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Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) retains the overall lead in the Qualifying Series – photo Mark Lloyd.

After another glorious day of racing on the Gulf of Oman, Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) retains the overall lead in the Qualifying Series at the Laser Radial Women’s World Championship. Marit Bouwmeester (NED), the reigning world champion, also retains her second overall despite a relatively poor day on the race course.

he wind played true to form with a light breeze in the morning forcing a short postponement but finished off with winds up in the mid teens that provided exciting racing for the 100-strong fleet.

Number two-ranked Rindom (25), representing Horsens Sejlklub in Jutland, Denmark, had a mixed day with a poor result in the first race of the day, which she was able to discard, but was back on form for race two, which she won. Naturally she came ashore this afternoon with a smile on her face.

“It was a tough day because it was very up and down. The first race was bad. I had a good start but from then on it was really bad and I made a lot of mistakes. Thankfully I made up for it in the second race,” she said.

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Marit Bouwmeester (NED), the reigning world champion, in second – photo Mark Lloyd.

Second-placed Bouwmeester (NED) was not quite so happy about her day but is pleased to have kept her top result. As she stepped ashore after a tough final race, Bouwmeester said: “It was an okay day but I have to say, I am not too pleased with myself. I always try to do my best but today I failed myself a bit. Hopefully I will have a better day tomorrow.”

The transition from light to heavier winds this afternoon resulted in some extremely shifty conditions, which made for even more tactical racing. One notable performance came from Viktorija Andrulyte (LTU). This 23-year-old, lightweight sailor from Kaunas – the second-largest city in Lithuania – recently qualified her country for the Olympics. She sailedexceptionally well in the first race of the day and won Blue group by an impressive 1 minute, 6 seconds over Tuula Tenkanen (FIN), who is currently lying third overall in the rankings.

Andrulyte commented: “Today was all about taking the shifts and I think that, combined with my lightweight, was the key to my win. I had a bit of a poor start but I took the shifts and got to the mark in the top three. I was then able to extend on that and have a good lead at the finish.”

Lijia Xu (CHN), reigning Olympic champion who has returned to sailing after a two-year break, had another reasonable day including a third place in Yellow group in race 2. This leaves her in fourth place in the rankings. Xu (28) said the wind trend on the race course today was very typical: “When the wind picks up it veers and shifts to the right. It is tough, but I am trying to sail as fast as I can and also to learn from others and to learn from mistakes.”

Fellow Chinese sailor Min Gu sailed well today scoring a first place in the opening race of the day in the same group, which keeps her well up the rankings even with a 21st to count.

Tomorrow (Sunday) will see the final Qualifying Series races (5 and 6) take place. The start time is scheduled for 1300 local time (CET +3) and once again the fleet will split into Yellow and Blue groups, the results of which will cumulate to determine the overall rankings.

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