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17 January 2006, 10:49 am
Aussies Show Up On Day Two But Brazil Leads
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J/24 World Championship 2006
Melbourne, Australia

The much fancied crew on Bruschetta, helmed by Mauricio SANTACRUZ (BRA) has taken the J/24 World Championship lead on countback, but all the wins went to the home sailors from Australia today at the Sail Melbourne event.
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New Australian champions and current West Australian Champions Sean WALLIS and his Fly Emirates crew notched up two wins - in races four and six, with a 14th in race five.

'The breezier conditions [15 knots] in the first race were around right for us. The chop just killed us yesterday,' WALLIS said.

'We don't mind the stronger winds, but we have a very good Italian boat and a very good Brazilian boat that are going to be very hard to beat,' WALLIS said, referring to Bruschetta and Luigi RAVIOLI's (ITA) second placed Black Jack.

WALLIS, from Royal Perth Yacht Club, said Bruschetta had come through the fleet very quickly in race four and then he had the Italians to contend with in races five and six.

'In the races we won, we covered them - and we are very happy with our results today - but we are only half way through the regatta,' he cautioned, adding, 'We put in a good performance at the last Worlds [they were second best Aussies] and have travelled Australia a lot to regattas, spending a lot of time and money - I guess we are starting to see the rewards.'

Three further races were sailed of Sandringham Yacht Club in winds that built all day and reached the 20-25 knot range by race six, and although the Brazilian crew took the lead on countback from the Italian team, neither scored a win today.

Both boats scored second places; the Bruschetta crew in race four, Black Jack in race six, but both had disasters (for them), with 13th and 15th places respectively, giving WALLIS and his crew the opportunity to leap up the leaderboard into fifth place overall. WALLIS is understandably pleased that good winds are forecast for tomorrow.

Although they did not win a race today, Bruschetta's SANTACRUZ is happy with their performance and to be leading. 'I have a very good crew; that is why we do well. The first race was light and shifty - very difficult, but after that, it got windy and we are sailing well downwind. This is a very nice place for sailing; we are all enjoying it. We had a very nice start in the third race, but we had up our genoa and everyone else had a jib. It was a big mistake for us,' he said.

Doug MCGAIN (AUS) was the other winner today, taking out race five, which has lifted his Code Violation crew from NSW up the board and into ninth place overall.

Sean KIRKJIAN (AUS) and his crew on Death Star had a better day today, with an eighth and sixth placing, only a 22nd in race five spoiling his day, in what has been a disappointing Championship so far. KIRKJIAN was the best placed Australian at the 2005 Worlds, finishing fourth.

In what is shaping up to be a close series, Bruschetta leads from Black Jack on equal points, with Ian SOUTHWORTH's (GBR) crew on Inmarsat in third, but SANTACRUZ is protesting the Brits, whose best place today was a third and that may change the points.

The twelve race series continues from the host venue, Sandringham Yacht Club tomorrow, when officials plan holding two further heats starting from 1200 hours local time.

Sail Melbourne is made possible by the support of event sponsors: Sport & Recreation Victoria, Collex, Parks Victoria; associate sponsors Bayside City Council and Menere's BMW Brighton and support sponsors Ronstan International, Schenker Australia, City of Kingston and the City of Port Philip.

Top Ten

Pos Nation Boat Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1 BRA Bruschetta Mauricio SANTACRUZ 1 7 5 2 5 (13) 20
2 ITA Black Jack Luigi RAVIOLI 2 2 2 (18) 12 2 20
3 GBR Inmarsat Ian SOUTHWORTH 4 5 4 9 3 (15) 25
4 JPN Siesta Wataru SAKAMOTO (10) 8 3 6 7 5 29
5 AUS Fly Emirates Sean WALLIS (15) 6 9 1 14 1 31
6 USA Brain Cramp Mike INGHAM 11 3 12 (16) 4 10 40
7 JPN Cerezo Yasutaka FUNAZAWA 14 12 (20) 12 2 3 43
8 USA The Pie David KLATT 9 4 1 (35) 11 19 44
9 AUS Code Violation Doug MCGAIN 24 (41) DSQ 8 5 1 8 46
10 GBR crazygoals.co.uk Jon POWELL (23) 11 7 3 15 12 48

For all the news on Sail Melbourne CLICK HERE.

Di PEARSON (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Code Violation secured a victory today:© Jeff CROW, Sport the Library at Sail Melbourne
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