A superb display of high wind sailing

A superb display of high wind sailing from London’s Tim Robinson and Zeb Elliot, sailing Ovington Boats, secured them the second round of the Chernikeeff RYA 49er Gold Series in Weymouth this afternoon.

In demanding conditions of up to 24 knots, Robinson, the current 18ft Skiff World Champion won the first two races and finished second in the third to put a buffer of ten points over current European Champion’s Marcus Baur and Philip Barth (Germany) going into next weekend’s double points finals.

“When it all goes well, it’s pretty easy” said Robinson after racing. “It was a pretty demanding day and certainly the upper limit for 49er racing but it shows that practice pays as we were going quick and didn’t make too many mistakes”.

However, Robinson is acutely aware that with only five races on the cards and up to six races scheduled for next weekend, “it’s still all to play for”.

After dominating the opening weekend, Hampshire’s Andy and Ian Budgen sailed a moderate first two races, finishing twelfth in the first and fifth in the second and then had to retire in the final race after they pulled their mast track off the mast in a capsize just before the start, dropping them to sixth in the Chernikeeff Series standings.

Meanwhile, a pitchpole on the short two sail reach in the final race looks to have spelt disaster for Marc Audineau and Julian Farnarier (France) as Audineau has a suspected broken ankle. The team, who are currently second overall in the ISAF World Rankings, were using this as a warm up event for their forthcoming Olympic selection trials.

They will now have to wait on a ruling from the French Sailing Federation to see if their trials can be postponed otherwise they could be the third medal zone crew not to gain Olympic selection after three time World Champion Chris Nicholson (Australia) and Morgan Larson (USA), Bronze medallist at the last three World Championships, missed out on selection for Sydney.

WEYMOUTH: Chernikeeff RYA 49er Gold Series (after round 2)
1, Tim Robinson and Zeb Elliot (GBR) 12pts
2, Marcus Baur and Philip Barth (Ger) 22pts
3, Alistair Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) 25pts
4, Santiago Lopez – Vazquez and Javier Plaza (Esp) 32pts
5, Marc Audineau and Julien Farnarier (Fra) 43pts
6, Andy and Ian Budgen (GBR) 45pts