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Tricky tides test Aussie sailors

9 August 2016

SAILING: The conditions on Rio’s Guanabara Bay didn’t disappoint on Day 1 of the sailing regatta, with tricky conditions and dying winds serving up a challenging day for Australia’s sailors.

For first time Olympian Ashley Stoddart, a solid start to her regatta left her pleased with her inaugural Olympic experience.

Stoddart finished today’s two races with an eighth and a seventh, putting her in equal fourth place and on equal points with Annalise Murphy of Ireland and Evi van Acker of Belgium. 

“This is my first Olympics and my first day on the water and I’m really pleased with the result,” Stoddart said. 

“We’ve been training here for the last couple of years.  When I got out there I was thinking this doesn’t actually feel that different.”

Her results set Stoddart up in a strong position going into tomorrow’s racing, which will consist of two further races.

The first Aussie to race in this year’s Olympic regatta was Tom Burton in the Laser class. 

Burton is currently lying equal ninth overall, on equal points with Nick Thompson of Great Britain, Colin Cheng of Singapore and Charlie Buckingham of the USA. 

Burton finished 17th and eighth in today’s two races and was amongst several big names who had a mixed day. 

Tonic Stipanovic of Croatia and Julia Alsogaray of Argentina are currently leading the event. 

“It’s a tricky course,” said Burton. 

“The tide wasn’t that bad today and it was still tricky.  The breeze, either coming through the heads or over the mountains, makes it difficult. 

“The first race was very different to the second race as the breeze really dropped off as the day went on.”

Whilst not an ideal start for Burton, he is still in contention with several big names sitting within a couple of points, including Brazil’s five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt. 

Racing continues tomorrow with two further races in both the Laser and Laser Radial classes, in addition to the Finn class commencing their Olympic regatta with two races. 

Megan McKay

olympics.com.au

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