Tobin third at RS:X world championships

By Michael Brown

JP Tobin. Photo / Greg Bowker
JP Tobin. Photo / Greg Bowker

JP Tobin has further enhanced his Olympic credentials by sitting third after 10 races at the RS:X boardsailing world championships in Spain overnight (NZT).

Tobin overcame the biggest hurdle by usurping Olympic champion Tom Ashley for the one New Zealand spot at London but has continued his good form at the world championships. In the fourth day of racing, the 35-year-old claimed two seconds and a fourth in strong 30-knot winds off the Bay of Cadiz to jump from fifth to third.

Ashley, who might have been hoping to prove to the Olympic selectors they were premature in selecting Tobin, has had a difficult regatta and finished 24th, 20th and 15th to sit in 29th overall.

What makes Tobin's achievements all the more remarkable is the fact he finished fifth at last year's sailing world championships, which doubled as the Olympic trials, with fish spikes in his feet. His preparations for the world championships were disrupted by an operation to remove the spikes.

He's finished no worse than fifth in his nine counting scores to date in Spain - racers drop their worst result, which was 13th for Tobin - and have two more races tonight (NZT) before the medal round. The forecast is for the winds to increase.

"Three more races in +30, my arms are now a couple of inches longer,'' Tobin tweeted after today's racing.

Fellow Kiwi Natalia Kosinska's chance of convincing the selectors to take her to London remain in the air after a mediocre showing in Spain. She posted two 12ths and a 21st in today's racing to jump from 25th to 19 but will want to jump higher in the standings.

New Zealand have qualified a women's RS:X spot at this year's Olympics but Kosinska's name was missing when the initial sailing team was announced. At the very least, she will want to break into the top 16 to meet criteria set by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

- APNZ

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