2009 RS:X World Championships 

It was a testing day for the 163 competitors at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, who returned after the layday to find light wind conditions and Portland Harbour steeped in fog – a stark contrast to the 30 knot conditions at the start of the event on Friday.

The race committee managed to run one of the scheduled two races for the world title chasers in the gold fleet, before the visibility became too poor and the windsurfers were sent ashore to wait for the fog to clear before the second race was able to get underway.

Amid the gloomy conditions there was plenty of drama, with the series leaders in the men’s fleet picking up some big scores as they struggled to adjust to the change in conditions. Brazil’s 2007 World Champion Ricardo Santos was hit hard, dropping from third place overall before the rest day, to 13th after finishing his two races on Tuesday in 44th and 45th.

The Dutch duo of Dorian Van Rijsselberge – the overall series leader at the halfway stage – and 2006 World Champion Casper Bouman also struggled to get off the startline, dropping five places each in the overall standings to sixth for Van Rijsselberge and 11th for Bouman.

Meanwhile Skandia Team GBR’s Nick Dempsey – the 2007 World Championship bronze medallist – held fast and advanced to the top spot on the leaderboard, discarding his worst series score of 13th from the first race of the day and picking up a hard-fought third in the second race.

“It was pretty exhausting out there. It was just so hard to hold a lane in that first race, but then I think sailed a near-perfect second race,” the 29-year-old surmised.

“It could yet turn out to be a week for the all-rounders,” Dempsey hoped.

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2009 RS:X World Championships 

The three-time European Champion again set a blistering pace out in Portland Harbour, comfortably winning her first race of the day before leaving all others in her wake in race two, which she won some two and a half minutes ahead of nearest rival, Marine Rambaud of France.

Marina Alabau maintains her overall lead in the women’s standings, and is joined just behind by teammate Blanca Manchon, who also picked up two race wins in the women’s blue fleet to ensure a Spanish one-two at the halfway stage of the championships. Rambaud completes the top three spots heading into Monday’s layday.

Skandia Team GBR’s Bryony Shaw recovered well in her first race of the day on Sunday, finishing fifth after a trailing in 12th at the first turning mark. Shaw attempted to edge past Rambaud on the slalom run in to the finish line, but lost ground after making contact with the French sailor’s board and having to take a penalty turn.

The Olympic bronze medallist got a better start in race two, with Shaw and Rambaud locked in a close battle for second and third after Alabau had already gained over a minute’s lead by the first mark. Shaw eventually had to settle of third, four seconds behind her French rival, and sits in ninth place overall heading into the layday.

Great Britain’s RS:X Youth World Champion Izzy Hamilton proved she could hold her own among the experienced sailors, with two eighth places seeing her in 23rd overall and booking her slot in the gold fleet for the start on the final series racing on Tuesday.

Another faultless display by Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) saw him extend his lead to three points over Skandia Team GBR’s Nick Dempsey on the men’s leaderboard.

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2009 RS:X World Championships 

Spanish sailor Marina Alabau remains the dominant force in the women’s fleet, with another flawless performance on Saturday, although Skandia Team GBR’s Bryony Shaw was back in contention today, bouncing back from her troublesome first day.

After the demanding 30 knot winds which swept across Portland Harbour for the opening day of the regatta, Saturday’s breeze was much moderated for the 163 contenders at these Championships, with the women’s fleet the first to get racing in 15 knots shifty wind conditions.

Alabau maintained her perfect scoreline, with two more firsts from the two races held, to extend her lead to nine points over France’s Eugénie Ricard, with Blanca Manchon (ESP) in third making it two places in the top three for the Spanish girls.

Shaw, Britain’s Beijing bronze medallist, picked up two second places to pull her into seventh place overall, and help her put a difficult opening day behind her.

“I think I’ve woken up!” Shaw explained. “I think yesterday I was a little bit asleep, but today I’m back in the game.

“Yesterday was tough – I haven’t really sailed in that stuff for a long time, and I wasn’t really set up for it.

“So I had trouble trying to clear my head yesterday evening, but I’m trying to treat each day as a new one, sail smart and sail how I know I can and that worked for me today.”

The Netherlands’ Dorian Van Rijsselberge was the man to beat in the men’s fleet on Saturday, with two firsts elevating him from his overnight position of seventh to the overall top spot in the men’s standings.

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