Enoshima is famous, notorious even, for its big wave action, and that’s what the sailors got on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Alongside the big waves across Sagami Bay, the sailors thrived in 14-17 knots of consistent south westerly breeze that gave them a stern test.
Men’s Windsurfer – RS:X
Kiran Badloe shot back into the lead, looking very comfortable in the stronger breeze. Scores of 2,4,1 put the Dutchman eight points ahead of second placed Mattia Camboni, the Italian who had held the lead before today’s racing. France’s Thomas Goyard is in third place, five points adrift of Camboni.
The biggest mover of the day was Kun Bi, the tall Chinese sailor revelling in the big wind, big wave conditions with results of 1,3,2. Another windy day like that and China could be challenging for the podium.
Badloe is keeping in touch online with his friend Dorian van Rijsselberghe, the double Olympic Champion whom he beat to Dutch selection. “We have a little chat every now and again, so that’s good. He’s given me a couple of pointers. Stay calm. Do your thing. And he just reassures me that if I just do what I do, the end will be alright.”
Women’s Windsurfer – RS:X
Emma Wilson (GBR) won the first two races of the day to move into the lead of the RS:X Women’s fleet. Although a U-flag disqualification for breaking the line too soon in the final race was not the ideal end to the outing, the British windsurfer was very upbeat about her performance.
Winning the last race of the session put Yunxiu Lu just one point off the lead, the Chinese sailor looking very strong in the wind and the waves.
Although the defending Olympic Champion Charline Picon didn’t win any races, the Frenchwoman remains very consistent and only three points off the lead. The top three have formed a breakaway on the rest of the fleet, and it’s 14 points further back to Italy’s Marta Maggetti. The chasing sailors need a really good day on Thursday to threaten Great Britain, China and France for the medals.
“It was a very hard battle with Emma [Wilson] and Yunxiu [Lu], they both had very good races,” commented Picon, “but they also had one bad one, so the situation between us is very interesting. They had a better day than me but I still had a good one so we are in a good battle.”
Text & Photos: World Sailing