eighth and bronze winner, Austria’s Thomas Zajac with new crew Barbara Matz are 19th.
The Danes Cenhholt and Lübeck have been as impressively consistent on the Camargue’s Baie d’Aigues Mortes as they were winning on their home waters.
Britain’s leading helm Saxton, who finished ninth in Rio and is one of the most experienced in the fleet having started in 2013 when he was runner up for the world title, warned:
“The Danes are fast, start well and are good upwind and downwind. But it is a going to get a lot tougher. It is wicked to be here among all these good sailors. I relish the opportunity from here.”
But theirs is a potent pairing, the fresh drive and impetus brought aboard from the powerful, smart Dabson complementing Saxton’s experience, “We are good at cracking on, never switching off, we work hard and are good at regrouping and getting going again and that makes us quite nice and consistent.” Saxton said today, “Katie has been great. There are not many sailors could hop on to the boat in May and already have a Europeans medal. Credit to her. She puts a lot of effort in and that goes a long way.”
“Some people are playing (with their boats) more than others. I tried a new setting today in the boat, just how you set the power up in the boat, and that seemed to work and so we are learning every day.” Saxton concluded.
Fourth in Rio, New Zealand’s Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are nicely poised in fourth. Saunders said. “Overall today we are happy because the wind was a bit fickle on our course. We are happy with our start to the regatta The first objective was to be in the gold fleet and not to do anything stupid Now the serious things start tomorrow. We are in the match but the intensity goes up and up from here. Before the regatta we had worked hard at sailing upwind with the gennaker and that was not allowed so we had to regroup, relearn a lot of stuff. But we have been making good starts which are not usually our best points. So these are good learnings now to carry forwards to the Finals. We are looking to finish up in the Top 5.”
Standings after 9 races inc 1 discard
1 Lin Ea Cenholt Christensen/Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN)29pts (12, 1, 1, 3, 4,4, (19), 2, 2)
2 Ben Saxton/Katie Dabson (GBR) 31pts (6,4,2,6,5,2 (10), 1,5)
3 Iker Martinez/Olga Maslivets (ESP) 38pts (1,(11), 9,4,7,1,4,1,11)
4 Gemma Jones/Jason Saunders (NZL) 40pts (3,5,4,(14), 3,7,5,11,2)
5 Moana Vaireaux/Manon Audinet (FRA) 43pts (6,5,7,4,3,3,9,6,(10))
6 Santiago Lange/Cecilia Carranza (ARG) 45pts (9,7,3,1,8,6,(12), 10, 1)
7 Ruggero Tita/Caterina Banti (ITA) 46pts (12,2,10,6,1,2,3 (18), 10)
8 Jason Waterhouse/Lisa Dalmanin (AUS) 47pts (4,9,12,5,1,5,(13),4,7)
9 Pablo Defazio/Dominique Knuppel (URU) 47pts (5,3,5,5,14,(17), 3,9,3)
10 John Gimson/Anna Burnett (GBR) 50pts (3,4,2,(14),6,7,7,13,8)