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28 September 2006, 12:00 pm
16 Year Old Stars After SPITHILL's Blistering Start
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Australian Women's Match Racing Championship 2006
Sydney, Australia

After Katie SPITHILL (AUS) blew the competition away with a 7-0 start on day one of the ISAF Grade 3 Australian Women's Match Racing Championship, Sydney schoolgirl Lucinda WHITTY (AUS) surprised her vastly more experienced opposition with five excellent wins in today's second round robin on Sydney Harbour.
16 year old WHITTY, representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Youth Sailing Academy, has finished in fourth place after two qualifying round robins. She and her crew move into tomorrow's second round of match racing with five other women, most of them with extensive international sailing experience.

Breezy Day Two

Conducted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, the Championship's second round robin was sailed in a 15-18 knot south easterly breeze in the morning which eased during the afternoon and swung more to the east. However, all flights in the round robin were completed.

WHITTY started her match racing career in last year's Australian Women's Match Racing Championship, but this is this is her first regatta with her present crew of Tiffany FULDE (19) on mainsheet, Kathleen STROINOVSKY (16) as for'ard hand and Sarah BILSEL (16) on bow. All four are members of the YSA women's summer squad.

Following three wins in the first round robin, WHITTY showed greater confident and excellent tactics at the starts today to notch up five victories, including inflicting the only defeat so far of Australia's top sailor in the ISAF World Match Racing Rankings, world number seven SPITHILL from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

SPITHILL has dominated the series so far, finishing the two round robins with 13 wins in 14 flights.

BETHWAITE Fights Back

Another big improver was Olympian Nicky BETHWAITE (AUS), representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. BETHWAITE and her crew of Karyn GOJNICH and two young Squadron Youth Programme members Katie BROWN and Kate REDDY, moving up to second overall with six wins today.

In overall standings, BETHWAITE has displaced three-time Australian Champion Nicky SOUTER (AUS) from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, who also had five wins today.

The CYCA's number one team skippered by Sam BOYD (AUS) has also qualified for the second round with two wins today, while sixth place in the second round went to Victorian Claire HUNTING from Sandringham Yacht Club. HUNTING ousted the CYCA's Simone DEAN by beating her in their encounter today.

Australian Women's Match Racing Championship Results

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 Acuity lead after day two :© Aline VAN HAREN
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