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11 January 2006, 12:19 pm
Afternoon's Racing Favours Siesta
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J/24 Australian Championship 2006
Melbourne, Australia

Japanese boat Siesta continues its apparent stranglehold on the J/24 Australian National Championship at Sail Melbourne in the lead up to the World Championship next week. Skippered by Wataru SAKAMOTO (JPN), Siesta finished with a fourth and eleventh place in today's racing on Port Phillip to cement its first place overall in a strong fleet of 31 boats.
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USA boat Brain Cramp, with accomplished sailor Mike INGHAM at the helm, made its charge in the second race of the day to finish first. But INGHAM was not happy with the 18th place they started the day with after being surprised by a light ten knot breeze with slight waves.'Every day the wind has built and built and we set up [the boat] for heavy wind. We didn't do too good in that race. It was a silly mistake,' he said.'We made changes for the second race. We eased up our shroud tensions - it makes a huge difference.'

While Siesta is on target for the National Championship, there is some uncertainty whether it will compete in the final day of racing.

International crews are ineligible to win the event and there is talk that the crew of Siesta may decide to rest in preparation for the all important World Championship which begins at Sandringham Yacht Club on 15 January, only one day after the Nationals finish.

Currently, Siesta leads from Brain Cramp and Bruschetta - no change from yesterday. However, the Australian Championship is presently in the hands of holding National Champion, Sean KIRKJIAN and crew on Death Star, currently fifth overall. The Championship finishes this Friday.

For all the news on Sail Melbourne CLICK HERE.

Di PEARSON (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Action from Port Phillip:© Jeff CROW, Sport the Library at Sail Melbourne
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