Some of the most difficult sailing conditions of Mat Belcher’s trophy-laden career greeted the 470 gold medal hope in his first Rio race.
Despite making 10 trips to train in Rio in the lead up to the Olympic Games, London gold medallist Belcher and partner Will Ryan faced something they hadn’t seen before.
Not that it particularly bothered him.
“This is what the Games are about, it’s supposed to be difficult, supposed to be challenging, supposed to really test yourself.”
The pair finished eighth in the first race and won the second race to sit second overall behind Croatians Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic.
Tricky winds and rain played havoc with boats in all races, with some sailors losing all momentum when they least expected.
“We had to fight for every metre, every second, and it made it very tricky out there,” women’s 470 sailor Carrie Smith told reporters.
“We had lots of rain and a cloud driven day, it made it really challenging.”
Smith and partner Jaime Ryan finished 17th and eighth to sit 12th overall after their first two races of the Games.
Laser sailor Tom Burton dropped from fourth to fifth in a tight field, but he still has four races to go before the top 10 medal race.
He is 17 points behind the leader, Croatian Tonci Stipanovic, and just eight points off second.
Cousins Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin finished sixth and eighth in their first Nacra 17 races to sit fourth overall.
Laser Radial sailor Ashley Stoddart is 11th overall after six races – she also finished 11th in both of her races on Wednesday.
In the Finn, Jake Lilley is 15th overall after four races.