Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Dream start for Dobson and Tidey to top 49erFX fleet

by Will Carson, RYA 27 Jul 11:58 BST 25 July - 4 August 2021
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey in the Women's 49erFX fleet on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

There was a marked change in weather at Enoshima on Tuesday with a wet, cooler and blustery 14-18 knots Northerly. A welcome arrival after a long build-up in lighter winds, but also a new challenge. The wind shut down mid-afternoon which caused delays.

There was some obvious rust in the windy conditions across the fleets and nations, but it was a dream start for Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey in the 49erFX, taking the first race of their campaign by a clear margin on the rest of the fleet. The pair backed it up with another race win and a sixth place to consolidate top spot on the leaderboard.

Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell in the 49er fleet were narrowly beaten to the win in the only race of the day to sit second overall.

Giles Scott began his Olympic Finn title defence with a pair of ninth place finishes to sit ninth overall while Elliot Hanson in the ILCA 7 / Laser has moved up into 8th with a 3rd and 10th, however he is now carrying a 28th as a discard from the final race.

Ali Young in the ILCA 6 / Radial fleet continues slow progress through the fleet moving up to 12th with two 12th place race finishes.

The Laser and Radial fleets take a break tomorrow as the windsurfers return to action joining the Finns, 49ers and 49erFXs. Wednesday will also see the first taste of racing for the 470 men and women and the Nacra 17 fleet.

Quotes:

49erFX

Charlotte Dobson, 35, from Rhu, Scotland, said:

"It was a great day. I think if someone had told us we would have those results on day one yesterday we would have grabbed their hand off. Today was about being a bit boring but brave if we saw an opportunity, and that's what we did a little bit today.

"It is really tricky sailing these boats in shifty conditions were there is such differences in pressure. You're in the middle of a manoeuvre and you get a massive wind shift it doesn't make you look great when you capsize in an event like this but it's so easy to do. I'm grateful that we avoided it today and I hope it's not our turn tomorrow.

"There's a range of results and I think that is the nature of puffy, windy racing, certainly in Japan. We have seen this in preparations over the last couple of years so I think, you know, the boring things, it's going to be a long series and just try and stay out of trouble. We will try and put together a series, it's not very exciting, it's boring, but if we can have as many boring days as possible then that is great.

"The lead up to this regatta has been less than seven knots, and then you have these conditions. I don't think everyone is dialled in to the conditions yet but we have been racing these types of conditions here for the last four years. You just have to get the notebook out and try to remember the tempo of those days and how those days feel.

"Sometimes it was fast and sometimes it was slow today. I don't think it was much of a boat speed day. I think it was the type of day that Sas does really well which is make the boat quiet and she's all over making the boat go well so I can get my head out of the boat and look around so we have on maximum focus on where we should be."

Saskia Tidey, 28, from Portland, Dorset, said:

"It was a super tricky day and a day where you have to have teamwork involved. My job as crew is keep the boat fast in the water and not create any noise or distraction and Charlotte is head out of the boat and see where the next gains are coming from. It was up and down with wind strength today so super, super hard, but we had a good one.

"What's important for us is not to do anything that surprises us or anyone else, with the conditions out there we just need to keep it consistent and back each other to deliver what we already know."

49er

Dylan Fletcher, 33, from Thames Ditton, Surrey, said:

"Yeah a good start. Not quite as good as my fiancé's [teammate Charlotte Dobson] but we'll take that. Second place. There's some rivalry but we do wish each other the best.

"I'd love to start the Olympics with two bullets but ultimately we've got to focus on our role and we're just happy that our first race was solid, so we're happy with that.

"I guess every country has had different levels of lockdown and restrictions but for us we're lucky we had a strong British squad to train with and they really helped push us and it has been fantastic.

"I think it's definitely been an unusual Games but ultimately you've just got to do it on the water and hope that that's enough.

"In the 49er class especially Britain has been really strong but at this point we've never won Gold so it would be amazing and quite a fairy tale if we could finish that off here."

Stu Bithell, 34, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, said:

"Yeah we had a good race, second going down the last run. I think the Irish got a little bit conservative and opened the door a little bit. There was an opportunity for us to try to nip ahead of them on the finish line but they just managed to hold on and it was quite good fun actually on the slipway just winding them up a little bit, but it's all good fun. We like the Irish."

"There's rivalry throughout everyone really. Everyone's here to do a job and there's going to be fierce rivalry to the end I imagine.

