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24 January 2004, 10:33 am
Three Classes Down To The Wire
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New Zealand Olympic Nomination Trials

The top spot is still up for grabs in three of the four classes in the Yachting New Zealand 2004 Olympic Nomination Trials, with only one to two races to go across the varying fleets.
All four fleets sailed two races, despite a two hour delay in the middle of the day waiting for the breeze to fill-in.

In the men's Mistral class, Aucklanders, Tom ASHLEY and James WELLS are now on equal points leading into the final race of the regatta. Wells finished third and first in the days two races while Ashley placed second and fourth. Jon-Paul TOBIN trails in third place six points behind the pair.

The results of the first men's 470 race of the day differed dramatically from the previous few, with the top placed crews Andrew BROWN and Jamie HUNT and Stephen and Philip KEEN sustaining unfavourable results. This combined with Simon COOKE and Alastair GAIR'S first placing saw these three crews on equal points on the leader board. In the penultimate race of the series, the points remain close with two points the difference between first and third. Naval Point Club's, Andrew BROWN and Jamie HUNT are on 18 points, with Simon COOKE and Alastair GAIR on 19 points and the Keen brothers from Christchurch a further one point behind. Meanwhile, in the women's 470 a battle has developed for the lead, Aucklanders Melinda HENSHAW and Jan SHEARER are tied for the lead with Shelley Hesson (Mt Pleasant Yacht Club) and Linda DICKSON (Nelson Yacht Club) with one race to go.

Hamish PEPPER has taken the lead in the Laser fleet, with two races remaining, he finished fourth and second in today's races. Kerikeri's Andrew MURDOCH is in second two points behind, scoring a fifth and fourth, with Nik BURFOOT eight points off the lead. Rod DAWSON has dropped from third to fifth overall, after having a bad day out on the water with an eighteenth and thirteenth.

Sarah MACKY found the light and shifty conditions tough today, which saw her break her winning streak to finish fifth in race eight, behind Miranda POWRIE, Sara WINTHER, Michelle BASSETT and Kate O'BRIEN. Macky found her form again for race nine, notching up another bullet, however she now needs to sail in at least one of the two races tomorrow to hold her lead.

Racing resumes tomorrow in what could well be the final race of the trials, weather dependant. The Europe and Lasers are scheduled to sail two races from 10.00 am, with the men's Mistral and 470 classes scheduled to sail their final race at 12.00 pm.
Louise Andrews
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