Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and USA To Line Up In Semis At Team Racing Worlds
The USA, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain will move forward to the semi-final stages as the teams in Perth prepare for the final day of the 2009 ISAF Team Racing World Championship.
Although several races of the final round robin still remain to be sailed on Sunday morning, the top four nations in Perth have already done enough to secure themselves a place in the semi-final line up. Whilst nations can enter multiple teams at the Team Racing Worlds, only one team per nation can qualify for the knockout stages. With the top teams from Ireland and Japan trailing well back in the standings, USA - winners of the last three Team Racing World titles, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain will all definitely be represented in the semi-final stage. However, the battle between which teams from each of these four nations will go down to the wire tomorrow.
Click here for our photo gallery from Perth.
The defending ISAF Team Racing World Champions, Clay BISCHOFF, Lisa KEITH, Colin MERRICK, Amanda CALLAHAN, Pete LEVESQUE and Liz HALL of USA 1 from New York Yacht Club, appear certain to line up as one of the four semi-finalists. After a blip in round robin three of Friday, they were back to their best today, winning all 10 of their matches to date in round robin four. They lie first in the overall standings with only four losses in their 49 matches translating to an impressive 92% winning record.
AUS 1, who won the Under 21 championship title on Wednesday, are next best on 35 wins and a 71% record. Jasper WARREN, Jamie TURNER, David GILMOUR, Aimee NEGRI, Luke PARKINSON and Patrick VOS from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club have found their best form since racing moved from the South of Perth Yacht Club to their home venue on Thursday. Thanks to their performances in round robins three and four they have moved just ahead of NZL 1 and AUS 2 up to second place in the overall standings. However, the AUS 2 team from the Royal Perth Yacht Club, featuring Luc TASKER, Brett SHARPE, Blair SPAULDING, Kirsty PACKER, Steven THOMAS and Greta CARROLL, are just two wins behind AUS 1 on a 69% record so a huge battle is set for tomorrow morning to decide which of the two local favourites qualifies for the semi-final.
NZL 1 of Reuben CORBETT, Jesse TUKE, Bradley FARRAND, Natasha SHELDON, Peter BURLING and Nick GUNN are assured of their semi-final places with the next best Kiwi teams trailing well down in the overall standings. However, the competition between the British teams is set to go down to the wire. GBR 2 of Dominic JOHNSON, Debs STEELE, Andrew CORNAH, Hamish WALKER, Ben FIELD and Tom FOSTER currently just hold the edge over the GBR 1 team featuring several of the members of the British line up that won the silver medal at the 2007 Team Worlds in Gandia, Spain.
The end of round robin four had to be delayed until Sunday morning due to strong winds on Saturday. Therefore, an early start time of 08:00 is schedule to complete the round robin on Sunday morning. The semi-finals are due to commence at 12:30, followed by the Umpires Challenge and then the final of the 2009 ISAF Team Racing World Championship. The presentation dinner and prizegiving of the ISAF Team Racing World Championship Trophy will follow the conclusion of racing.
The forecast for tomorrow is for SE'ly winds of 15-25 knots easing to SE 13-18 knots during the morning. S/SE winds of 13-18 knots are forecast for the afternoon tending S/SW 10-15 knots inshore later on.
Full Results - click here
2009 ISAF Team Racing World Championship website
Full details on the 2009 Worlds, past results and more can be found at the ISAF Team Racing World Championship microsite www.sailing.org/teamworlds.