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Sailors open with 10th

Our Olympic hopefuls’ final efforts are underway in Barcelona and the team have safely negotiated day one of the 470 World Championships.

Cape Town based Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson opened their challenge with a 10th in the opening race (the day featured only one race), writes Mark Etheridge and that finish was a good enough result, especially as it was sailed in light and variable winds. Coming from the Cape, the two are obviously more at home with stronger winds.

The fleet were shore bound for close on three hours for the wind to get up and once they got to get out they were faced with another three hours wallowing about waiting for wind.

After a slightly conservative start the two rounded the first mark 10th of 32 boats in the sub-fleet. But on the first down-wind leg they incurred a two-turn penalty for some over-eager trimming of the main sail which cost them a frustrating five places. But these two sailors are used to challenges and over the next 40 minutes regained those places lost.

With 95 boats fighting it out for the remaining Olympic places, the fleet is divided into three equal strength sub-fleets (yellow, blue and red) for the first three days of racing. Then, overall standings are taken into account and the fleet get divided into gold, silver and bronze fleets (in order of strength) for the next three days. After six days of sailing the top 10 will then fight it out for the title and medals.

So after day one the South Africans are joint 28th out of 95 boats and 11 races left to contend with. The worrying factor for the men is that more light winds are forecast for the remainder of the week.


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