(Adds women’s Laser Radial-class race canceled, medal race rules, 420-class preliminary cancellation, 49er results)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Olympic medal races in the men’s Laser and women’s Laser Radial single-person dinghy classes were canceled on Monday and rescheduled for Tuesday, the men’s for too little wind and the women’s for too much, World Sailing, the sport’s governing body said.
After a nearly three and a half hour delay in light winds that left flags dangling on their staffs and boats bobbing in Guanabara Bay, the Rio Olympic Regatta’s race committee pulled the plug on the planned men’s race on the fickle Pao de Acucar course off Flamengo Beach.
As the women were preparing to race, winds returned with a force. A sudden squall under sunny skies from the south-west promised exciting racing only to gust up to and over 30 knots, well above the 25-knot limit under class rules for a start, World Sailing said.
While sailors love wind, too much can make it hard for the race committee to set a fair course. It can also be dangerous, especially for high-performance Olympic boats.
Sailors will try again tomorrow.
If Tuesday brings another medal-race cancellation, Laser and Laser Radial medals will go to the current leaders after 10 opening round races. Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic would win gold, Australia’s Tom Burton silver and New Zealand’s Sam Meech bronze.
In the Laser Radial, The Netherlands’s Marit Bouwmeester is in first, Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom in second and Ireland’s Annalise Murphy in third.
Tuesday also has a medal race scheduled in the Finn heavy one-man dinghy. The Nacra mixed-sex catamaran medal race has been moved to Wednesday.
Sailing was also canceled on Monday in the men’s and women’s 470 two-person dinghy classes. Make up preliminary round races are scheduled for Tuesday.
The only racing on Monday was in the men’s 49er and women’s 49erFX two-person skiff classes with three races each on open ocean courses outside Guanabara Bay.
After 10 races, New Zealand duo of helmsman Peter Burling and crew Blair Tuke lead the 20-boat men’s fleet with 21 points. Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel are in second with 39.
In the women’s 49erFX Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez and Berta Betanzos Moro are in first with 30 points, and New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech in second with 34. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Hay)