Brits Dave EVANS and Simon HISCOCKS took the early lead of the 2009 49er Worlds held on Lake Garda, Italy in perfect conditions for skiff sailing.
Eighty-seven teams were split into three flights and alternated racing on Lake Garda in Ora winds that began with 15-18 knots and slowly increased to 20 holding steady for the remainder of the day.
Austrian sailors Nico DELLE - KARTH
and Nikolaus RESCH
follow just two points behind early leaders Dave EVANS
and Simon HISCOCKS
(GBR). Stevie MORRISON
and Ben RHODES
(GBR), the 2007 World Champs, lie in third place overall, tied on seven points with fellow GBR team members Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES
and Mark ASQUITH
. Australian multi-skiff world champion Euan MCNICOL
with Sam NEWTON
in the front stared the day with a 1, 2 but scored seventh in the last race of the day giving them 10 points to round out fifth overall.
Of the 87 teams all but five are using the new carbon rig, showing the high demand for the new rig which has also brought back and retained some of the stalwarts of the relatively new skiff Olympic equipment.
In the 29erXX Gold Cup, being held concurrently on Lake Garda, 15 teams also completed three races sharing the race course with the 49er teams. 2006 29er World Champion Silja LEHTINEN
(FIN) with Will HOWARD
(AUS) as crew, posted a 5, 2, 1 to take the lead for this strong group of sailors.
Reigning World Champions Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Ben AUSTIN (AUS) have gone their separate ways since Beijing. OUTTERIDGE, competing with Iain JENSEN (AUS), got off to a solid start with 2, 2, 10 scores to put in eighth place overall. For this event AUSTIN has teamed up with Chris NICHOLSON (AUS), 49er World Champion in 1997, 1998 and 1999, but the team got off to a shaky start with 10, 14, 11 scores leaving them 30th overall. Also struggling early on are Olympic gold (Athens) and silver (Beijing) medallists Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier FERNANDEZ (ESP) in a surprising 25th overall.
Things went better for brothers Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA), one of the form teams of the season so far and amongst the pre-championship favourites. They currently lie in sixth overall.
Tomorrow's forecast is for more of the same with high temperatures and perfect conditions for racing.
Results - click here