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2019 ILCA Laser Radial World Championship at Miho Bay, Japan - Day 4

by Ravi Subramanian 22 Jul 16:56 BST 17-24 July 2019

The Finals Series for Radial Women's Worlds began today after the conclusion of the five race Qualifying Series yesterday. The 111 sailors have been split into Gold and Silver fleets and will race in those fleets for the remainder of the event. The 32 sailors in the Radial Men's Worlds will continue racing together.

The day started with a on-shore postponement, while race committee monitored the wind, but AP was pulled down at 1100h with first on-the-water signals at noon. There were several APs throughout the afternoon, but only for course adjustments or to maintain fleet spacing. No delays waiting for the wind as in past days.

The wind started out at 10 knots from 265 and built to about 15 knots, with some oscillations, but the course remained fairly stable for the day. All three fleets completed the two races scheduled for Day 4, although the second race for Women's Silver fleet was finished at the second weather mark based on the duration of the three legs already completed when the wind lightened up mid afternoon.

In the Men's Championship, Zac West (AUS) remains in front with consistent finishes - currently his discard is a 7. Simon de Gendt (BEL), however, remains a threat. He currently has five first place finishes but needs to count a 23 because his discard is a UFD (33 points). If a second discard becomes available, and he maintains low single-digit finishes, he will move up. With eight races completed, and the second discard coming into play after Race 10, this is a distinct possibility.

In the Women's Gold fleet, things got interesting as the sailors moved into the Finals Series. The starts were aggressive, with several general recalls and BFD penalties. The leader going into today, Josefin Olsson (SWE), dropped back with a DSQ and a RET in the two races today, one of which she must keep even if two discards become available. Other contenders for the top spot had double-digit finishes today, opening up the fleet. Ecem Güzel (TUR) sailed the most consistently and moved up to first with only single-digit finishes after discarding a 12 from the Qualifying Series.

Aside from the individual competition, ten Olympic berths are available in this event and fourteen countries not yet qualified for the Olympic Games are racing in Gold fleet. Two more days of racing remain, and things will remain interesting!

Event Website - 2019worlds.laserjapan.org/radial
Results - 2019worlds.laserjapan.org/radial/results
Photo Galleries - www.facebook.com/2019-Laser-Worlds-JAPAN-284629198769700

Men's results after Day 4: (no discard)
1. Zac West AUS 20 (27) pts
2. Simon de Gendt BEL 30 (63) pts
4. Mark Louis AUS 37 (61) pts
3. Guilherme Perez BRA 51 (70) pts
5. Erwan Lamoureux SUI 55 (88) pts

Day 4 - First day of Finals for Women: (no discard)

1. Ecem Güzel TUR 40 (52) pts
2. Tuula Tenkanen FIN 46 (94) pts
3. Marit Bouwmeester NED 47 (70) pts
4. Paige Railey USA 49 (71) pts
5. Anne-Marie Rindom DEN 50 (107) pts
6. Charlotte Rose USA 50 (97) pts
7. Emma Plasschaert BEL 53 (74) pts 8. Marie Barrue FRA 54 (93) pts 9. Alison Young GBR 64 (94) pts 10. Marie Bolou FRA 66 (102) pts

Penultimate day looms large for Irish Sailing's goal of Olympic qualification by ISA

With just four races remaining at the Laser Radial World Championship in Japan, it is a case of "steady as she goes" for Ireland's Aisling Keller and Aoife Hopkins.

Both Keller (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary) and Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) are placed 40th and 42nd in the Gold fleet final round of the championship that started on Friday.

Hopkins had the stronger day on Monday with two top 30 results while Keller had two 42nd places, one of which she drops using the discard system. Another discard comes into force if the series achieves ten races.

Keller had been in 15th place in the second race but received a 'yellow flag' penalty for excessive propulsion technique and dropped back after taking the mandatory turn.

Conditions on Miho Bay, Sakaiminato have proven tricky for competitors and organisers alike with light, shifty winds delaying racing and causing the qualification series to miss one race.

"They're sailing to a solid method and I'm pleased with their consistency in tricky conditions," said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing's Head Coach. "The plan is the same for the final two days - take one race at a time and follow the process."

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