Slater to work on slow starts

00:17, Jul 30 2012
Dan Slater LOG
Dan Slater is looking to be quicker off the line in the London Olympic Games Finn regatta.

Kiwi sailor Dan Slater has a little starting homework to do after his first two races in the Finn class overnight, which opened New Zealand yachting's account at the 2012 London Olympics.

In ideal winds of 12-18 knots off Weymouth, Slater scored a seventh and an 11th, leaving him in seventh place overall in the fleet of 24 Finns.  But Slater wasn't totally satisfied with his performance off the start-line.

"I'm sailing quite well but it's just that 300m of off the start I have to sort. I couldn't quite get out to sail where I wanted to go," Slater said.

"It is what it is, and it's the same for everyone. You're just trying to position yourself to get enough leverage; it's about maximum gain for minimum risk. A couple guys took some big risks and it paid off, and a couple took big risks and got hammered for it."

Star crew Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner suffered a similar fate, caught on the wrong side of an early shift in their opening race, leaving them 15th at the finish-line.  An improved second race, finishing seventh, has put them in 13th overall.

"There was a big wind shift to the left, probably about twenty degrees. Some people got it right, some people got it wrong. We got it wrong," said Pepper. "Weymouth is still a tricky old place. Nothing is easy out there, in these conditions, it was a bit of a funny day with a trough line coming through."

The New Zealand women's match racing team of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt started the round robin well, but were on the wrong end of a nail-biting finish to their first match. They led for most of the race, only losing by the narrowest of margins on the opposite end of the line to the Dutch team. They won their second match against Anna Kjellberg of Sweden by a considerable margin.

"They had a really great start and some good speed" said Kiwi coach Caroline Brisebois. "It was good to see them come back and win that second race and by quite a ways too".

The match-race crew have nine more races in the round robin, while the Finn and Star classes have eight races before the final double-points medal race for the top 10 ranked competitors on August 5.

The 49ers (Peter Burling and Blair Tuke), Laser (Andrew Murdoch) and Laser Radial (Sara Winther) had their practice race today, and will start racing tomorrow. The RS:X boards and 470 events begin later in the week.


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