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Sailors looking good on opening day

Bermuda’s sailors held their own on the opening day of Island Games racing in the Great Sound yesterday.

Brett Wright and Kalin Hillier occupy two of the top three spots in the Laser Radial while Malcolm Smith is third in the full Laser rig after two races.

Veteran Wright, who is the Games’ sailing co-ordinator, is currently tied for first with Guernsey’s Andrew Bridgman in the Laser Radial after posting finishes of second and fifth in light and shifty east, southeast breezes that kept sailors guessing.

“It was difficult conditions out there,” Wright said. “But I’m pleased with the way the day went.”

Hillier posted finishes of sixth and second to end the day tied for third with Ynys Mon’s Bleddyn Mon.

Past World Sunfish champion Smith managed a fourth and second to place himself among the early medal contenders in the 16-boat full Laser rig fleet.

With better fortunes on the windward-leeward racecourse, Smith might’ve finished the day higher up the leaderboard.

He was as high as second on the second beat in the first race but lost precious ground after missing a big shift that crept across the racecourse.

“I got too far to the right and missed the left shift,” he said. “I probably should have stayed and covered the fleet and not given up ground like that.”

The past Male Athlete of the Year Award winner led the second race on the final leeward run to the finish line but was bumped into second after being overtaken by Aland’s Niklas Aresschoug who won both races to set the early pace.

“You just had to be conservative and patient and try and get clear air off the start line,” added Smith. “But you have to be happy with a second and fourth.”

Ynys Mon’s Dyfrig Mon currently sits in second while Smith’s compatriot Rockal Evans is sixth.

Evans, the grandson of late Bermuda Olympic sailor Howard Lee, struggled in the light air conditions but did well to post finishes of fifth and ninth.

“It was kind of a tough start for me,” he said. “It was not my conditions, kind of light wind for my size.

“But I was hanging there and hopefully we will have more breeze later in the week.”

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Published July 15, 2013 at 9:11 am (Updated July 15, 2013 at 9:10 am)

Sailors looking good on opening day

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