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2 February 2014, 03:49 pm
Light And Tricky At Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL)
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL)

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2014
Auckland, New Zealand

There was little change across the fleet leaders on day two of 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland despite a day of tricky conditions on the water in Auckland, New Zealand.
There was more close racing as the regatta now hits the mid-way mark for most, and the OK Dinghy and Flying Fifteen winners are crowned.

Conditions in Auckland today tested Race Officials and sailors alike with shifty, funky winds seeing luck play a stronger part in race results. Some abandonments and plenty of re-set courses were the result of fickle winds that came and went throughout the day.

Latest standings at the end of day two in the 49er, 49erFX, 470, Kite-board racing, 29er and 420 classes are still pending at the time of release.

49erFX
It was the skiffs that provided the male versus female story of the day with 49erFX World Champions Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech very pleased to get one over Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the opening race on day two.

Molly Meech says; "We won the first race and we beat Pete and Blair which is pretty cool. We got second to Josh and Marcus so that was a really good achievement for us."

Maloney and Meech have strong international competition at 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland and they're enjoying the quality racing. "In the second one we had a good comeback but it got really flukey. It was good close racing, the lead changed all the time," says Meech. "We have really nice speed out there, and it's cool to have the Dutch girls and the Australians and the Japanese crews here to race with us."

Laser
Rutger Van Schaardenburg (NED) had another solid day, (6, 2, 2) and has extended his lead in the fleet as his rivals produced mixed results in the challenging conditions. NZL Sailing Team's Andy Maloney retains second place overall but is now ten points back from Van Schaardenburg after he placed seventh, tenth and then first in the day's three races.

Nicholas Heiner, also from the Netherlands is in third with no change to the top three.

Laser Radial
Sara Winther is out in front in the 31 strong Laser Radial fleet. The Takapuna Boating Club sailor came away with a 9, 1, 4 for the day and sits four points clear of Ryan Lo Jun Han of Singapore. Winther says; "it was a very tricky day to stay consistent and really hard with the big tide. Hopefully the breeze is better tomorrow!"

Trent Rippey, a youth sailor from Tauranga, has caught the Singaporean on points to round out the top three. Meanwhile Scott Leith produced the most consistent results from day two and he shifts from fifth to fourth closing in on the leaders.

Finn
Taking three from three on the Finn course Josh Junior, from Worser Bay Boating Club, has broken the points tie and stretched out a five point lead over NZL Sailing Team-mate Andrew Murdoch. Junior has 5 points, while Murdoch is still safely in second place on 9 points with former OK Dinghy World Champion Karl Purdie lying third on 14 points.

With two days of racing to go this Finn battle isn't over yet and will be one to watch over the second half of the regatta.

Nacra 17
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) have extended their lead in the Nacra 17 mixed multi-hull class adding another three wins today to maintain a squeaky clean score-card with six race wins over the first half of the regatta. Rachel Basevi and Tomer Simhoney are in second with three second places while Taylor Burn and Vicky Francis are laying third.

RS:X
On day two it was the RS:X windsurfer's turn to hit Course E first with the kite-board racers to follow, and JP Tobin (NZL) continued his demonstration of world class windsurfing clocking up another two race wins to hold a perfect score-card across the opening half of the regatta. Behind him the finishing order was consistent across both races sailed today with Korea's Kyounghwan Lee placing second in the two races and Tony Mackenzie (NZL) from the Manly Sailing Club third. It's these three sailors who hold the top three spots in the Olympic men's windsurfing division.

Among the RS:X 8.5 fleet the Patrick Haybittle from the Murrays Bay Sailing Club still holds the lead with Alexander Hart from Tauranga holding station in second after a race win in the second race of the day. Female windsurfer Natalia Kosinska has climbed up the leader-board into third overall with a first and a second on the water today.

Paralympics Classes
Racing is extremely competitive in the SKUD 18 two-person Paralympic class with Brendan Tourelle and Anna Ankersmit chasing leaders, and new combination, Tim Dempsey and Gemma Fletcher for the lead. Just one point separates the top two crews as they head into the second half of the regatta.

Dempsey describes the day; "Pretty testing conditions out there today, it was quite shifty, there were some big shifts and they had to reset the course a few times - it was quite hard to pick at times. Some really close tight racing so it's been good."

"Our plan for the next few days is to win every race, which is not going to be easy. Brendan and Anna are sailing really well, so they're going to be pretty tough to beat."

Dempsey says that he and his new sailing partner Gemma Fletcher are starting to gel; "It's working really well, Gemma just a long way in a really short space of time. She hasn't been sailing the SKUD very long at all. I couldn't have asked for better really at this point in time."

An incredible battle is unfolding in the 2.4mR one person keelboat, with the five boat fleet frequently crossing the finish line overlapped in super tight racing. Australia's Matt Bugg has the edge and leads by one point from Christchurch sailor Brett Willcock, with 2012 Paralympic representative Paul Francis close behind in third place.

The two-boat dual in the Sonar class sees Rick Dodson and crew leading by one point from the rival entry with Callum Conroy at the helm. Dodson recorded an OCS in the second race but discards that to retain his lead.

Results Oceanbridge Sail Auckland

Jodie Bakewell-White
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