Gold fleet action and Olympic berths in Perth!

David Hayes, Men’s RSX December 15, 2011 off Fremantle, Australia.
The wind in Perth (Fremantle) was not quite as fickle as yesterday. Sailors were greeted with light to moderate south easterly breezes from 8-12 knots with less variation in wind strength.

The 49ers has been split into 3 fleets (Gold, Silver and Bronze), with only one race for each fleet today. Canada's top 49ers teams Cook/Lowden and Ladha/Inkpen were sailing in the silver fleet. Ladha/Inkpen are currently in 32nd overall while Cook/Lowden are two spots back and 5 points behind in 34th. The Canadian Olympic trials for the 49er will continue at the Worlds in Croatia in May 2012. For Olympic selection, the Canadian 49er team with the top finish in Croatia must also qualify the country (if not achieved in Perth) by finishing within the top 19 countries at that event.

The Lasers were split into 3 fleets with the top 49 boats in the Gold fleet. Canada has two sailors in this championship fleet and their positions now guarantee Canada an Olympic berth for 2012! Two races completed today, both Chris Dold and Dave Wright sailed their discard (worst race) today. Despite this, Dold moved up one position to 22nd overall and Wright remains in 32nd position. With 2 races left, there are a lot of opportunities and gains to be made. Canadian Laser Olympic Trials will continue at the Miami OCR combining the overall results from this event and the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in January.

In the RSX class, both of Canada's teams are sailing in the Gold fleet. Zac Plavsic is still in position to qualify for the top 10 and secure himself an Olympic spot. David Hayes, currently out of top 10 contention, is hoping that the Canadian Olympic trials gets extended to the Worlds this spring. Currently Zac is sitting 14th overall, having slipped back from 10th two days ago. Hayes climbed the overall standings today from 32nd to 28th. Zac is in the 11th country position of the total 28 countries that will qualify for Olympic berths thus will easily secure a spot for Canada. Plavsic will need to make up 14 points on 10th place, currently held by Julian Bontemps of France. The RSX fleet has a lay day tomorrow. They will complete their series on Saturday.

Stars & 470 women had a day off today. Both classes return to racing tomorrow starting at 1300. For the Star fleets, tomorrow's races will determine who is in the medal race. Clarke/Bjorn are currently sitting in eighth overall, positioning themselves to achieve a top 10, lock up their Olympic berth, and qualify for the medal race.

Full results can be found at www.perth2011.com

Follow Canadian Sailing Team success on https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Sailing-Teaméquipe-canadienne-de-voile/196992790349209!Facebook.