall after a third and a race win. After finishing second in 2007 and just missing the medals with a fourth place last year, Asulin is determined that 2009 will be his year. 'I was really focussed, I know I'm sailing well, I knew I had the power so I just went out there and pushed as hard as I could,' he says of today's two races. 'Tomorrow I will rest really well and really focus on the day after so I can start it really strong in my body and my mind.' Asulin has a seven-point lead over Italy's Davide La Vela with defending champion Michalis Malekkides (CYP) in third.France stay top in the Volvo Trophy standings and had a particularly good day today, along with Great Britain, Italy and Brazil. At this early stage these four nations are already beginning to pull away in the battle for the prized best-nation award.
This evening the competitors have been treated to a traditionally Brazilian barbeque ahead of the lay day tomorrow. Racing resumes in Buzios on Wednesday, with stronger seabreeze conditions forecast and three races scheduled across all seven events.