The seventh and last event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit, started in full gear with three difficult races sailed in shifty and wet conditions in Kiel. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) scored a near perfect day with a fifth in the first race followed by two bullets in heavy showers. Only a week after his seventh place at the Sail For Gold regatta and a tough selection for the Olympic test event, the Frenchman doesn't stop there, keen to better his results on this year's Sailing World Cup circuit.
Beijing Silver medallist, Zach Railey (USA) opened the score today winning the first race from Ed Wright (GBR). The American has claimed the top of the ISAF World ranking at the start of the month from Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), absent from Kiel. Railey who has participated in six out of the seven SWC regattas is coming to Kiel in fourth place in the overall SWC standings. A ninth and a second in the following races place him five points from Lobert and only a point from Thomas Le Breton. Last year's Sailing World Cup winner and current World Champion Wright is in fourth position, a point away from the podium.
Zach Railey's young team mate Caleb Paine (USA) commented on the first racing day in Kiel. “It was tough racing out there with lots of shifts and rain showers, and puffs and lulls; there were many opportunities for making gains especially on the first beat and run. At one stage during the second race, it rained so much upwind that we couldn't see the weather mark until we were fairly close to it! It was tough for everybody but it is all part of sailing.”
About his racing, Caleb Paine admits that his objective in the regatta is top five. The 21 year old started in the Finn in 2009 with Kiel week as his first international event. This year, intense training with Zach Railey has been paying dividends, with Paine placing 10th in the Rolex Miami OCR and 11th at the Delta Lloyd regatta. He is in seventh place after a solid start and a fourth place.
Three races are scheduled in Kiel tomorrow with gusty winds and more difficult conditions that could easily reshuffle the leader-board position.