At the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition, Sydney 2000 2.4mR gold medallist Heiko Kroger (GER) continues to impress in the 2.4mR fleet after the German picked up his first bullet to take the overall lead.
2.4mR racing on day two of the 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition
Thierry Schmitter (NED) won Race 3 and sits one point behind Kroger. Overnight leader Helena Lucas dropped to third overall after an 11th in Race 4.
Very little has split the front runners so far and this was evident in the third race when just six seconds separated the top four fingers. Damien Seguin (FRA) took an early lead ahead of Lucas with Kroger in third but by the second mark the German had edged in front.
Paul Tingley (CAN) then came into the fray, picking his way through the shifty Portland Harbour winds to jump up into first place at the second windward mark ahead of Seguin and Schmitter.
Ferocious manoeuvring emerged in the final leg when Tingley tried to keep clear wind in his sails and Seguin fought to hold off attacks from Lucas and Schmitter. The top four boats crossed almost simultaneously, with Schmitter snatching victory from Tingley in second, Lucas third and Seguin dropping to fourth.
'It was very tight today,' said Schmitter. 'I'm happy with the results so far. From race number six, it will get more interesting. At the moment, with discards, the positions could all change.'
Another tight race ensued in the fourth as Kroger took the bullet by three seconds ahead of Julio Reguerro (PUR). Kroger rounded the first mark in front of the Puerto Rican and neither sailor relinquished their places. 'I was very fast today,' said Kroger. 'I'm very fast upwind not so much downwind.'
Overnight leader Lucas did two penalty turns in the fourth race after an incident at the mark and dropped down to finish 11th and subsequently saw her drop from first to third overall. On the penalty Lucas said, 'Unfortunately I got pinged for rocking. (I was) a little bit disappointed about that, but it happens. I was just steering on the waves.'
The fleet resume racing tomorrow at 11:10 on the Portland Harbour Course.
1. Heiko Kroger (GER) - 13pts
2. Thierry Schmitter (NED) - 14pts
3. Helena Lucas (GBR) - 17pts
4. Mark LeBlanc (USA) - 23pts
5. Paul Tingley (CAN) - 25pts
Disabled Sailing London 2012 Paralympic Website