Great day of sailing for the Canucks! Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn have qualified Canada and themselves for London 2012. The Canadian duo finished 10th in the fleet actually tied for 9th place with Polgar/Koy of Germany. The tie was broken on a count back to see who finished ahead in the last race.
Clarke/Bjorn's ranking puts them in the 9th Country position out of a total of 11 countries spots available in Perth. They also qualify for the medal race tomorrow with a best case scenario of moving up to 7th spot in the final standings.
The Star duo reflect on their achievements thus far, "finishing 10th in the fleet racing was just a little too close for comfort", Richard says.
"We have to finish in the top 10 here under the Canadian trials system to auto qualify and we got in just under the wire." Tyler goes on to say: "we will have to reassess after the regatta to see where we can improve but our focus is still on improving our position in tomorrow's medal race."
The team will soon be sailing a brand new Star boat, supported by Own the Podium, and is currently on route to Europe for the spring events and some training at the Olympic Regatta site in Weymouth, England. Clarke/Bjorn's primary training partners are the Brazilian team of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. The Brazilian pair dominated the fleet and currently sit in 1st place going into the medal race with an 18 point lead.
This will be Clarke's fifth time going to the Olympic Games and Tyler's first, however the Games are not a foreign experience for the Bjorn family. Both Tyler's father and brother, Kai Bjorn are Olympians in the sport of Sailing. Kai sailed with Bruce MacDonald in 2000 in Sydney, and father Peter sailed with Ian Bruce at the Munich Olympics in1972. Tyler was welcomed onshore by wife Tara Siev, and children, Shayne and Holly. Richard's wife, Andria Scanlan and daughter Zoe were waiting by the phone back home on Salt Spring Island, BC. Richard's father was also an Olympian in the Finn Class in 1972. There is no doubt that sailing talent runs in their blood. Best of luck to the Star team going into the medal race tomorrow.
The 49ers also had something to celebrate on the water today. Cook/Lowden sailed consistently in the silver fleet and finally got to put their excellent speed to work with finishes of 14, 1 and 4. Nice bullet on Race 2! Ladha/Inkpen scored a 13, 18 and 3 on the day. Cook/Lowden moved up to 29th overall and Ladha/Inkpen in 35th.
Stay tuned going into the final days of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships as the RSX Men, Lasers, 470 Women, 49ers and Stars all battle out in their final races over the next 2 days.
Full results can be found at www.perth2011.com