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7 March 2005, 02:10 pm
Australians Take A Clear Lead
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Flying Fifteen World Championship 2005 (Pre-Worlds)
Auckland, New Zealand

Drizzle and a light southwest wind greeted sailors at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club on the second day of racing in the pre-worlds.
Australian pair Grant ALDERSON and Dean McAULLAY have raced to a twelve point lead after two excellent results. In the Flying Fifteen New Zealand National Championship Aaron GOODMANSON and Auster ROWLANDS have a narrow one-point lead.

The race committee set the course for races two and three inside Browns Island and just off the southern shores off Rangitoto Island. Racing got underway with a clean start for all boats at 1345 local time. The 1.3 mile beat of the (windward, leeward, triangle, windward, finish) course proved a fertile tactical battle ground.

At the top mark of the first beat Gekko Blaster sailed by Mike HART (GBR) and Tim HALL (GBR) took an early lead from David SWAN (AUS) and John WALLACE (AUS) sailing Committed to Confusion. By the second rounding of the top mark Committed to Confusion had taken the lead with Gekko Blaster slipping to third place and Steve GOACHER (GBR) and Phil EVANS (GBR) slotting into second.

A number of crews underestimated the effect of the tide and missed or under laid the marks. A few bangs resulted from close tacking near the finish. First across the line in race two were GOACHER and EVANS, followed by ALDERSON and McAULLAY with Alan BAX (GBR) and Paul BUSBY (GBR) in third place. The first New Zealanders across were John WESTON and Matthew SMITH sailing Southern Lights into sixth place.

A general recall at the start of race three resulted in a delay for a second start until 1625 when all boats got away clear for the first beat of the same course that was sailed in race two. At the top mark Greg WILLS (GBR) and David TULLOCH (GBR) sailing Villan led by one boat length from Fathers Folly sailed by Richard MacALISTER (NZL) and Andrew BROWN (NZL).

Once again the tide created difficulty for some with a healthy amount of yelling and the display of a couple of protest flags amongst the fleet. Villan retained the lead the second time around the top mark followed by Rupert LESLIE (AUS) and Douglas COOKSEY (AUS) on Salt Heart. The New Zealand boat Fathers Folly had lost ground and was placed fifth going into the final leg. At the finish the ALDERSON and McAULLAY on No Bull took their first win of the regatta and an overall regatta points lead. MacALISTER and BROWN scored their best place of the regatta to date taking second over Ronald PACKER (AUS) and Peter MUDFORD (AUS) on Affrodisiac, who are sitting in third overall after day two of racing.

Races four and five are scheduled for Tuesday 8 March in conditions forecast to be westerly rising to 15 knots with cloudy periods.

Results

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 Pts
1 AUS Grant ALDERSON Dean McAULLAY 2 2 1 5
2 GBR Steve GOACHER Phil EVANS 5 1 11 17
3 AUS Ronald PACKER Peter MUDFORD 3 13 3 19
4 GBR Alan BAX Paul BUSBY 12 3 5 20
5 GBR David McKEE Chris HEWKIN 4 7 10 21
6 AUS Nick JERWOOD Janet JERWOOD 6 8 8 22
7 AUS Rupert LESLIE Douglas COOKSEY 16 5 9 30
8 NZL Aaron GOODMANSON Auster ROWLANDS 1 17 13 31
9 NZL Richard MACALISTER Andrew BROWN 11 19 2 32
10 GBR Charles APTHORP Alan GREEN 9 10 14 33
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Michael Chester
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