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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RS:X World Championships 2009

The RS:X World Windsurfing Championships is the first ‘Olympic’ event to be staged at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in this quadrennial.

This is the venue for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Racing is expected to be inside the harbour blasting across the flat water in full view of the general public. Spectators are welcome to come and watch the action.

On Wednesday evening the Opening Ceremony was held ahead of the start of racing this Friday. It was blowing all day on Wednesday and is likely to continue for the next two days at least. Predicting conditions further out than that is always a fool’s game so let’s not go there.

However, lets just assume for a minute that we stand a good chance of getting some breeze later in the event. September is the month of the equinox. The change in the seasons, this usually brings breeze with it - sometimes in abundance.

This then is how we see it…

In the men’s fleet, Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) is always a name that springs to mind when the wind is up. Then there is Casper Bouman (NED), the 2006 RS:X Windsurfing World Champion who is really fast on flat water. And, there is nothing flatter than Weymouth harbour in wind.

The home supporters must be rooting for Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) both good all round performers. Marina Alabau (ESP) and Blanca Manchon (ESP) the dominant team in Women’s RS:X windsurf racing are however the ones to beat in the women's fleet

It will be interesting to see how the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion, Hei Man Chan (HKG) fares in the Olympic fleet. She is now fully recovered from the leg injury sustained just before the Palmalife RS:X Youth Windsurfing World Championships.