Dodson, May and Sharp in 4th after day two at Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing


New Zealand’s Paralympic sailing crew competing now at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games sailed just one race on day two of the regatta in tricky, shifty conditions where a 6th place finish sees them lying 4th overall on the leader-board with plenty of racing yet to come.

Today at Marina da Gloria racing was postponed as the sailors waited for the northerly breeze to shift to the south and settle, however by 2:15pm the breeze was still not shifting so the Race Committee sent them out into a nice 8 knot -wind in a hot 38 degrees.

Chris Sharp and Andrew May are crew on the Richard Dodson helmed Sonar. Sharp spoke after racing today about conditions on the race track and how race three played out.

“It was really, really interesting. The weather conditions were phenomenally hard to judge and we had a day of surviving really – in the sense of we were lying in 3rd place and looking pretty reasonable, but there was a 45 degree shift to the right where there was no wind shown and a group of boats that came back into our fleet and pushed us back, so we ended up 6th.”

“But it was very, very hard to pick that, in fact I don’t know how they did – we saw nothing. I honestly don’t know what made them go that way other than they were behind so they needed to do something and it worked for them.”

Asked about how the team (known as Kiwi Gold Sailing Team) are feeling, Sharp said; “The vibe in the camp at the moment is good.”

“We are not really surprised that it is as hard as it is – in the sense of having sailed here before we saw that no one comes out of this with a low score – the winner is going to have a high score at the end of it, so we’ve got quite a way to go and we know that it’s as if we’ve been spat out it’s just a matter now of being very, very consistent and trying to keep our scores low every race we can. So we’re working hard at that and the team is working as a team for it, so we’re happy.”

Australia still leads the event with 8 points after placing 5th in today’s race, while the Canadian crew has moved up to 2nd overall after winning the race today in Rio. Greece is in 3rd just ahead of Dodson, Sharp and May from New Zealand.

On the Paralympic Sailing competition so far Sharp said; “Absolutely brilliant. This is the most incredible run event I’ve been to. The venue itself is amazing, it’s the trickiest place in the world to sail I would actually say, and it’s so challenging that the rewards are huge.”

“For us as sailors it’s neat. It’s a sailor’s city, it’s a sailor’s harbour and we’re sailors, so we’re as happy as can be.”

Sharp is enjoying staying in the main Paralympic Village and mixing with the others on the New Zealand Paralympic Team.

“Absolutely brilliant!,” Sharp said. “Living in the village is an experience I’ve never had before – watching the New Zealanders medal consistently – every day there’s new golds and new silvers coming along and it makes you very, very proud and very humble.”

“It’s a phenomenal place and the people there are just really, really cool – I have breakfast and dinner every day with gold medallists and they are the most lovely, charming and driven people that  I’ve ever met – they are superb.”

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
Sonar Event top five

1st AUS  Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris – 8 points
2nd CAN                Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes – 11 points
3rd GRE Vasilis Christoforou, Anargyros Notaroglou and Thodoris Alexas – 12 points
4th NZL Richard Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp – 15 points
5th GER  Lasse Klötzing, Siegmund Mainka and Jens Kroker – 16 points

Full results here:

Rio 2016 Sonar Schedule

Monday 12 Sept – 2 races
Tuesday 13 Sept – 2 races
Wednesday 14 Sept – 2 races
Thursday 15 Sept – 2 races
Friday 16 Sept – 2 races
Saturday 17 Sept – 1 race

More here:

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