Cypriot sailing athlete Pavlos Kontides’ hopes of a podium finish at Rio 2016 are fading after he finished 19th in the second race of the Laser Category.
Kontides, who made history for the island by winning a first ever medal for Cyprus at London 2012 with his second place finish, got off to a stormy start on Monday and will be looking to pick up lost ground in Race 3 later on Tuesday.
Fellow athlete – windsurfer Andreas Cariolou – is currently 15th in the RS:X event.
Fluky winds, moderate currents and crowded upwind fleet racing challenged sailors on the Olympic regatta’s opening day as Britain’s Nick Dempsey and France’s Charlie Picon took impressive leads in the men’s and women’s RS:X windsurf class.
Winds on the Escola Naval course were steady and to rising between 11 and 14 knots only to later shift direction and weaken in a day which also saw action in the men’s Laser and women’s Laser Radial single-person dinghy competitions.
In the tougher and more inconsistent later conditions, Croatia’s Tonci Stepanovic and the Netherlands Marti Bouwmeester led their respective classes after defending gold medallist Xu Lijia was disqualified from the second Laser Radial race on Monday after a right-of-way protest.
Both Dempsey and Picon picked up two firsts and a second in their three RS:X races. Dempsey’s strong starts allowed him to lead all three races from the beginning, taking the first two with barely a challenge. There are seven races and a medal round left.