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Pair take a dip as sailors battle rough seas

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Man overboard: Pimentel climbs back into his boat after capsizing in the first race

Cameron Pimentel endured his toughest day on the water as an Olympic sailor in the most difficult racing conditions he has encountered.

Pimentel’s confidence had rocketed ahead of day three of the Laser class after his superb performance in his previous race to finish 27th.

But he fell back down to earth with a bump yesterday, struggling in the strong breeze and large waves, capsizing in both races to finishing 45th and 42nd.

Cecilia Wollmann, meanwhile, would have likely appreciated some family support after a brutal day’s sailing in the Laser Radial class.

Wollmann’s parents and sailing siblings Ellie, 20, and Mikey, 16, have travelled to Rio and are staying at a rented apartment together not far from Guanabara Bay.

The 18-year-old struggled to cope with yesterday’s windy and choppy conditions and placed 35th in the first race before a marginally better 33rd.

Pimentel’s results dropped him from 39th to 43rd overall and he is on 186 points with four races of the opening series left to sail.

“It was very challenging and it got a little chilly for me!” said Pimentel, who was among a number of sailors to take a dip in Guanabara Bay.

“My second race was ruined because I capsized right after the start and was always behind.

“Those swells were pretty big which made for some exciting downwind surfs, which was cool, but sometimes you were just holding on for dear life.

“It was really tiring, windy and wet. Like somebody threw a bucket of water in your face every three seconds.”

Pimentel knew he was in for a demanding day as soon as he peered out his window from the hotel room he shares with Dino Weber, his coach.

He said he looked forward to resting his weary legs during today’s rest day.

“You have to try really hard not to let the conditions affect you because that can weigh on you for the rest of the day,” he said.

“You just have to go out there with a good mindset and I can’t change the fact it’s going to be brutal out there.

“I think everybody was pretty challenged by those conditions.”

He added: “We probably wouldn’t have sailed had it been in Bermuda and we wouldn’t get those waves either. It seemed like they’d postponed it for a minute when the waves got up really high.”

Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia finished sixth and seventh yesterday to take the overall lead with 26 points ahead of Britain’s Nick Thompson, who placed second and first, leaving him on 35 points.

Rutger van Schaardenburg of Holland is third on 37 points after winning yesterday’s opening race.

With four races left of the opening series in the women’s event Wollmann is now 34th in a fleet of 37 on a total of 195 points.

“It was really challenging and I feel like that was one of the few race committees that would actually race in that much wind — I guess that’s because we’re at the Olympics,” she said.

“The wind and the waves were really big and made it really quite difficult on the downwind and the upwind.

“The current didn’t help as it was really strong as well. It was a pretty rough day.”

Wollmann capsized in the first race but said it was not too much of a setback.

“It was very graceful!” she said. “I had two boats next to me and was hoping for the best but it didn’t quite work out.

“It wasn’t the end of the world so it was OK. Lasers are quite easy to get back on so you can just step on the centreboard and hop back in.

“It’s not that bad as you knew a lot of other people were doing it today.”

The Olympic debutant plans to make the most of today’s rest day by becoming a tourist with her family.

“It depends on how much physical activity I’m able to do!” Wollmann said. “It’s really nice to have my family here as usually at a regatta it’s just my brother or my mom.

“It’s nice having them all here and it’s cool having a family trip to Rio.”

Wollmann said her exploits this week have inspired her brother Mikey to push for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“My older sister used to sail and now coaches while my brother is really jealous of me at the moment,” she said.

“He got to come down here and train and he’s seeing all of this and is so ready right now. He does Lasers and he’s just trying to get into as many boats as possible.”

In the women’s Laser Radial, Ireland’s Annalise Murphy had finishes of fifth and second to jump into the lead. She dominated the early portion of the London Olympics regatta before failing to medal. Paige Railey of the United States is seventh overall.