470 Girls set early pace
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are setting the early pace in the Women’s 470 class as they ended day one of their London 2012 Regatta in first place overall today (Friday 3 August).
The 2012 World Champions recovered well from being forced to take a penalty on the start line in the opening race of the day to win their second race and pick up a sixth and first from their opening two races of the event.
The pair, who only started sailing together 18 months ago, have been buoyant in the build-up to the event, insisting they were genuine gold medal hopes. But they were delighted with their resolve to comeback from a nightmare start.
Mills said: “There were some definite nerves this morning, we have been waiting a while to get going and I just think the whole fleet was just excited to finally get out on the water and get some racing in.
“Our goal for today was just not to do anything stupid and immediately we went and crashed into the pin end so we definitely did something stupid. But it almost helped us in a way. You do your 360 (penalty turn) and you get on with the race, you can’t afford to be nervous after that. You’ve got to make a good comeback and we did that really well so we are happy.”
The girls’ campaign got off to the worst possible start when, having collided with the committee boat on a congested start line the girls immediately undertook penalty turns. They rounded the top mark back in 11th but fought back, and with the bit between their teeth, recovered to claim a creditable sixth.
However, race two was a completely different proposition as they lead from start to finish to claim the early advantage.
Clark: “It definitely could be a problem starting so long after anybody else [in the regatta] if you let but I think Hannah and I have managed it really well with the help of listening to people with past experience such as Iain [Percy] in Athens and Beijing. We’ve gone to them and asked the questions about what could make the difference.”
The 470 Women are scheduled to resume at 2.05pm tomorrow (Saturday 4 August) with the girls scheduled to race on the Weymouth Bay South course.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August. The Women’s 470 medal race is scheduled for Friday 10 August (1pm).