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21 November 2006, 12:26 pm
Field Tightens
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Audi Etchells World Championship 2006
Fremantle, Australia

Ante RAZMILOVIC (GBR) won the 2006 Audi Etchells Worlds race 4 off Fremantle, Australia this afternoon, ahead of Craig HEALY (USA) and Andy GAIR (NZL). While series leader Jud SMITH (USA) has extended his overall lead, behind him the field is tightening.
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RAZMILOVIC's win today took him to third place overall in the regatta. The 35 year old Briton is not a new kid on the block, having won the 2003 European titles, the 2004 British titles and only being beaten in the 2004 North Americans on count back.

While RAZMILOVIC has now made a podium claim, the four times Worlds runner up and three times North American champion SMITH, has further tightened his grip on the 2006 Worlds, stretching his lead over Andy BEADSWORTH (GBR).

SMITH is determined to get the monkey off his back. 'It's kind of embarrassing, to have come second in the Etchells Worlds four times. But there is a long way to go in this regatta and I've learned not to take anything for granted.

'Last year we were leading up until the second last day and one mistake, and we put ourselves away. We just want to have a chance going into the last day.'

The Winner's View

RAZMILOVIC, sailing with Jezz FANSTONE (GBR) and Stuart FINN (GBR), told the story of today's race. 'Today we started about a quarter down from the committee boat. We put the hammer down and did not tack for 20 seconds, Stuart CHILDERLEY [(GBR)] had the best start; he was about a length extended on us about four boats down from us and the boats between us were 'spat out' quickly, then the guys above us fell in behind us.

'After five minutes we made a big jump on Stuart and he fell down behind us and tacked away. Richard COXON [(USA)] who started above the committee boat side, reached down towards us. Craig HEALY had started further down the line, crossed us, and we followed Jud SMITH and Mark BRADFORD [(AUS)].

'Down the run we managed to pass Jud and Mark. Craig HEALY rounded the left hand gate, we went round the other. We just beat him to the weather mark, we were quick down the run and extended five or six boat lengths and then went on from there.

'We are really enjoying this regatta. Brilliant weather, great venue, great race management, great competition.'

BEADSWORTH's View

BEADSWORTH is currently second overall. 'We were lucky today. We were buried at the left hand end at the start in the third row, sucking dirty air. We somehow found a lane, took it, hitched up, found another hitched up again and lo' and behold we were tenth at the top mark. So that was a recovery.

'Then down the run, we had boats inside us and that stopped us gybing and so we overlaid. Then we went round the right hand mark and sailed back through some dirty air. We will get that bit right soon.

'Today was a tough day; we got the hard bits right and struggled with the simple things. When we start getting the simple things right, we will do really well.'

The World Championship title sponsor Audi Australia also sponsored the 2006 Audi Etchells Nationals. Audi Australia are supporting a wide range of Australian sailing events including the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and the Audi Regatta in Sydney, and will be certain to make this a memorable event. The Maersk shipping Line is another Premium Sponsor and their support has meant that 28 containers have brought Etchells to Perth from around the world.
Rob Kothe (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The fleet approach the first mark:© www.sail-world.com
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