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11 January 2006, 02:04 pm
BONEZZI Off To flying Start In Windy Fremantle
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Ronstan Contender World Championship 2006
Fremantle, Australia

A windy start to the Ronstan Contender World Championship in Fremantle, Australia has seen 2004 World Champion Andrea BONEZZI (ITA) blitz the fleet with bullets in all four opening races putting him clear at the top.
BONEZZI took the first race ahead of Marcus HAMILTON (AUS) and Matt HOSIE (AUS). In race two the fleet started in a quickly building sea breeze that initially favoured the left but swung to the right late on the first beat. Virgilio FRAU (ITA), led to the first mark, followed by BONEZZI, HAMILTON, HOSIE, Soren ANDREASEN (DEN) and Tim HILL (AUS).

BONEZZI passed FRAU at the bottom mark, whilst both HOSIE and HAMILTON capsized at the gybe mark, letting HILL, current World Champion Jan VON DER BANK (GER) and ANDREASEN through.

On the second beat, the wind freshened to 20-25 knots once again and fat was fast as HOSIE and HAMILTON worked their way through to third and fourth. HAMILTON rounded the top mark third, passing FRAU down the run. HOSIE and HILL exchanged places down a wild and windy run, rounding the bottom mark with HILL just in front of HOSIE.

HAMILTON footed out to the left hand side of the course with BONEZZI following with a loose cover. BONEZZI stayed high in the groove and followed HAMILTON as he threw five tacks to the finish. BONEZZI finished comfortably in front, FRAU faded to third, followed by HOSIE and HILL in fourth and fifth place respectively with defending champion VON DER BANK in eighth. Later FRAU and VON DER BANK were both scored OCS, leaving the World Champion languishing down the leaderboard.

Come race three and BONEZZI and HAMILTON where again playing their own game at the front in strong winds of 25-30 knots. VON DER BANK, somewhat disadvantaged by his lighter weight in the strong conditions, followed BONEZZI and FRAU to the again favoured left side.

Thanks to a spectacular capsize by FRAU, the German was soon up to third at the bottom mark, although by that time BONEZZI had extended his lead and would keep it to the finish, with HAMILTON again taking out second behind him.

VON DER BANK had to defend his position from HOSIE, Paul GREEN (AUS) and Tim HILL (AUS), but thanks to another capsize by HOSIE and the German's speed downwind, he was able to hold on to cross the line third.

BONEZZI and HAMILTON completed another one-two in race four, before HAMILTON finally managed to get one over on the Italian with victory in race five putting him just two points behind the leader.

Nine races are schedule, with the Championship concluding on 14 January.

Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1 ITA Andrea BONEZZI 1 1 1 1 33 7
2 AUS Marcus HAMILTON 2 2 2 2 1 9
3 AUS Tim HILL 4 4 6 5 6 25
4 AUS Matt HOSIE 3 33 11 7 2 26
5 GBR Simon MUSSELL 11 6 7 3 5 32
6 GER Christoph HOMEIER 8 9 8 8 8 41
7 AUS Paul GREEN 5 8 4 13 14 44
8 DEN Soren ANDREASEN 9 5 9 18 9 50
9 AUS Chris CHAMBERS 23 19 5 15 12 74
10 GBR David DAVIES 16 14 10 20 17 77
Tim HILL/Jan VON DER BANK (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Marcus HAMILTON is right at the front in Fremantle:©
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