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18 December 2006, 09:19 am
Selection Trials A Tight Battle
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420 World Championship 2007
Auckland, New Zealand

Points are close at the 420 Worlds Selection Trials on at Takapuna Boating Club. Sailors are competing for a spot in the New Zealand team to sail at the 420 World Championships in January.
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Nine races have been completed and current 420 World Champions Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING (NZL) lead the Open fleet on ten points having posted five bullets so far and only counting top three places. Simon COOKE and Scott ILLINGWORTH (NZL), are in second place with 20 points just ahead of Rowan SWANSON and Bruce KENNEDY (NZL) in third place on 25 points.

As current World Champions, EVANS and BURLING have automatic entry into the World Championships and a further 14 New Zealand spots are up for grabs in the Open division.

In the women's fleet it is much tighter at the top and Laser Radial sailors Jo ALEH and Olivia POWRIE (NZL) lead by just two points from Sarah BILKEY and Rosie SARGISSON (NZL). After a strong start Shelley HESSON and Bianca BARBARICH-BACHER (NZL) are one point further back in third place on 14 points.

Conditions were light and fluky on day one, however a more consistent 15 knot breeze built on Sunday; day two of the four day regatta.

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© Christine Hansen ltd
After weeks of gusty south westerly's in Auckland, conditions over the remainder of the Trials regatta are forecast to be light. Three races were scheduled today, and the same is planned for tomorrow. After racing tomorrow the top qualifiers will have confirmed their position to sail at the same venue for the 420 World Championships 2007 starting on 3 January.

The top seven qualifiers in the Open division and the Women's division will represent New Zealand with a further fourteen spots to be decided at the Pre-World regatta between Christmas and New Year.

Great Britain, France, Germany, Australia and Italy have already selected their teams to sail at Takapuna. The Australian team includes Australian National Champions Sam KIVELL and Max TAYLOR from Victoria, who won silver at the ISAF Youth World Championships this year.

Around 125 boats, including 29 from New Zealand are expected to compete in the 420 World Championships 2007, which takes place over seven days. This means around 250 sailors will be in Takapuna for the event.

The 420 is a two handed sailing dinghy with a strong and highly competitive fleet that has emerged in New Zealand over recent years. There are 56,000 worldwide and the 420 is sailed at school, club, open, national and international levels.

Jodie Perkins/Sara Winther (As Amended By ISAF), Image, Simon COOKE and Scott ILLINGWORTH:© Christine Hansen ltd
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