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29 September 2006, 10:06 am
SPITHILL And SOUTER To Meet In Final
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Australian Women's Match Racing Championship 2006
Sydney, Australia

Pittwater sailors Katie SPITHILL (AUS) and Nick SOUTER (AUS) will meet in tomorrow's final of the ISAF Grade 3 Australian Women's Match Racing Championship, being conducted on Sydney Harbour by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club pair won their way to the final with convincing victories in the semi-finals this afternoon.
SPITHILL, number seven in the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings, scored a 3-0 semi-final win over Samantha BOYD (AUS) from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Youth Sailing Academy.

SOUTER, looking for a fourth successive Australian Women's Match Racing title win, beat Olympian Nicky BETHWAITE (AUS), representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron 3-1 in their semi-final.

BOYD and BETHWAITE will also race again tomorrow in the petit-final decide third place overall.

Sydney again provided excellent sailing conditions as the top six teams began their third round robin, with a twelve 15 knot north easterly sea breeze sweeping up the harbour after a two hour wait in hot and humid conditions.

However, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Race Committee knew the sea breeze was on its way down the coast and, once the cloud cover cleared, in it piped, steadily increasing to 15 knots, gusting to 18 knots.

SPITHILL On Top Form

SPITHILL was again unbeatable, winning five straight flights to finish at the top of ladder ahead of BETHWAITE and SOUTER, who each had three wins and two losses. BETHWAITE held second place after beating SOUTER in their flight.

Fourth place, and also a berth in the semi-finals, went BOYD with two wins and three losses, but it was a disappointing day for fellow CYCA Youth Sailing Academy sailor Lucinda WHITTY (AUS).

After her impressive performance on day two, the 16 year old could manage only one win, unluckily losing her flight against Victorian Claire HUNTING (AUS) from Sandringham Yacht Club.

WHITTY, the youngest helmsperson in the Championship, was leading on the final spinnaker run when the bowline tying the spinnaker sheet to the sail became undone and HUNTING sailed past to her only win of the day.

BOYD's two wins were against WHITTY and HUNTING to reach the semi-finals.

On To The Semis

With excellent sailing conditions continuing late into the afternoon, the Race Committee began the best of five semi-finals, with SPITHILL choosing BOYD as her opponent and BETHWAITE matched against SOUTER.

With a southerly change forecast overnight, the women can expect testing conditions tomorrow for the final and petit final with south to south easterly winds of 15-20 knots predicted by the weather bureau.

Australian Women's Match Racing Championship Results

Semi-Finals

Katie SPITHILL (AUS) d. Samantha BOYD (AUS), 3-0
Nicky SOUTER (AUS) d. Nicky BETHWAITE (AUS), 3-1

Second Stage Round Robin

1. Katie SPITHILL (AUS), 5-0
2. Nicky BETHWAITE (AUS), 3-2
3. Nicky SOUTER (AUS), 3-2
4. Samantha BOYD (AUS), 2-3
5. Claire HUNTING (AUS), 1-4
6. Lucinda WHITTY (AUS), 1-4

Round Robin Standings

1. Katie SPITHILL (AUS), 13-1
2. Nicky BETHWAITE (AUS), 10-4
3. Nicky SOUTER (AUS), 10-4
4. Lucinda WHITTY (AUS), 8-6
5. Samantha BOYD (AUS), 6-8
6. Claire HUNTING (AUS), 4-10
7. Simone DEANE (AUS), 4-10
8. Meghan ANDREW (AUS), 1-13

Peter CAMPBELL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Katie SPITHILL and her team round the top mark:© Aline VAN HAREN
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