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6 January 2004, 11:52 am
Rydge And Scarr Win Race 6 To Close The Gap
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Flying Dutchman World Championship

Norman RYDGE/Richard SCARR (AUS), narrowly won today's Race 6 of the Flying Dutchman Worlds at the Sail Melbourne Regatta to close the series gap on Szabolcs MAJTHENYI/Andras DOMOKOS (HUN).
Szabolcs/Domokos had their worst race today, finishing 14 and obviously used it for their drop. They lead Rydge/Scarr for the series by three points with a total score of 15.

Second and third places were so close, the two crews involved arrived ashore still unsure as to who had got it, "it was so close, I don't know if it was us or the Dutch team (Frank HAVIK/Guido ALKEMADE), it was so close, we have to wait for results," said Stefano Morelli, the crew for Roberto CIPRIANI (ITA).

As it turned out, the Italians got it, and Morelli commented, "for sure and unfortunately, this was our best result so far at this regatta. We were sailing terribly in the last few days; the Aussies have been sailing much better.

Today we sailed with our heavy jib, the wrong one, and still finished well, so we did O.K.. We made a lot of good decisions today, it was very weak and shifting out there, but we concentrated like we have to on the lakes at home and that is why we finished well,"
he added.

Norman RYDGE said Cipriani/Morelli were normally one of the toughest crews to beat. "They had a bit of a bad run here, first their boat arrived late, then it was held up in customs, they didn't get any time to practice or get used to the conditions, their results so far do not reflect how good they are, they are one of the best all-rounders in the world."

On his and Scarr's win today and overall performance, Rydge said although they expected to be in the top five, they were a little surprised to be in second place, because the regatta has mainly been light and the pair normally sail better in heavier winds. Unexpectedly, their best results came in the many light races.

"Today, we had a look at who we had to beat, we also looked at the potential of this being the last race of the series, the weather doesn't look good for tomorrow, but there were so many we had to look out for, we decided just to sail our own race and go for the win. We thought that to concentrate on the others in the light shifting winds would have been a big mistake," he said.

"When you look at the Australian's overall results, we all did extremely well. The Flying Dutchman doesn't have a big following in Australia, but I hope these results encourage others to come into the class - it's the World's best boat," Rydge commented, referring to the series results to-date, which have Brett BEYER/Roddy JOHNSON in fourth, Ian MCCROSSIN/James COOK in sixth and newcomer locals, Gavin DAGLEY/John DRYDEN in seventh.

He and Scarr, along with Brett Beyer, were long-time Laser sailors, Scarr commenting, "Laser's are way too hard, you have to work hard at your fitness, watch what you eat and drink, keep your weight down - the competitive nature of Laser sailors was just too much for me, I much prefer the more laid-back attitude of the F.D. sailors. They are a very friendly bunch, and although the F.D. is a technically difficult boat to sail, it is enjoyable and you certainly don't have to watch your weight!"

In an incident from yesterday, Kay-Uwe LUEDTKE/Kai SCHAEFERS (GER), were disqualified from their second place last night, failing to sign on before the race, lifting everyone behind them up one place.

Lack of pressure out on Port Phillip Bay for most of today forced Sandringham Yacht Club Race Officials to postpone racing until after 1500 hours local time.

Eventually, though, a little breeze did appear from the west-nor-west, veering north-west, but only 4-10 knots worth - a distinctly lightweight crew day, officials having to shorten the course on the last downwind leg.

The Weather Bureau has predicted a solid 30 plus knots of squally winds and rain and if that is the case, there will be no racing tomorrow.

Knowing tomorrow's predicted weather for the final day of racing in the Sail Melbourne event may cancel out the last race, officials were hoping to finish the event one day early.

Now competitors will have to wait and see what tomorrow holds in store for them. "We would obviously love to have one more race," Ryde said of their three point deficit for first place.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.

Top Ten

Pos Sail No Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total
1 HUN70 Szabolcs Majthenyi 1 3 4 1 6 [14] 15
2 AUS37 Norman Rydge 4 7 [14] 5 1 1 18
3 GER87 Hans-Peter Schwarz 2 2 6 7 [8] 5 22
4 AUS365 Brett Beyer [15] 1 11 3 4 6 25
5 ITA10 Roberto Cipriani 10 [13] 7 8 7 2 34
6 AUS33 Ian McCrossin [23] 4 2 6 13 11 36
7 AUS338 Gavin Dagley 3 [56Q] 3 13 9 10 38
8 GBR382 Toby Dale 13 5 1 4 20 [27] 43
9 NED6 Frank Havik 14 22 [30] 2 3 3 44
10 NED26 Enno Kramer 7 8 13 [14] 10 7 45
Di Pearson (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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