If you’re a sailor, the wind is your friend. If you’re a rower, well, not so much.

"Sometimes there's not enough wind for sailing and too much for rowing," International Olympic Committee's Sports Director Kit McConnell said. "This is a normal part of every Olympic Games."

Like the winds at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour, the sailing competitions at the Tokyo Games were a little slow to get going, but with the first medal races due to take place at the weekend the tempo is picking up, along with the wind and the waves.

The changeable conditions caused by an offshore typhoon this week have seen the opening days of the 11-day regatta experience everything from complete stillness to strong gusts and sweltering heat, often all on the same day.

For rowers, winds wreaked havoc in scheduling and made competition challenging. Wind may have been a factor in the men's four final on Wednesday at Tokyo's Sea Forest Waterway when Great Britain’s vessel veered off course as they approached the finish line. They finished fourth after topping the podium at the previous five Games.

At the sailing venue on Wednesday, the flags of the competing nations were strung out in the strong wind, as reigning Olympic champion Hannah Mills and her team-mate Eilidh McIntyre entered the fray in the 470 dinghy class, finishing a respectable fourth.

The race saw the Swedish pairing of Olivia Bergstrom and Lovisa Karlsson capsize briefly in the heavy swell, but they will have plenty of opportunities to redeem themselves in the nine remaining races to decide who will contest the medals.

Earlier in the afternoon, the men's and women's RS:X windsurfers competed on their second-last day of qualifying ahead of Saturday's medal races.

Reuters contributed to this report.

The choppy waves were not ideal for fast racing, but British competitor Emma Wilson, who is leading reigning Olympic champion Charline Picon of France after eight of the 12 qualifiers, said borrowing from another discipline helps her deal with them.

"I don't even notice them that much. I try and find my inner surfer," she said after one of the early rounds. "I'm not very good at surfing, but I just keep doing simple things well."

Having won three of the nine races so far, three-time world champion Kiran Badloe of the Netherlands leads the men's standings ahead of Italy's Mattia Camboni and Thomas Goyard of France, with the last three qualifying races to be held on Thursday afternoon.