"I think we're feeling confident. It's not been the perfect lead up for anyone, we've certainly not had as much time in venue as we had hoped this year and neither has anyone else so yeah we're obviously happy with how things have gone today, and not just results, but some of the processes in place, so yeah we're really happy with those."

Finn

Giles Scott, 34, from Huntingdon, Cambs, said:

"It was a long tricky day. Super shifty in the first one and racing underneath the headland with a 40 degree shift which I got caught on the wrong side of. And a fair few spins in the second race. Not the best of starts but a long way to go and I'll attack more tomorrow.

"It's so changeable the weather. I think it's meant to come on shore tomorrow which will be nice. This morning it was a bit windier and also tomorrow, so I think I have to go home, reset, refuel and come out tomorrow swinging."

Laser Standard

Elliot Hanson, 27, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, said:

"I had a really solid two races and felt like I was sailing well, but I made a big mistake in the third and paid the price.

"I basically did the exact opposite of what I should have done, but hindsight is wonderful. It's a shame to end the day like that - I'd have preferred it if my scores were the opposite way round so I finished the day on a high.

"I'm now carrying a big score as my discard so I'm going to have to be squeaky clean for the last four races. I'm still in the mix though, so I will go back, regroup, enjoy a rest day tomorrow and come back out fighting on Thursday."

Laser Radial

Ali Young, 34, from Bewdley, Worcestershire, said:

"There were pretty big shifts out on the course today. There were big pressure differences so it was tough racing. It was polar opposite of what we had in the training beforehand. Every day seems to be different conditions and it's about trying to adapt to each new day.

"I feel like I am battling hard but not making much progress. Today was fun racing but it just didn't turn out that good for me.

"I'll do a little review of how I've got on so far and see what I can change to attack the next four races."

Full results and the competition schedule can be found here.

Related Articles

Tokyo 2020 sailing stars to open the show
On Friday at the Southampton International Boat Show The British Sailing Team's Tokyo 2020 stars will officially open the 2021 Southampton International Boat Show on Friday September 10. Posted on 8 Sep
Mills and McIntyre take Tokyo gold
Team GB sailors top the charts Despite late drama as the French team protested then British, leading to a tense wait ashore, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre won Women's 470 Gold in the final Medal Race at Tokyo 2020. The Jury quickly dismissed the protest. Posted on 4 Aug
Tuesday Tokyo medal rush for Team GB sailors
Two ultra-tense finishes secure gold medals in the 49er and Finn medal races It was a massive day for the Team GB sailors with two golds, one silver and another medal guaranteed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition, with four medals in total confirmed. Posted on 3 Aug
Two more medals secured for Team GB sailors
But colour yet to be decided Giles Scott in the Finn and John Gimson & Anna Burnet in the Nacra 17 both have insurmountable leads over fourth place, with the Brits riding high after Emma Wilson's Women's RS:X bronze yesterday. Posted on 1 Aug
Wonderful Wilson takes Tokyo windsurf bronze
Becomes second ever female British Olympic windsurfing medallist Great Britain now has their second female British Olympic windsurfing medallist, after Bryony Shaw's bronze in 2008, as Emma Wilson wins bronze for Team GB in the women's RS:X. Posted on 31 Jul
Mixed bag for Brits on Tokyo 2020 day six
Wilson and Squires prepare for medal fights There was a marked change from the big breeze of the past two days, to a 6-8 knots Southerly with cloud, but hot at 34 degrees. Posted on 30 Jul
Team GB's 1st Tokyo 2020 sailing medal secured
Emma Wilson, the youngest sailor in the team is guaranteed a medal in the windsurfing Another day of sun, sea and breeze in Enoshima saw a guaranteed Olympic medal for the TeamGB and top three placings in six other classes. Posted on 29 Jul
Stunning day sees TeamGB sailors top the charts
A suberb day 4 for the team at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Eight classes were in action on day 4 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition, including the Men's and Women's 470 and Nacra 17 holding their first racing - the final classes of Tokyo 2020 to start. Posted on 28 Jul
Young gun Emma Wilson shows class on day 2
Windsurfer from Dorset felt well prepared in Enoshima The second day of sailing saw an increase in wind - 14-16 knots NE - and bigger swell as result of tropical storm Nepartak in the morning, but had dropped to 10 knots SW later in the day. Posted on 26 Jul
Solid start for Brits as Tokyo 2020 gets underway
The youngest sailor in the team, Emma Wilson, started strongly Racing began today at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition with a change in weather from the training period as the wind swung to offshore as effects of the approaching tropical storm took hold. Posted on 25 Jul