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5 September 2012, 02:33 pm
Australia's Dan Fitzgibbon And Liesl Tesch Win SKUD18 Gold With A Race To Spare
Gold medallists, Fitzgibbon and Tesch (AUS)
Gold medallists, Fitzgibbon and Tesch (AUS)

London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition
Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain

Australia's Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch won SKUD18 gold on the penultimate day of racing at the Paralympic Sailing Competition with a race to spare.
With a six point leading heading into the final race the Australians are discarding their worst finish of third from Race 4. And with only race wins and second place finishes on their score card they can not be overthrown on 14 points.

Jen French and Jp Creignou (USA) are second on 20 points whilst Great Britain's Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) are third on 22 points. Neither crew can be caught so medals are guaranteed but the colour will be decided on the final day of racing with one race scheduled.

Fitzgibbon and Tesch revelled in the stronger breeze and left their rivals in their wake in the first race, leading at every mark to record their fourth victory of the series so far.

John Mcroberts and Stacie Louttit (CAN) led off the start line and crossed ahead of the fleet on the first upwind leg but had to give way to the Australians while rounding the first mark. As the Canadian challenge faded during the race, dropping them to sixth at the finish, the Americans powered through to take second. The British duo had the most work to do to lift themselves from sixth at the first mark to third at the finish.

The second race of the day was sailed in lower winds of around 12 knots, conditions that clearly suited the Italian crew of Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) who shot off the start line into a lead they held to the finish.

Behind them, the Australians and Brits slugged it out on the first two legs of the course for second place before the British pair faded away, eventually finishing fifth. Unable to catch the Italians, Fitzgibbon and Tesch had only to keep a cover on French and Creignou who had climbed up to third.

Top Five
1. Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) - 14pts
2. Jen French and JP Creignou (USA) - 20pts
3. Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) - 22pts
4. John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit (CAN) - 34pts
5. Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) - 46pts

Follow all the latest news from the Paralympic Sailing via the International Association for Disabled Sailing Twitter, @IFDS_Updates.


Disabled Sailing London 2012 Paralympic Website
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