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17 January 2004, 09:50 am
470|s First Off The Beach
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New Zealand Olympic Nomination Trials
Torbay Sailing Club

After toying with the possibility of postponing the earlier races, the Race Committee eventually fired the start gun in the 470's first race just after the scheduled time of 10.00am in a light and patchy 5-8 knot breeze.
Former 470 World Champion skipper, Simon COOKE now paired with Alastair GAIR was the victor in this first race, with the Keen brothers from Christchurch taking second place and Andrew BROWN and Jamie HUNT crossing the finish line in third. By the time the second race got underway the breeze had picked up to 12-14 knots and Cooke and Keen tussled for the lead throughout with the Keens taking the lead in the second part of the race and maintaining this until the end. They now have a three point lead on Cooke and Gair who is another three ahead of Brown and Hunt.

After a two and a half hour delay, waiting for the breeze to fill in the men's Mistral class began their first race at 12.30pm. Jon-Paul TOBIN and Tom ASHLEY got off to a good start but Tobin picked the wrong side of the shift which saw him round mark one well behind the leaders. Twenty year old Ashley who is the current World Youth IMCO champion, crossed the finish mark well in front of the rest of the fleet, attributing to his win to being comfortable in the conditions and happy with my speed. The board sailors were sent ashore making way for the other classes, eventually starting their second race of the day at 3.30pm, this was won by James Wells from Ashley with Tobin in third. This fleet is proving to be highly competitive, after four races James Wells tops the leader board sharing equal points with Ashley but edging ahead with two bullets to Ashley's one. Jon-Paul TOBIN'S 14 points see him in third overall.

The performance of the day for the Laser fleet went to twenty-one year old Andrew MURDOCH from Kerikeri who stole the lead from Hamish PEPPER in the final seconds of race three to take the bullet. Rod DAWSON won the Laser's second and final race of the day. In these early stages of the regatta there appears to be a battle developing between the six top placed sailors, Murdoch, Pepper, Burfoot, Slater, Dawson and Bullot, with Murdoch and Pepper sharing 9 points and the others ranging from 15 - 22 points overall, but with 7 races remaining in the series this one is far from over.

Sarah MACKY continued to dominate the Europe fleet adding two more bullets to her tally and extending her lead to six points ahead of former Yngling crew Sara Winther.

The 470, Laser and Mistral results are all subject to protest. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Louise Andrews (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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