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11 January 2007, 11:12 am
Brits Win Pre-Worlds
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Mirror World Championship 2007
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth woke up to a magnificent African Sunshine Day. Sparkling water, light easterly breeze and warm sunshine. The last day of the Pre-Worlds and it looked like the weather gods had dished up a goodie. Anna MACKENZIE and Holly SCOTT (GBR) made the most of the conditions to wrap up victory before the Worlds proper start tomorrow.
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Most of the sailors piled the sunscreen on and took their sea sickness remedies, before leaving for the three last races. The course was laid with the weather mark right close to the Shark Rock Pier, allowing spectators to almost reach out and touch the sailors.

The fifth race of the series and first race of the day saw a series of attempted starts as the eager sailors pushed the line once, twice, three times before the successful restart on attempt number four under a second black flag start. Despite the black flag start there were still 12 boats over the line that were disqualified. The race started in an easterly wind from 150 degrees and an average wind strength of 8 knots. There was a light chop and following sea for the reach and downwind legs. Ricky and Ryan ROBINSON (RSA) sailed into their second first place of the series.

Bullet For MACKENZIE And SCOTT

Race 6 of the series started in a fine 12 knot breeze and with light chop. Two boats were OCS and the race over the triangle took 1 hour and 4 minutes. Again the windward mark was close to the Shark Rock Pier affording the spectators incredible views of the sailors fighting for position and setting themselves up for the reach leg. MACKENZIE and SCOTT sailed to their third first place of the series.

In a rising east of 14 knots the third race started at 14:09 and ended at 15:15. Once again the ROBINSONs came in first, their third bullet of the pre-Worlds, but not enough to get them into the top three. The first four finishers all finished within seconds of each other after tight racing on a well set out course.

Most of the sailors gave today's three races a thumbs up as the best racing of the week so far. After the racing they marched through the streets of Port Elizabeth to the Mayor's Parlour and were treated to a welcome from the Nelson Mandela Bay Deputy Mayor Councillor Bicks NDONI, who graciously thanked all sailors and supporters for gracing the fair town of Port Elizabeth. This was followed by Mirror Worlds President of South Africa, Eric MARSHALL, announcing the top three positions and Councillor NDONI presenting medals to the top three skippers and crew.

The Winners

First were MACKENZIE and SCOTT, followed by Ross KEARNEY and Adam MCCULLOUGH (IRE) and Paul AMERLYNCK and Melissa DALY (IRE). MACKENZIE and SCOTT thanked the Race and Organizing Committees for a wonderful regatta and admitted that this was the best regatta that they had ever sailed in.

After the speeches food and drink was laid on by courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Metropole. Today is the Mixing of the Waters ceremony at the Shark Rock Pier followed by a flag raising ceremony back at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. The 2007 Mirror World Championships begin in earnest on Friday 12 January and end on 18 January.

Alan W Straton (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Holly SCOTT and Anna MACKENZIE:© Algoa Bay Yacht Club
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