The final day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao was filled with tension as the Medal Races decided the podium places, Rio 2016 Olympic qualification spots and Abu Dhabi World Cup Final positions.
Light wind and strong current has been a regularity throughout the week with those reading the conditions to full effect reaping the rewards. A 5-7 south eastern breeze made for a tense finale with sailors aiming to leave nothing on the water.
Chinese sailors dominated the day taking gold in the Men’s 470, Finn, Laser Radial and the Men’s and Women’s RS:X. Meanwhile, Singapore’s Justin Liu and Denise Lim in the Nacra 17, Laser sailor Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) and Japan’s Women’s 470 team took the spoils in their fleets.
The advantage going into the Laser Medal Race belonged to Great Britain’s Lorenzo Chiavarini as he owned a 17 point lead. He delivered the goods with a sixth place finish to complete a comfortable victory.
“I was a bit nervous coming into the day,” explained the British sailor, “but once I got out on the water everything started calming down.
“The race track was shorter so the gains were less today. Tiredness was also another point of the day but for me it was important to keep Tonci [Stipanovic] around me and not let him go too far.”
Croatia’s Stipanovic needed the to go massively in his favour if he was to overthrow Chiavarini. The British sailor controlled him and kept the Croatian behind him throughout the race with Stipanovic finishing second overall.
The Medal Race victory went the way of Pavlos Kontides (CYP) who moved up into the bronze medal position.
Chinese Laser Radial sailor Dongshuang Zhang loves sailing in Qingdao. She took her third consecutive victory at the event with another professional performance.
Zhang finished second in the Medal Race which confirmed her as gold medallist after the second placed Isabella Bertold (CAN) finished eighth overall.
Despite finishing 17 points clear of her rivals, taking another World Cup gold medal, 12,000 Euros in prize money and booking a spot at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Zhang was less than impressed with her performance as she explained, “The race went very well, better than yesterday. I’m not very satisfied with the regatta, I made a lot of small mistakes which I will work on little by little.”