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8 February 2006, 01:16 pm
DORLING Leads The Way
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Hardy Cup 2006
Sydney, Australia

Mark DORLING (AUS) and his Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team today finished as number one finalist in the ISAF Grade 3 Hardy Cup Match Racing Regatta for under 25 year old sailors on Sydney Harbour, Australia.
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DORLING has used his prerogative as top qualifier to select New Zealander Graeme SUTHERLAND, from Auckland's Royal Akarana Yacht Club, as his opponent in tomorrow's first semi final.

The second semi final will between Australia's two highly rated sailors in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Michael DUNSTAN, the defending Hardy Cup champion, and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron number one team helmsman, and Seve JARVIN from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

DORLING, 20, had an outstanding day in the Pool A round robin, beating the Frenchman Alexis LITTOZ-BARITEL, the Kiwis SUTHERLAND and Simon MINOPRIO, and finally fellow Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron member DUNSTAN. His one loss was to JARVIN.

Semi Finalists Decided

SUTHERLAND, DUNSTAN and JARVIN finished in that order, following a countback after each team ended the day with three wins and two losses. MINOPRIO had only two wins today whilst LITTOZ-BARITEL lost all five races.

Today again provided testing sailing conditions, with the nor'easter strengthening during the day to 18 knots on the Harbour.

DORLING's excellent effort surprised many, but he and his crew of Hugh TAIT and Nathan OUTTERRIDGE have been sailing well in local and international regattas, including winning the ISAF Grade 1 Cowes Youth Week Regatta in Great Britain last year.

This is DORLING's best individual effort so far in the Hardy Cup, although he crewed for DUNSTAN when he won the Hardy Cup several years back.

'Today's final race against Mike [DUNSTAN] was our best race of the day,' DORLING said after the competition. 'He won the start, but we caught up and gained with a couple of red flags against him…then we played the shifts and got through to win the race and top the qualifiers for the finals.'

Other Placings

The Pool B racing to decide the 7-12 final order was sailed this morning with Pool A racing this afternoon. In the fresher northeaster, the RSYS race officials were particularly grateful to competitors in the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club Wednesday afternoon racing fleet for their 'good seamanship and sportsmanship' in giving the young sailors plenty of sailing room.

The young team from the Fremantle Sailing Club in Western Australia of Torvar MIRSKY, Steven WALKERS and Graeme SPENCE sailed exceptionally well to top Pool B with five straight wins to finish with an overall standing of seventh.

New Zealand's Laurie JURY, representing Kiwi Match from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron had four wins today to finish second in Pool B and eighth overall, while the Max GURGEL and his German crew from the Hamburger Segal Yacht Club finished third in Pool B and ninth overall in the Hardy Cup at their first attempt at the prestigious event on Sydney Harbour.

Katie SPITHILL and her all female crew from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club slumped badly today with just one win to finish at the bottom of the twelve boat fleet.

Hardy Cup Standings

Pool A

1. Mark DORLING (AUS), 4-1
2. Graeme SUTHERLAND (NZL), 3-2
3. Michael DUNSTAN (AUS), 3-2
4. Seve JARVIN (AUS), 3-2
5. Simon MINOPRIO (NZL), 3-2
6. Alexis LITTOZ-BARITEL (FRA), 0-5

Pool B

7. Torvar MIRSKY (AUS), 5-0
8. Laurie JURY (NZL), 4-1
9. Max GURGEL (GER), 2-3
10. Keith SWINTON (AUS), 2-3
11. Hayden SWANSON (NZL), 1-4
12. Katie SPITHILL (AUS), 1-4

Peter CAMPBELL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Mark DORLING had a great day in Sydney:© Aline SIEPMANN
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