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22 January 2006, 10:19 am
Britain Back In Charge
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Alcoa IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships 2006
Perth, Australia

With a pair of bullets in the two fleets contesting the 2006 Alcoa IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships in Perth, Australia, the pendulum has swung back in Britain's favour in their tussle with Germany for top spot on the leaderboard. Helena LUCAS (GBR) in the 2.4 Metre and John ROBERTSON, Hannah STODEL and Stephen THOMAS (GBR) in the Sonar, both scored come from behind victories in today's only race, to regain the overall lead as they approach the halfway stage of the series.
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With a south easterly breeze of about 15 knots, all the crews agreed that the conditions were difficult, with big shifts, and fluctuation in strength.

'Very shifty, awful conditions,' commented John ROBERTSON, 'Coming off the south of the bay, so it was pretty tricky really.'

LUCAS had similar comments, 'Really tricky conditions, I think the seabreeze was trying to come in, and it all got a bit mad, one minute you were in a lull, and the next minute you were in a 20 knot gust, and 30 degree shifts happening as well.'

Germany holds on to second place in both the single-person and three-person keelboat events, with Heiko KRÖGER (GER) finishing fifth in the 2.4 Metre race, to trail by three points, while Jens KROKER, Holger SCHOENBERG and Tobias SCHUELTZ were third in the Sonars, for a two point deficit behind the British.

The Chasing Pack

In the Sonars the Israeli team of Paralympic gold medallists Dror COHEN, Arnon EFRATI and Beni VEXLER, are keeping their results consistent, to hold third place, though their compatriots Shimon Ben YAKOV, Moshe ZEHAVI and Yossi BARDA were second in today's race.

Bjornar ERIKSTAD of Norway grabbed second place in the 2.4 Metre today, to put himself in third place on the leaderboard, with three second places and a third in his scoreline, the overall picture being spoilt because he failed to finish in race three.

Today's Races

ROBERTSON and his crew rounded the first mark in seventh place, and had to claw his way back through the fleet, 'We got two places on the first run, then on the second beat we got up to second, and passed him on the next rounding, and that was it,' reflected the defending champion.

Fortunes waxed and waned for LUCAS, 'I was second at the top mark,' she explained, 'And I dropped to third down the first run, then pulled it back on the second beat, and was leading at the top second time.'

This Championship, being hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club on the Swan River, is the first qualifying event for the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition, with the top seven nations qualifying, subject to IPC approval. The eleven race series finishes on Wednesday 25 January.

Top Tens

2.4 Metre

Pos Nation Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1 GBR Helena LUCAS 1 1 2 11 1 16
2 GER Heiko KRÖGER 4 2 1 7 5 19
3 NOR Bjornar ERIKSTAD 2 3 19 DNF 2 2 28
4 CAN Paul TINGLEY 3 6 6 9 9 33
5 GBR Megan PASCOE 13 8 4 1 10 36
6 USA Roger CLEWORTH 5 7 3 8 13 36
7 CAN Bruce MILLAR 6 17 DNF 5 5 4 37
8 NZL Andrew MAY 12 5 11 3 8 39
9 CAN Danny MCCOY 8 14 10 6 3 41
10 AUS Aaron HILL 10 4 7 18 DSQ 11 50

Sonar

Pos Nation Skipper Crew Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1 GBR John ROBERTSON Hannah STODEL Stephen THOMAS 1 2 5 2 1 11
2 GER Jens KROKER Holger SCHOENBERG Tobias SCHUETZ 6 1 2 1 3 13
3 ISR Dror COHEN Arnon EFRATI Beni Vexler 8 3 3 4 5 23
4 AUS Jamie DUNROSS Colin HARRISON Graeme MARTIN 3 5 1 9 7 25
5 NOR Jostein STORDAHL Aleksander WANG-HANSEN Per EUGEN KRISTIANSEN 5 4 9 3 8 29
6 ISR Shimon BEN YAKOV Moshe ZEHAVI Yossi Barda 10 6 7 5 2 30
7 IRL Paul MCCARTHY Paul RYAN Chris THOMAS 4 9 8 10 4 35
8 AUS Peter THOMSON Keith CONDER Barry Astwood 2 12 10 7 11 42
9 CAN Ken KELLY Brian MACKIE Don TERLSON 7 11 14 8 6 46
10 IRL John TWOMEY Brian O'MAHONY Anthony HEGARTY 12 8 4 11 12 47

For all the news from the Alcoa IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships CLICK HERE.

John ROBERSON (As Amended By ISAF). Image, John ROBERTSON and his team have been looking good in the Sonar:© Team Robertson/Thomas/Stodel
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