Murdoch takes victory in race five
Kiwi Laser sailor Andrew Murdoch gave his thanks to Portland Bill today on earning his first win at the 2012 Olympics and moving closer to a medal chance.
Murdoch has had fluctuating results up until today's racing at Weymouth, when he won the first race of the day - starting strongly, inching his way into the lead at the top mark, then extending on the first run.
"The breeze was a lot further left than we normally get, so I think we had the Portland Bill play a bit of an effect on the course which made the wind unstable. But I managed it quite well," he said. Portland Bill is a narrow promontory of stone in the Portland Harbour where the Olympic sailing is being raced.
"It was good to have a race win that's for sure."
Murdoch followed up with a solid seventh in the next race to now sit in eighth overall - only 10 points separate him from fourth, with four races until the double-points medal race for the top 10.
New Zealand is now in the top 10 of six classes, with the best-placed crew Blair Tuke and Peter Burling holding on to second in the 49er skiffs. They were third and fifth in their races today, and happy with the way they are sailing in Weymouth.
"I think the boats are going pretty similar speeds; it's just about putting them in slightly better places on the course," Tuke says.
With 10 races still to come in the 49ers, Burling is aware that anything can still happen in the competitive skiff fleet. "It's a really long regatta, we've sailed well the first couple days but there's still plenty more work to do," says Burling.
Boardsailer JP Tobin is "feeling good" in sixth place after a third and a seventh: "I bounced back today really nicely. Just made a few little changes here and there with the setup, it's just about good starts and we're away."
The women's matchracing crew had a small celebration in outgunning the British team, coming back from a pre-start penalty. They are now placed fifth equal in the round-robin, with the top eight progressing to the quarterfinals after three more races.
Tomorrow sees the men's 470 crew of Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders make their Olympic debut.
NZ Standings - Day 4
2nd: Peter Burling/Blair Tuke (49er) - 9, 7, 1, 7, 3, 5
5th =: Women's Match Racing- Round Robin - Four win, Four loss
6th: JP Tobin (RS:X)- 15, 4, 3, 7
7th: Dan Slater (Finn) - 7, 12, 1, 6, 17, 11
8th: Hamish Pepper & Jim Turner (Star) - 15, 7, 1, 13, 6, 5
8th: Andrew Murdoch (Laser) - 12, 8, 17, 18, 1, 7
27th: Sara Winther (Laser Radial)- 31, 23, 21, 15, 35, 31