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18 January 2005, 02:59 pm
Wittey Provisional Leader After Four Races
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Australian Etchells Nationals
Sydney, Australia

Sydney yachtsman Michael COXON and Mark BRADFORD from Brisbane both notched up wins on day two of the Australian championship for the International Etchells class on Sydney Harbour today, but Neville WITTEY, remains the overall pointscore leader.
Wittey, a well known Sydney sailor and four-times NSW Etchells champion, heads the provisional pointscore with 22 points from placings of 4-2-10-6 with Yandoo XX, to be well clear of today's race three winner, Coxon, who spoiled a consistent scorecard of 2-9-1 with a 19th in race four at the helm of North Sydney.

Coxon has 31 points, just one point ahead of sail maker colleague Mark BRADFORD, who won race four today in The Room of Mirrors, improving from a race one 20 yesterday to notch a 6-5-1 scorecard by the end of today for 32 points.

Results are provisional because of protests, including one between the Pittwater boat Strength and Honour (Matthew MITCHELL) and the Sydney fleet boat Liquorice Allsorts 3 (Brian and Mike TYQUIN).

Strength and Honour suffered major damage in the port and starboard incident before the start of race four and was unable to compete.

Conditions proved testing for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's race committee and for competitors, with a shifty southeasterly breeze.

However, apart from an AP postponement flag following a general recall, no changes to the courses proved necessary.

In both races, the winners took an early lead and with excellent tactical sailing and by picking the wind shifts, held off all challengers for comfortable victories.

In race three, North Sydney with Coxon at the helm, won from two Melbourne boats Barry White, skippered by Damien KING, and Happy Man (Campbell MYLES).

In race four, Mark BRADFORD steered The Room of Mirrors to victory from the consistent Barry White, third place going to the Pittwater boat, Steam Packet V (Bruce WOOKEY and Rob BROWN).

Many high profile Etchells sailors had a mediocre day. World champion Peter MCNEILL, sailing Tom Pepper XVIII from Lake Macquarie finished 19 in race three but improved with a seventh in race four. He is sixth overall on 35 points after being equal second on day one.

Iain MURRAY, returning from ocean racing to the cut and thrust of Etchells sailing, is twelfth overall with Kaenon, with a 15 and 26 today, while America's Cup winner John Bertrand, sailing Two Saints and a Magpie, finished 31 and 18 in today's races to be 19 overall.

Provisional top five after four races:

Pos Boat Name Skipper Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Points
1 Yandoo XX Neville WITTEY 4 2 10 6 22
2 North Sydney Michael COXON 2 9 1 19 31
3 The Room of Mirros Mark BRADFORD 20 6 5 1 32
4 Steam Packet V Bruce WOCKEY/Rob BROWN 8 16 7 3 35
5 Tom Pepper XVIII Peter MCNEILL 1 8 19 7 36
Peter Campbell (As Amended by ISAF)
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