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13 May 2011, 10:14 am
2011 Nations Cup Regional Final Oceania Underway in Sydney
Maiko Sato (JPN)
Maiko Sato leads Price at 2011 ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final Oceania

ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final - Oceania (Open & Women)
Sydney, Australia

Japan's Maiko Sato made her move in close racing on day two of the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final Oceania in Australia while Laurie Jury (NZL) leads the open division.
Close racing kept umpires and the race committee busy on day two of the ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final Oceania. Maiko Sato (JPN) and her team were the big improvers of the day, settling in to match racing and the Elliott 6m.

Sato took a lot from the training on Thursday and commented 'In the lighter breeze today we had good boat speed and the match clinic was a great help. We were very pleased with our two wins today and one of our losses was so close'. Sato's loss to Olivia Price (AUS) was only by one metre. In this race Price came around the top mark a boat length behind Sato but managed to get to the favoured leeward side. Price gybed early for the finish, making a cleaner gybe and managed to take the win by the smallest margin.

Laurie Jury (NZL) was in winning form, not dropping a race until he met Evan Walker (AUS) for the third time. Jury incurred a penalty on the start line and with a lead up the first leg, decided to take his penalty bringing him back to even with Walker. The two continued to engage throughout the race but Walker was able to extended away from Jury towards the finish, crossing the line 10 seconds ahead.

With only one race to sail in the Open Division on Saturday, Jury will finish on top and will meet Walker in the finals.

Tugdual Piriou and his team from New Caledonia will take considerable experience back home with them to push ahead with the match racing program which is developing in their country following the purchase of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's fleet of 10 Elliott 6.0m earlier this year.

In the Women's Division, placings will go down to the last race between Sato and Olivia Powrie (NZL) to see who will meet Price in the final.

With a 25 knot southerly due on Saturday, the race committee pushed through the triple round robin which leaves one flight still to be sailed in round robin three before going into finals to determine which teams will receive an invitation to the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Sheboygan in September.

For a list of competing teams log on to http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=5272

The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the world's top match racing nations in both open and women's events and to develop match racing infrastructure around the world. The Nations Cup encompasses a series of eight Regional Finals from March to July 2011, from which the top team will qualify for the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, which will take place in Sheboygan, USA from 13-18 September 2011.

Nations Cup Microsite.

Jennifer Crooks
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