World champion, Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary, holds the lead after the epic opening day of the Olympic test event – Ready Steady Tokyo – in Enoshima, Japan. Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands is second, while Olympic and European Champion, Giles Scott, from Britain, is third.
After three days of typhoon weather, Saturday dawned with near perfect conditions, complete with a large swell left over from the high winds. Clear blue skies and soaring temperatures meant a hot day on the water, made even hotter by the tight racing among the 22 Finn sailors. The onshore wind of 12-18 knots meant sailing was tough, though the wind did ease at times. It was a tough but beautiful day to be on the water and the sailors loved it.
Facundo Olezza, from Argentina was the early leader in Race 1, but Scott was right behind him and took the lead at the gate from Jonathan Lobert of France. While Scott went on to claim victory, Heiner came through for second while Berecz moved up to third.
He Chen, from China led round the top mark in Race 2 after a tricky first beat. Berecz rounded second and had a nice lead by the gate, to extend to win. Heiner again came through for second, while Ioannis Mitakis took third.
Berecz said, “As we expected we had beautiful conditions, around 17-18 knots with the big waves. During the training it proved to be good conditions for me and I didn’t make any mistakes today. I stayed with the fleet and trusted my speed and I delivered the best I could do. So it was a very solid day.”
Max Salminen, from Sweden, the 2017 world champion agreed. “It was brutal conditions. It was really nice though. Wind, big waves, sunny, hot, as expected I think. The racing was great and I think Luigi [Peter Reggio] did a good job like always and it was fair racing and all good. Tight racing.”
Scott commented, “It was super hot today, the downwind especially I think everyone was struggling with the heat which was a bit of an eye opener. Almost all the nations are walking around in cooling vests onshore and rightly so. It’s really hot out there on the water.”
“Two races and a good start for me to the regatta. I’m a little annoyed about the second race when it went a little bit funky up the first beat – puffs of 20 knots, lulls of 10. It made things pretty tricky but for me a consistent day and I will take it as an opener.”
Heiner was happy with his day. “Great first day. We had some weird conditions between races where it dropped to about six knots but it was great sailing. Nice big waves and good fun downwind. Still it was a great first day with two seconds and consistent. So good fun racing.”
Berecz commented on the forecast for the rest of the week. “Unfortunately this will be the last day with wind. From tomorrow our forecast is for very light wind under 8 knots. I hope they can make some good and fair races for the next few days and we keep pushing until the end.”
Results after Day 1
1 HUN Zsombor Berecz 4
2 NED Nicholas Heiner 4
3 GBR Giles Scott 7
4 NOR Anders Pedersen 12
5 NZL Andrew Maloney15
6 SWE Max Salminen 16
7 GRE Ioannis Mitakis17
8 USA Luke Muller 18
9 SUI Nils Theuninck20
10 AUS Jake Lilley 20
Ready Steady Tokyo, the Olympic test event is a series of 10 opening series races from Saturday 17, August to Wednesday 21, August. The top 10 will then sail the medal race on Thursday 22 August.
Full results (when some technical issues have been solved) can be found here: https://tokyo2020.org/en/special/readysteadytokyo/sailing/results/