BATTLE HOTS UP
The battle for the Volvo Trophy, the prize awarded to the top nation overall, is intense as the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship reaches a critical phase.
Four races have been completed across all seven events, with a scheduled seven remaining. France leads the standings on 142 points. The holder, Great Britain, lies in second place on 123 points. Italy is third on 112 points with the host nation Brazil fourth on 91 points.
Singapore completes the top five on 64 points. Scores are calculated across all classes with 10 points awarded for a first, nine for a second etc down to one for a tenth place finish.
The top four point scorers for each nation are combined and together they equal the nation's score for that race. So with 40 points up for grabs in each race, the standings can change rapidly over the course of just one race.
Yesterday was a lay day with competitors taking a well-deserved break to re-focus their efforts for the racing to come.
Today three races are scheduled across all seven events with the first starts at 12:00 local time (15:00 UTC). The discard will kick in after race five, with the total number of discards this year reduced from two to one. Three races are also planned for Thursday, with the final and decisive race of the championship (there's no medal race at the Youth Worlds) for each event held on Friday.
There are sure to be plenty of trading places in the overall standings as the discard comes into play. With very tricky, shifty wind conditions yesterday and during the second race of the opening day, a lot of teams are currently hold one high score which they'll be looking forward to dropping from their overall points total.