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8 May 2001, 01:54 pm
France Move Ahead
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Volvo Youth Worlds

Defending Champions, France, look set to continue their domination of Youth Sailing following a number of solid performances on Sydney Harbour in the 2000 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.
Only one race was conducted on Sunday and whilst France didn't win any races, their consistency has given them a small overall lead. France are currently on 124 points, Australia is second on 96 points and the Netherlands are only 2 points behind on 94 points.

In the 420s boys a second gun accompanied by the "X" flag indicated that at least one boat had broken the line. Both the British and the Australians returned. The Australians were then "dead last off the start line", but according to crewman Tom Burger they "managed to catch a lot of boats to finish 16th." The clear winners of today's race were the South African Team of Kyle Klasse and Peter Funke who finished significantly in front of Niko Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT). "We sailed a lot better today," said Klasse. "We had a good start, and headed to the right of the course, which was the favoured side. We led from start to finish.

Sailing in huge swells on the race area near Sydney Heads, the right hand side of the course also favoured the girl's race today. Race winners Alexandra Crane and Adrienne Smith (BER) watched the boys race to check the conditions on the Harbour. "After watching the boys race we noticed a good puff coming in from the ocean, and we opted to go to that side of the course," said Smith. "We had a good start, and went the opposite direction to everyone else - which is a little scary but we stuck with it and it paid off."

The Laser fleet suffered challenges of a different nature when a container ship passed through their course on the second beat. Australia's Ben Austin continues to lead the fleet, finishing today's race in eighth place. Austin had a bad start and was 24th around the top mark, but he picked his way back through the fleet. "I got caught in a bad spot off the start line," he said. "Although I was lucky that I was on the right side of the container ship. Some of the others, like the New Zealand guy, got completely parked."

Britain's Matt Howard, second going into today, has dropped to eighth overall after scoring a 26th in the race. "The Korean guy capsized in front of me on the start line," said Howard. "And after that I was never able to get back into the race."

The Byte race produced a number of protests of which the most significant was against the race committee. A number of competitors sailed to the wrong finish line and it was alleged that the race committee approached them in a boat and directed them to the correct finish. Those disadvantaged requested that the race should be thrown out but the jury determined that the results should stand.

Norway's Serin Sundby was alone in taking advantage of the other's mistakes. Having fallen into a hole early in the race, she pushed hard to catch up and the error made by those in front was just what she needed to get back into first place.

The boys Mistral results were also influenced by a jury hearing. In place of a leeward gate, the race committee layed a single leeward mark (as allowed by the sailing instructions). Lead by Moritz Martin (GER) the first few boards rounded the mark in the wrong direction. Alexander Chabner (ISR) was the first to realise the error and correctly rounded the mark to port, going on to win the race and move up to third in the overall standings. Some of those competitors who had rounded correctly attempted to unwind themselves with varying degrees of success and it was up to the jury to decide who did and who did not sail the correct course.

The breeze died off for the start of the Mistral girls race, and according to Australia's Allison Shreeve they had to work hard to get around the course. Poland's Agata Brygola had a good start and continued through to win the race. She has a dominating position on the overall pointscore, with three wins and a second place for the four races.

No racing is planned for 1st January. Racing will resume on 2nd January with three races scheduled for all classes..
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