DORSET'S Olympic sailors flourished on day three at Tokyo 2020, with Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey collecting two race wins. 

The Portland-based duo, competing in the 49erFX class, got off to a dream start by winning both of their opening races, backing it up with a sixth to top the overall charts.

Windier conditions also helped fellow Portland pair Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell in the 49er.

Although narrowly beaten to the win in only race of the day by the Irish pairing of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, they sit second overall.

Elliot Hanson also moved up into eighth in the Laser with a third and 10th, however he now carries a 28th as a discard from his final race.

Ali Young continued her steady progress through the Laser Radial fleet, moving up to 12th with two 12th-place race finishes.

Tidey, 28, said: “It was a super tricky day and a day where you have to have teamwork involved.

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"My job as crew is keep the boat fast in the water and not create any noise or distraction and Charlotte is head out of the boat and see where the next gains are coming from. 

"It was up and down with wind strength today so super, super hard, but we had a good one.

“What’s important for us is not to do anything that surprises us or anyone else, with the conditions out there we just need to keep it consistent and back each other to deliver what we already know.”

Dorset Echo: Saskia Tidey, left, and Charlotte Dobson top the 49erFX standings Picture: SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILINGSaskia Tidey, left, and Charlotte Dobson top the 49erFX standings Picture: SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

Dobson, 35, added: “It was a great day. I think if someone had told us we would have those results on day one yesterday we would have grabbed their hand off. 

"Today was about being a bit boring but brave if we saw an opportunity and that’s what we did a little bit.

“It is really tricky sailing these boats in shifty conditions were there is such differences in pressure.

"You’re in the middle of a manoeuvre and you get a massive wind shift it doesn’t make you look great when you capsize in an event like this but it’s so easy to do.

"I’m grateful that we avoided it today and I hope it’s not our turn tomorrow.

“There’s a range of results and I think that is the nature of puffy, windy racing, certainly in Japan.

"We have seen this in preparations over the last couple of years so I think, you know, the boring things, it’s going to be a long series and just try and stay out of trouble.

"We will try and put together a series, it’s not very exciting, it’s boring, but if we can have as many boring days as possible then that is great.

“The lead up to this regatta has been less than seven knots, and then you have these conditions.

"I don’t think everyone is dialled in to the conditions yet but we have been racing these types of conditions here for the last four years.

"You just have to get the notebook out and try to remember the tempo of those days and how those days feel.

“Sometimes it was fast and sometimes it was slow today. I don’t think it was much of a boat speed day.

"I think it was the type of day that Sas does really well which is make the boat quiet and she’s all over making the boat go well so I can get my head out of the boat and look around so we have on maximum focus on where we should be.”

Dorset Echo: Stuart Bithell, left, and Dylan Fletcher are second in the 49er Picture: SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILINGStuart Bithell, left, and Dylan Fletcher are second in the 49er Picture: SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

Fletcher, 33, said: “A good start. Not quite as good as my fiancé's (Dobson) but we’ll take that. Second place. There’s some rivalry but we do wish each other the best.

“I’d love to start the Olympics with two bullets but ultimately we’ve got to focus on our role and we’re just happy that our first race was solid, so we’re happy with that.

“I guess every country has had different levels of lockdown and restrictions but for us we’re lucky we had a strong British squad to train with and they really helped push us and it has been fantastic.

“I think it’s definitely been an unusual Games but ultimately you’ve just got to do it on the water and hope that that’s enough.

“In the 49er class especially Britain has been really strong but at this point we’ve never won gold so it would be amazing and quite a fairy tale if we could finish that off here.”

Bithell, 34, added: “Yeah we had a good race, second going down the last run. I think the Irish got a little bit conservative and opened the door a little bit. 

"There was an opportunity for us to try to nip ahead of them on the finish line but they just managed to hold on and it was quite good fun actually on the slipway just winding them up a little bit, but it’s all good fun. We like the Irish.

“There’s rivalry throughout everyone really. Everyone’s here to do a job and there’s going to be fierce rivalry to the end I imagine.

“I think we’re feeling confident.

"It’s not been the perfect lead up for anyone, we’ve certainly not had as much time in venue as we had hoped this year and neither has anyone else.

"So, yeah, we’re obviously happy with how things have gone today, and not just results, but some of the processes in place, so yeah we’re really happy with those.”

Dorset Echo: Ali Young moved up to 12th in the Laser Radial Picture: SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILINGAli Young moved up to 12th in the Laser Radial Picture: SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

Young, 34, said: “There were pretty big shifts out on the course today. There were big pressure differences so it was tough racing.

"It was polar opposite of what we had in the training beforehand. Every day seems to be different conditions and it’s about trying to adapt to each new day.

“I feel like I am battling hard but not making much progress. Today was fun racing but it just didn’t turn out that good for me.

“I’ll do a little review of how I’ve got on so far and see what I can change to attack the next four races.”

Laser and Radial take a break tomorrow as windsurfers return to action, joining the Finn, 49er and 49erFX racers.

There is also the first taste of racing for 470 men and women, including Team GB flagbearer Hannah Mills, and the Nacra 17.