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5 February 2006, 10:04 am
All Set For Exciting Final Day
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Sail Auckland 2006
Auckland, New Zealand

Jo ALEH (NZL) still dominates in the Laser Radial whilst Australia's Tom SLINGSBY is hot on the tail of Andrew MURDOCH (NZL) in the Laser going into the final day of ISAF Grade 2 Sail Auckland Regatta in New Zealand. Sailors and race organizers were pleased to see 20 knot south westerly winds on the inner Waitemata today after the light shifty conditions of Friday and Saturday.
Jon-Paul TOBIN (NZL) holds the lead in the men's RS:X whilst Aaron MCINTOSH and Bruce KENDALL (NZL) slip to second in the Tornado.

ALEH has established a substantial lead over the Laser Radial fleet and is now 13 points clear of second place. Her results from today would have read 1,2,1 if she had not slipped up and crossed the start line early in race seven of the regatta. Despite the OCS she is extremely well placed to take out the Laser Radial crown with just three races left to sail tomorrow.

Her coach Ian NEELY is delighted, saying 'Jo ALEH sailed really well again today. It was a strong windy day and she really showed off the improvements that she has made in the last year.'

Second place in the Radial fleet is held by Sara WINTHER (NZL), moving back up the ranks today with a win, a second and a fourth.

SLINGSBY Puts The Pressure On

MURDOCH holds his lead in the Laser fleet even though SLINGSBY won two races today. With only three points between the two, the final day of racing will be interesting to watch.

'Tom SLINGSBY sailed really well today, very smart racing from him,' commented NEELY. 'MURDOCH sailed pretty well too, but he can definitely do better.'

TOBIN holds onto his lead in the men's RS:X with a four point cushion on 2004 Olympian Tom ASHLEY (NZL). The windsurfers were pleased to finally race in a reasonable breeze and Danish sailor Jesper VESTERSTROM enjoyed the stronger winds clocking up two race wins today. TOBIN and ASHLEY have a solid lead on the remainder of the fleet at this stage in the regatta and racing tomorrow will be intense.

Nikola GIRKE of Canada has exerted her force over the New Zealand women's windsurfers with a brilliant winning streak today. GIRKE now has seven race wins on the RS:X from nine races, giving her a twelve point margin over Hayley THOM (NZL) and Moana DELLE (GER) on equal points in second and third. The reshuffle today saw yesterday's leader Anna EASON (NZL) slip to fourth, however points are tight between places two to four.

Tornado Battle Goes BROUWER's Way

Carolijn BROUWER (NED) and Sebastien GODFRIOD (BEL) have been having a close tussle with Yachting New Zealand Olympic Squad members MCINTOSH and KENDALL in the Tornado. However today they stepped into the lead winning their races and now two points clear of the Kiwi pair.

Dan SLATER (NZL) continued his dominance over the small four boat Finn fleet today, while similarly in the 470 class Stephen KEEN and Philip KEEN (NZL) have eight wins on the board. In the 420 Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING (NZL) have an incredible 22 point lead over their nearest rivals.

Racing resumes tomorrow at 1100 hours local time and concludes tomorrow afternoon followed by the official prizegiving.

Junior Sail Auckland concluded today at Kohimarama Yacht Club in Auckland. Just over 150 young sailors took part in the event.

180 sailors in 140 boats are taking part in Sail Auckland's four day Olympic and invited classes regatta, including 30 international sailors from Great Britain, Australia, Europe, Asia and America.

Sail Auckland is supported by Ports of Auckland.

Jodie PERKINS (As Amended By ISAF) Image, Andrew MURDOCH leads tight Laser battle going into the final day:© Trevor COPPOCK/Seapixonline.com
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