Clark not getting carried away at Sailing World Champs

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills might have rounded off the 470 women’s class qualifying series in pole position at the Sailing World Championships, but they are not about to get ahead of themselves.

Despite improved conditions in Santander on day five of the first Olympic qualification regatta, still just 23 of the scheduled 40 races were completed.

However the 470 women’s class managed to complete their programme of two races and London Olympic silver medallists and 2012 world champions Clark and Mills rounded off their qualifying series in pole position.

But that doesn’t mean that Clark will be popping champagne corks any time soon.

“We’re just pleased to have got through qualifying without a really big score on the board,” Clark said.

“It means that as we move in to the finals we’ve got a bit of room for error – though not that much as we’re carrying a 14th from the first day.

“For the finals racing, the top half of the fleet are all in together so it gets harder – starting is harder, holding lanes is harder and there’s less space on the race course than we’ve had for the last two days.  It really does start from now.”

Meanwhile, Giles Scott got his Finn world title defence off to the best possible start as he claimed victory in his only race, with fellow Brit Ed Wright ninth in his race.

The RS:X men’s windsurfing fleet needed just one race to complete their qualifying series, and reigning champion Nick Dempsey made it count by finishing third, meaning he will head into the gold fleet series in third place, level on points with the second-placed Frenchman Pierre Le Coq and just four points off of the yellow jersey.

Nick Thompson broke into the top three positions in the laser fleet with a confident display of an eighth and a third from his two races.

And Alison Young crossed fourth in the only race for the laser radials, while Chloe Martin is currently the top-ranked British sailor in the women’s single-handed class, in seventh overall.

Across the other classes, the split fleets were unable to complete an even number of races, leaving the overnight scores imbalanced. Luke Patience and Elliot Willis, racing in the 470 men’s yellow fleet, managed two good placings of third and sixth, but they’re still short of one race to complete their four-race qualifying series, with the blue fleet two races short.

The 49erFX class got their regatta underway with Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth posting finishes of second and fourth from their opening two races, Frances Peters and Nicola Groves finishing seventh and 12th, while Kate Macgregor and Katrina Best’s half of the draw managed three races with the British pairing sandwiching a race win between finishes of 17th and tenth.

James Peters and Sam Batten saw the best form of the British boats in the 49er blue fleet with finishes of 12th, sixth and eighth, with the yellow fleet unable to race.

The 2013 world silver medallists Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond opened their World Championship campaign in the Nacra 17 class with a second in their only possible race of the day.

Pippa Wilson and John Gimson were fourth, while Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh – racing in the opposite fleet – picked up finishes of 17th and third from their two races.

© Sportsbeat 2014