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20 March 2009, 09:28 am
New Zealand Certain Of A Gold At IFDS World Blind Sailing Champs
Teams from Great Britain and New Zealand battle downwind
Teams from Great Britain and New Zealand battle downwind

IFDS World Blind Sailing Championship 2009
Rotorua, New Zealand

New Zealand appears certain to receive one gold and two silvers in the IFDS World Blind Sailing Championship, even before the fleet sails its final two races on Saturday.
New Zealand skipper Paulien EITJES is assured of a gold medal in the B2 fleet, despite missing her first win of the series today.

In race one the team ended up on the wrong side of a big wind shift and were lucky to finish third in a close race with Canada and the USA. The team is able to drop this result.

The team came back well in the second race, finishing with a large lead and dominating again in the third race. Great Britain is second in the B2 fleet and Japan is now in third place.

In the B1 fleet, New Zealand finished ahead of fleet leaders Italy in the first race, but the results were reversed in the second race. Unfortunately New Zealand pre-empted the start of the second race and had difficulty finding room to turn back and re-cross, eventually finishing seventh.

The most exciting race today in the B3 fleet came in the last race where New Zealand just led Great Britain around the first mark. In the run to the line, Great Britain became engaged in a duel with Japan, allowing New Zealand to slip through to take the win.

After today's races, Italy retains its lead in the B1 fleet on 20 points, New Zealand is in second place on 28 points and Norway still in third place on 33.5 points.

In the B3 fleet, Great Britain holds onto its lead at the top of the table on 14 points, with New Zealand in second place on 24 points and the United States in third place on 35 points.

At this stage another two races are planned for tomorrow morning, completing the Championship's racing. The overall team's trophy will be awarded at a prizegiving on Saturday night.

Results and more at www.2009worldblindsailingnz.com.

Jacky James
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