Smith and Ryan Chasing Medal Race on Olympic Debut

Sailing | Published: Tue 16 August 2016
Sailing: Women’s 470
Athlete: Carrie Smith
Venue: Marina da Gloria

In a stop, start campaign cruelled by light winds, Australia's 470 sailors Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan were back in action on Day 10 of competition as they continued their quest to book a spot in the medal round at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Following further delays due to unfavourable weather conditions, the fleet were making up for lost time, with Smith and Ryan advancing their medal race cause with a sixth place effort in the first race of the day, before backing up with a fighting 14th to keep themselves within striking distance with three fleet races remaining.

On their Olympic debut, Smith and Ryan made a strong start as action resumed, positioning themselves at the front of the fleet in race 1 – heading around the early marks in fourth place.

The girls held onto that position until mid-race where they were overtaken by three crews, drifting to eighth position. A strong downwind propelled the girls back up the leaderboard, eventually crossing the finish line in sixth place in a time of 53:31mins.

The first race was won by Austria, with Chile and Germany rounding out the top three.

A slow start proved costly for the 470 duo in the second race, finding themselves towards the back of the fleet and unable to make ground on the leaders. They did manage to turn the last mark in 13th, but slipped back to 14th at the line, in a time of 47:02.

The race was won by Great Britain, with USA and New Zealand second and third respectively.

With three fleet races remaining, the Australians currently occupy 11th position overall, with 79 points. The top 10 progress to the medal round, with the Aussies just three points off 10th spot, with incumbents Chile ahead on 76 points.

Leading the charge for Olympic gold are Great Britain – on 28 points – with USA (34) and Austria (44) currently holding the medal positions.

Competition continues on Day 11.