After battling it out in the waters off DC Park in Friday’s sailing events, five competitors will continue their quest for medals in Saturday’s Sol2023 Pacific Games finals of men’s windsurfing and women’s individual dinghy sailing.
There was a slight delay in Friday’s races due to a lower breeze, but it picked up an hour later, keeping the race going.
Reflecting on today’s final group races to the Pacific Games News Service, Ellen Sampson of Australia said: “I think it was a bit tricky and shifty, not what we’re (used to) seeing this week. So, it was a bit challenging, but it was some good learning.
“It was definitely a different type of racing. We’re used to bigger fleets normally back home, so it’s a lot more combat style of racing, which is fun.”
Regarding preparations for the medal race, she is hopeful for tomorrow’s final sail.
Overall, conditions on Friday were tough for all sailors, as Sophia Morgan of Fiji noted: “Today my goals were basically to go out there and sail my best, and I think I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
“It was really tough out there; we started off with a nice breeze about 12 knots, a north-east lane, and looking at the clouds, the rain cloud overland finally came into effect; it shifted east and died.
“So, it was tough conditions, but I think as a fleet, we all adjusted really well to it,” the Fijian sailor said.
Morgan said she is treating tomorrow’s race just like any other, so that the nerves don’t kick in.
“Even though it’s the last race, I try not to get too psyched up about it,” she added.
Summing up the action for day five, sailing race manager Rob Ridley said: “Today’s racing went well. We managed to get three races for Group A ILCA 6 in the morning and two races for the windsurfers and the boards. And after lunch, Group B of the ILCA 6 also managed to get three races.
“There were a lot of races in total, but the breeze was variable, pretty much as forecasted. So, it was a challenging day, but we were able to get all the races in, and that is what counts.”
Sailing continues on Saturday at DC Park with races from 10am, subject to weather conditions. Entry is free.
By Elron Dokese, Karen Veraro and Willie Fafale, Pacific Games News Service