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Men's 470 make strong Olympic debut

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Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders made their Olympic debut in the Men’s 470 class on day five of the Olympic Sailing competition, and already they have positioned themselves well near the top of the fleet.

“Our regatta is ten races long, so for now it’s just about being ranked up there so we’re pretty happy” said Paul Snow Hansen after coming off the water and warming up.

The pair of 21 year olds are ranked fourth overall after opening the event with an eighth place finish and following it up with a third in challenging conditions which saw unusual gusts of wind reaching up to 30 knots.

“The pure wind strength wasn’t anything unusual but it was a lot more gusty than usual.  Other than that it was a normal day in Weymouth” continued Paul. “It was pretty full on in our first reach in the last race; we had a bit of a tippy moment and were pretty happy to have recovered well.”

The other young men’s pairing of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke weren’t quite on the previous days’ form, scoring 9th and 11th in their two races inside Portland Harbour. They are now ranked third overall as the home GBR team won both of the 49er races, shuffling the points around the lead pack.

“We just didn’t quite get it right like we did the last couple days” said 49er crewman Blair Tuke.  “Not a great day for us but there’s still plenty of racing to go so we’re still ok. We’re only half way through.”

Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner had a similar day, but sailing in much rougher conditions out in Weymouth Bay South. They scored a 10th and 8th, but improved their overall standing to seventh overall because one of their top competitors received a black flag penalty.

“Today was a day that we needed to come out firing and have a good one to put some points between us and the top guys, but it wasn’t to be” Hamish said after racing.

“We’ve got two more races, and it’s the Olympics... anything can happen and funny things do happen. We’ll see what comes out of that”.

JP Tobin had a long day, staring his first race only late in the afternoon and on the water until after 6:00pm. He scored a pair of 8th place finishes, which keep him overall sixth.

Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt, Match Racing in the New Zealand designed Elliott 6m, lost both of their races in today’s difficult conditions against Claire Leroy of France, and reigning world champion Silja Lehtinen of Finland. They will have a rest day tomorrow before facing their final round robin match against the second ranked team from Russia on Saturday to decide their eligibility to progress to the quarter finals.  

Tomorrow will be a rest day for JP Tobin in the RS:X as well as the Women’s Match Racing trio. Andrew Murdoch and Sara Winther will resume competition after their day off, and have four races remaining each before the top ten progresses to the medal round.


Standings- Day 5 – August 2nd, 2012

3rd - Peter Burling/Blair Tuke (49er) – 9, 7, 1, 7, 3, 5, 9, 11

4th- Paul Snow Hansen/ Jason Saunders- 8, 3

6th - JP Tobin (RS:X)-  15, 4, 3, 7, 8, 8

7th - Hamish Pepper/ Jim Turner (Star) - 15, 7, 1, 13, 6, 5, 10, 8

8th - Andrew Murdoch (Laser) - 12, 8, 17, 18, 1, 7

8th - Dan Slater (Finn) - 7, 12, 1, 6, 17, 11, 6, 15

8th Women’s Match Racing- Round Robin: Four win, Six loss

27th - Sara Winther (Laser Radial)- 31, 23, 21, 15, 35, 31

   -  Ends  -

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