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7 July 2007, 11:36 am
On The Comeback Trail
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ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

One of the biggest surprises so far in Cascais came when defending World Champions and the much-fancied Australian Tornado team of Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY opened their regatta with two scores of 19. Had complacency set in, the pressure got to them, or simply the conditions caught them out? Patricia Kirschner went to find out…
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Cascais Photo Galleries

BUNDOCK and ASHBY teamed up in the Tornado at the start of 2006 and have been a near unstoppable force ever since. When the team formed BUNDOCK was a four-time Tornado World Champion and ASHBY a multiple World Champion in the single-handed A-Class catamaran. Now the pair, coached by the legendary Mike 'Fletch' FLETCHER, have another World title to their name, won the 2007 Europeans and hold the #1 spot in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. Their success hasn't been limited to just the Tornado either. Last year they won the ISAF World Sailing Games on the Hobie Tiger and they are also multiple Formula 18 World Champions.

Bad Start

The Aussie pair are renowned for their fantastic boat handling and superior speed in the breeze, a combination that made them red hot favourite for Cascais. But so far things have not gone to plan, especially a 19,19 first day to the regatta. So what went wrong…

'We have been extremely busy with our preparation for the event and unfortunately both Glenn and myself got quite sick a couple of days before the event and have been trying to recover since,' explained BUNDOCK, adding, 'We are now midway through the regatta after six races and really welcomed the lay day.'

Laser Radial

Since the pair started sailing together they have never finished outside the top ten in an ISAF Graded event and only twice outside the top five: once in Hyères, when they left the regatta a day early whilst holding the lead, and then at the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao last August.

As BUNDOCK explained, day one in Cascais left them trailing in unfamiliar waters, 'We have probably had the worst start to a regatta since we started sailing together and had two 19th places on the opening day and finished the day in 20th place…ouch.. gee not so good for defending champions…'

The Aussies in action
© PTVela2007/JFF

Come Back

Since then though, the Aussies have hauled themselves back into contention and are now back in the top ten, 18 points off overall leaders Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP). Their situation would be even better if they had not missed a big shift on the course in race 6, which saw them relegated from third to 12th. Still BUNDOCK seemed happy with the team's performance after day one and optimistic about the racing to come, 'Well since then [day one] things have been looking a little better and we have had a score card of 6,4,2 and 12 and are slowly moving up the score sheet to seventh overall. The good news is that Glenn has now recovered and I am getting there and starting to feel stronger again.'

Four races remain for the Tornado fleet before the Medal Race on Monday. BUNDOCK and ASHBY have a terrific record in the final double-points shoot out and, although they now cannot afford any more mistakes, are more than capable of hauling in the leaders.

In the words of BUNDOCK, 'Now it's time for a come back.'

About The 2007 ISAF Worlds

Over 1,300 sailors from 76 nations are competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.

Watch the Medal Races live on Sail.TV

Read our fleet by fleet reports by clicking on the links below:

Finn - Tornado - Yngling - Star - 49er - 470s - Lasers - RS:Xs

For all the news on the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007 CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image:© PTVela2007/JFF
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