Brazil's Jorge Zarif used his knowledge of Guanabara Bay to his advantage on the opening day of Finn racing as he took a bullet and a second.

The 21-year-old first took to the bay when he was seven years and having trained regularly inside and outside of the bay he came to the forefront on the opening day.

"It was a good day," said Zarif, 2013 Finn World Champion. "I've sailed here since I was seven in the Optimist but seriously I've been training here a lot for the last four or five years. Especially in the Naval School Course because it's the one we will use more but we always sail by the bridge and outside."

Seventeen Finns will mix up racing on the Ponte course which is inside the bay and Niteroi, outside of the bay. Rio 2016 will see 23 take to water and Zarif is relishing racing in conditions that will be present in 2016, "I like the fleet size because the Olympics will be like this. It's close to what we will have and normally I don't have good starts in big fleets so for me it's better to have fewer boats."

Ed Wright (GBR) sits second overall on six points with Giles Scott (GBR) third overall.

Wright said, "It's always very tricky out there, but we had two good races and the race management was pretty good. We got the races done and we were back in quite quickly. It's good to see that at the Rio Test Event," he explained.

"Just learning the whole venue is a priority of being here, and I'm definitely learning so I'm pretty happy about that. Speed is key, but it's very shifty as well."

Scott won the second race. He said, "It was a good start and it's nice to get the regatta underway." He said the fleet had enjoyed good wind conditions on the most northerly Ponte (Bridge) course.

"We got out to the Bridge course and there was a pretty solid 10-11 knots. The first race got away and it was a pretty even race track. I rounded in the pack and I was racing around in it all race, which is never the easiest. It was a real pump-off downwind and I ended up finishing seventh. Let's just say it was trying!

"There was then a bit of a nervous start in the second race with the individual recall flag staying up," Scott recounted.

"I was in the middle of the line and I think I was safe. I played the middle right upwind and rounded in second just behind the Brazilian and managed to get him on the first reach. That was kind of it after that. I maintained the gap from there."

Racing in the Finn and RS:X resumes on 4 August at 13:00 whilst the remaining seven fleets kick off racing. All five race courses will be used on the second day of racing.

Media coverage and results from the Aquece Rio will be delivered by the Rio 2016 team and ISAF through www.aquecerio.com/en/competicoes.php and http://www.sailing.org/2014-test-event.php

 

By ISAF, RYA

 

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