Olga Górnas-Grudzien, strong favourite in the women’s Hansa 303 event at the Para World Sailing Championships at Sheboygan in the United States, has dropped dramatically from contention after being ruled to have used illegal equipment.
Having won six of her first nine races, the Polish sailor had established herself as clear favourite for gold.
But she received a disqualification in races two through to seven for using equipment in the boat that was not allowed within the Hansa 303 class rules.
As a result, defending champion Violeta del Reino of Spain, Austria’s Marina Peterer, Brazil’s Ana Paula Marques and Australia’s Genevieve Wickham are set to face off in the winner-takes-all women’s final on the last day of the event tomorrow.
Strong winds on Lake Michigan led to the cancellation of the penultimate day of competition - after days of light, challenging breeze, gusts of up to 35 knots were recorded on the racing areas.
The final day of racing is due to see the 2.4 Norlin OD sail its first ever medal race - and with Damien Seguin of France, Matt Bugg of Australia and Dee Smith of the hosts, United States, separated by just two points, the final reckoning promises to be dramatic.
Two races in the Men’s Hansa 303 yesterday decided the top 10 who will advance to the semi-final.
The top four from the semi-final will move on to a winner-takes-all final race.
Alexandra Rickham and Hannah Stodel of Britain, their compatriots Will Street and Jonathan Currell, and Canada’s John McRoberts and Scott Lutes will all contest the final in the new RS Venture Connect class.
They will be joined by one further boat from the morning’s final qualifying race.