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Race Report day 4 ... and there's blood on the carpet

After a quiet rest day when there was little wind, low cloud cover and no sun, we woke this morning to find more of the same. The only addition to the harbor was a 240 metre tanker. It is not easy to moor such a large ship in a discreet position which leaves the racing area unaffected. Full marks to the Race Committee for finding the space to run a normal program.

Now that the fleets have been fixed with the top half racing in the gold fleets and the rest in the silver. We have changed the procedure so that the two gold  fleets go out together. So the Top men and women left the beach for an 1100 hr start. leaving the silver fleets to take the afternoon session starting 1300 hrs.

First off the start line were the women. For once the Spanish dream team were not in control. Marina Alabau [ESP5] put in a modest 6 followed by an 8. Blanca Manchon [ESP1]  an 8 and a 3. Some racers would happily take those scores and call them good. It is a measure of the expectations of these two to describe their day by using the phrase 'damage limitation'

Agata Brygola [POL20] was one of two hot riders today. Charline Picon [FRA4]  was the other. They swapped first and second places. Both have taken the elevator up the overall standings. Agata takes to second place and Charline to 4th.

She heads a pack of three French racers. Eugenie Ricard [FRA22] is back in 5th and sailing a conservative championship. She is still in the hunt. That is for sure. But her's is a campaign that relies on others making mistakes.

Back in 5th tonight is  Marine Rambaud [FRA50]. Realistically her hopes for a medal must be fading fast.  She is carrying a BFD discard and a 21st place finish today. She is 19 points off the podium. A lot to make up.

Marina Alabau [ESP5] still has a 7 point cushion in first place. Blanca and Agata are one point apart. The window of opportunity is closing fast. Two more races tomorrow and then its the medal race on Thursday. A good day on Wednesday and Marina could be home and dry!

Over in the men's gold fleet, there were some serious blood shed today. Dorian van Rijsselberge [NED8] put in a 21 and 23 and has therefore taken the fast route down the order to 6th. Carlos Santos [BRA1] was pretty disgusted with his 44 and 45 as he handed in his red lycra tonight. For him it is all over.

Nick Dempsey [GBR1] had a bad first race taking 13th place but he was back in form for the second taking 2nd. He now leads by 6 points from Nimrod Mashiah [ISR21]. Przemyslaw Miarczynski [POL126], the King of the Breeze, is in 3rd. Despite the marginal conditions, Pont logged an 8 and a 6.

His team mate Piotr Myszka [POL82] went even better. His 1 and a 4 promoted him to 7 overall. The other guy to have a good day was Byron Kokalanis [GRE8]  who put in a 2 and a 3.

So where does that leave the top 7. There are 3 points between 4th and 7th placed Piotr Myszka [POL82] who is 17 points adrift of Nick Dempsey [GBR1] on the top step of the podium and 11 points adrift of silver. The championship is therefore wide open. All Nick has to do is put in one more good full day's racing tomorrow and he will go into the medal race in a strong position.

We will be tracking the medal races on Thursday so you will be able to watch the two biggest races of 2009 LIVE. Make a note in your diary and plan your day accordingly. The medal races are not likely to start before 1400hrs so that it is the time to take the phone off the hook and put the busy notice on your office door!

We'll confirm the actual start times tomorrow.