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8 February 2005, 11:59 am
Michael DUNSTAN'S Leads Into Stage Two
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Hardy Cup
Sydney, Australia

Four Australian and two New Zealand crews today qualified to move into stage two of the Hardy Cup ISAF Grade 3 international youth match racing series on Sydney Harbour, with Australia's Michael DUNSTAN losing only one flight so far.
Dunstan's only loss as helmsman of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron No 1 team - and it was right on the finish line - was to defending Hardy Cup champion, New Zealander Laurie JURY with the Kiwi Match Racing Team.

Sydney turned on a freshening 15-18 knot nor'easterly seabreeze for the second day of the Hardy Cup, with the RSYS race committee completing the four round-robins of stage one after delaying the start of racing for almost two hours.

However, it was a day of minor drama for three crews, the Italian team ramming their Elliott 6 sports boat into the RSYS committee boat and being penalised for racing rules infringement, and two crewmen falling overboard in over-athletic efforts at rounding marks.

Ryan HOUSTON went overboard from the Vision Yachting team from New Zealand and Carl JOHAN Uckelstan fell into the harbour from the Swedish boat. Both quickly clambered back on board and their yachts continued racing, although losing some valuable time to their opponents.

Dunstan's RSYS No 1 team heads the six qualifiers for stage two with 10 wins and one loss, followed by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia No 1 team (helmsman Seve JARVIN) with nine wins and two losses, and the CYCA No 2 team (Evan WALKER) with seven wins and four losses.

Laurie JURY'S Kiwi Match Racing Team has had seven wins and four losses, Vision Yachting New Zealand (Simon MINOPRIO) six wins and five losses, and RSYS NO 2 (Mark DORLING) had five wins and six losses, winning its place in the top six on a countback from the Italian team, skippered by Matteo SAVELLI from the Circolo Velioco Antignano.

Aside from the man overboard incident, Vision Yachting had a much better day on the water today, enjoying the freshening breeze, winning four flights, including beating the strong CYCA No 2 team.

Minoprio, who last week won the Warren Jones Youth Regatta in Perth, beating Dunstan in a hard-fought final, won only two of his five flights yesterday, but today he was in much better form.

Jury, the Kiwi winner of last year's Hardy Cup, also sailed well today, not only beating Dunstan but also fellow New Zealander Minoprio.

However, it was again Dunstan's day on his home waters, beating Minoprio and the promising Evan WALKER of the CYCA No 2 team, as well as the Italian and Japanese teams. His loss to Jury was by a close margin after a tense match racing duel.

The top six teams tomorrow will go into stage two of round-robins to decide the semi-finalists while the lower six teams will continue a round-robin to decide their final order in the regatta.

Peter Campbell (As Amended by ISAF)
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