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12 December 2004, 03:02 pm
Internationals Struggle In Light And Flukey Winds
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Rolex Trophy
Sydney

World Champion Jim Richardson is the best placed of three international crews contesting the Rolex Trophy after a second day of light and flukey winds on the Tasman Sea off Sydney today.
Today, the soft easterly seabreeze never got above 10 knots and was mostly lighter, causing a two hour delay at the start. Nevertheless, the race committee of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia did manage to complete three races, with five now sailed and one day to complete the regatta.

Richardson, from Boston, with Kimo Worthington as tactician, struggled to notch up a 12th, a 3rd and a 7th place today and after a 9th and a win on Saturday, is fifth overall on 32 points.

San Diego sailors Steve and Fred Howe, with Kiwi John Cutler calling the shots on Warpath, improved on their day one 13th and 7th, with a 5-9-4 result, but they are still back in 9th place overall in the 15-boat fleet.

Germany's Hasso Plattner, sailing Morning Glory with America's Cup winner Russell Coutts as tactician, began the day with a fourth, but followed this with a 10th and an 8th to be lying 10th overall.

None of the visitors seem able to match the locals in these difficult sailing conditions, with the light breeze problems compounded by the offshore current and a big outgoing tide from Sydney Harbour.

Upset of the Rolex Trophy so was the win by the youngest and arguably the poorest crew in the Farr 40 One Design class contesting the Rolex Trophy. Chris Meehan skippered Belle Properties to victory in race three, leading from start to finish in the 7-8 knot easterly breeze, and moving up to within three points of overall leader Richard Perini, skippering Evolution at that stage of the three-day regatta.

Meehan, better known as a 470 sailor, has mostly other dinghy sailors in the crew including Sydney 2000 gold medallist Tom King as his tactician, along with another Olympian Mal Page and New Zealand Laser champion Nick Burfort. On the bow is apprentice sailmaker Stacey Jackson.

Belle Property won race three from the Adelaide boat War Games (David Urry) and series leader Evolution (Richard Perini) with Germany's Hasso Plattner placing fourth in Morning Glory.

However, the youthful crew of Belle Property were unable to maintain their status near the top of the leaderboard, finishing 8th in race four and a disappointing 14th in race five, sailed late this afternoon. From second in standings they slumped to equal fifth at the end of the second day of the regatta.

In race four Emotional Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore) scored a 14 second win from Evolution with Jim Richardson coming third in Barking Mad, ahead of Botany Bay sailor Steve O'Rourke in Panther.

In race five, the last of the day, Evolution was one of four boats recalled for breaking the start and Perini could not recover, finishing 10th. In contrast, Neville Crichton in Team Shockwave climbed back through the fleet to be sixth at the first windward mark and second in the race to all-the-way winner Southern Star, skippered by former Farr 40 World Champion John Calvert-Jones with Alinghi America's Cup sailing head, Grant Simmer, as his tactician.

Marcus Blackmore's Emotional Hooligan continued its consistent sailing to finish third, ahead of Americans Steve and Fred Howe from San Diego in Warpath and Matt Allen's Ichi Ban.

Provisional overall placings for the Farr 40 OD class after day two:

1. Evolution (Richard Perini, NSW) 1-2-3-2-10, 18 pts
2. Team Shockwave (Neville Crichton, NSW/NZL) 11-4-6-5-2, 28 pts
3. War Games (David Urry, South Aust) 11-4-2-6-6, 29 pts
3. Emotional Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore, NSW) 2-12-11-1-3, 29 pts
4. Belle Property (Chris Meehan, NSW) 3-6-1-8-14, 32 pts
5. Barking Mad (Jim Richardson, USA) 9-1-12-3-7, 32 pts.


Two weeks to Rolex Sydney Hobart start for Sydney 38 winners

With just two weeks to the start of the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day, 26 December, two of the dozen Sydney 38 class yachts entered for the ocean classic were in winning form in today's Rolex Trophy racing.

Both are newly launched Sydney 38s racing in the highly competitive one design class off Sydney Heads, with light winds continuing again today.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club member Gordon Ketelbey had his first regatta victory in race three with Zen, scoring a close 14 second victory from fellow MHYC member Peter McNamara in AMI Jade, the luckless loser of yesterday's first race.

Third and fourth places went to two other Rolex Sydney Hobart Race entrants, Estate Master, owned by Martin and Lisa Hill, and Chutzpah, skippered by Hobart race veteran Bruce Taylor from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

In race four veteran Victorian Lou Abrahams scored his first win with his new Challenge, finishing just 27 seconds ahead of Outlaw (Alan & Tom Quick), with third place going to Cydon (Leon Christianakis). Estate Master finished fourth but Zen was back in 8th place.

Overnight leader Cydon had a sixth, a third and a win in the final race today, maintaining top of the leaderboard from Estate Master which notched up a third and fourth and a seventh. Challenge maintained third place with an eighth, a win and fourth, while race three winner Zen followed this with an 8th and a 6th to be fourth in standings.

Provisional placings in the Rolex Trophy Sydney 38 OD division after five races:

1. Cydon (Leon Christianakis, NSW) 1-2-6-3-1, 13 pts
2. Estate Master (Martin & Lisa Hill, NSW) 3-1-3-4-7, 18 pts
3. Challenge (Lou Abrahams, Vic) 5-3-8-1-4, 21 pts
4. Zen (Gordon Ketelbey, NSW) 9-5-1-8-6, 29 pts
5. AMI Jade (Peter McNamara, NSW) 11-13-2-5-2, 33 pts.

Peter Campbell
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