Olympic Sailing: Day 5 preview

Wednesday’s Olympic sailing action will feature continuation of the men’s Finn, men’s Laser, and women’s Laser Radial opening series, as well as the first group of races in men’s and women’s 470 and mixed Nacra 17.

Men’s Finn

The last men’s Finn gold medal not won by Sir Ben Ainslie of Great Britain was awarded at the 2000 Sydney Olympics (Ainslie still won gold at those Games, but in the Laser class). Ainslie has shifted his attention to the America’s Cup, though many anticipate that gold will remain in British hands via four-time world champion, Giles Scott.

Scott must post better results than he produced on Tuesday if he is to follow in Ainslie’s footsteps, as he currently sits 10th in the overall standings.

Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia leads the series as the fleet prepares for its third and fourth races.

Men’s Laser

Brazilian sailing legend and five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt lurks in the Men’s Laser series.

Four races into the 12-race series, Scheidt holds the eighth spot, while Julio Alsogaray of rival Argentina leads with six net points.

American Charlie Buckingham must sail better if he is to challenge for a medal. He’s managed a best finish of seventh but has two results outside the top-20.

Women’s Laser Radial

Defending gold medalist Lijia Xu of China holds a five-point lead through four races in the women’s Laser Radial series.

Paige Railey of Team USA has aspirations of challenging Xu, but she will have to gain ground on the rest of the field before those aspirations can come into play. She sits in 10th position.

Men’s 470

Team USA has a contender in this two-man class in the form of Stu McNay and Dave Hughes.

They will look to put early pressure on the Australian and Croatian teams, who are favored to take the top two spots.

Women’s 470

The American women’s 470 team of Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha won gold in the test event in Rio – the very place where they will be contending for a medal.

If they are to accomplish the feat, it will be at the expense of a strong field highlighted by duos from New Zealand, France, and Great Britain. All will look to display their speed in the early goings.

Mixed Nacra 17

The only sailing event featuring male/female partnerships also begins Wednesday. The first pair of races will shed light on who should be favored for medal consideration, although several European teams will enter with confidence and momentum.