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3 December 2011, 01:28 pm
Women's Match Racers Battle Tricky Winds On Perth's Inner Harbour
Silja Lehtinen (FIN)
Silja Lehtinen (FIN)

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Perth, Australia

The first day of competition at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships saw Fremantle's Inner Harbour come to life with the Women's Match Racing crews setting sail in stifling 36C heat.
Despite difficult conditions and shifting winds as the day progressed, Nicky Souter (AUS) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) came out on top at the end of the day with four race wins and remain undefeated.

Lehtinen said, "We didn't know what to expect so we were very happy about the first day of the regatta. We were concerned about the Portuguese team because they have been doing really well lately, and also the Kiwis because they are another really good team. We treat every race the same. It was a difficult course with a north east wind, which made it crazy and difficult. ''

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) also ended the opening day undefeated with three race wins. The World #1 said, "It was extremely tricky, the wind was very shifty but it provided interesting conditions and kept you on your game. If you got a good start and were able to sail the shifts you had an easier time."

The first flight of the day saw Souter in a neck-and-neck battle with Portugal, taking the lead mere metres from the finish line. Likewise, Lehtinen found competition difficult against her first opponent, Sharon Ferris-Choat (CAN), with a close finish.

World #10, Anne-Claire le Berre (FRA) lost out to two of the lower ranked teams today as China's Ru Wang (CHN) Martina Maria Silva (ARG) got the better of her

After a morning of hot easterlies, the onset of a cooler mid-afternoon sea breeze delayed the races while the course was moved closer to the ocean and away from the stands.

The afternoon's first flight, flight five, saw superb tactics from Ferris Choat which landed her an unexpected win against one of the favourites, Ekaterina Skudina (RUS).

Women's Match Racing continues in the Inner Harbour Sunday from 10:00 local time with the beginning of racing in Group B.

Group A flights eight, nine and ten will resume on Monday 5 December.

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships website will bring you results, tracking, live updates and all the latest news both on and off the water.

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