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19 January 2002, 12:48 pm
Event Concludes
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Europe sailor Ditte Juul (DEN)

Sail Melbourne

Jon Paul Tobin (NZL) sailed a brilliant series to win the <B>Mens Mistral</B> Oceanic Championships at the Sail Melbourne Regatta, which finished on Port Phillip Bay today.
Tobin had five wins, a 2nd and a number of 3rds to outclass the opposition, of which there was plenty, at Sandringham Yacht Club today. He finished the Championships with 13 points, three ahead of Nick Dempsey (GBR) who also sailed consistently well with a number of top placings.

Fellow Brit, Dom Tidey, finished the Championships in 3rd place with 21 points, also staying at the top end of the scoreboard for all but two races - one in which he was OCS, which cost him dearly.

Natasha Sturges (GBR) won the final race of the Women's Mistral Oceanic Championships to take the series at the Sail Melbourne Regatta.

Australia's entry into the Sydney Olympics, Jessica Crisp, finished 2nd behind Sturges after the two had swapped the lead throughout the series. Sturges finished with 12 points, winning four races in total to Crisp's three wins and total points of 14.

Sturges, who represented Australia at the 1996 Olympic Games in the Mistral class, and won three Youth World titles, won the first three races, helping her clinch the series. Crisp was slow to start, not having been on a sailboard since the Olympics.

Ranked 7th in the world, Italy's Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello finished 3rd in today's final 49er race at the Sail Melbourne Regatta to take out the Championships.

The brothers won five of the fifteen races to clinch the title, finishing with 25 points to take the series from Australia's representatives at the Sydney Olympics, Chris Nicholson and Michael Blackburn, who finished on 32 points.

Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page (AUS) came ashore all smiles today, taking out the final race in the 470 class to win the event at the Sail Melbourne Regatta.

The Sydneysiders are more than pleased with their win - they score valuable world ranking points which will help them in their endeavours to represent Australia at the next Olympic Games in Athens and they also win valuable prize-money.

"That will certainly help us with our campaign, and it's great to win this event, the racing conditions here are tough", 22 year old Wilmot said after the race.

Sebastien Godefroid (BEL), had no need to compete in today's final Finn race at the Sail Melbourne Regatta, having enough points to take out the event, winning nine of the eleven races he sailed in.

Godefroid is ranked 2nd in the world, and it showed at this regatta. Paul McKenzie (AUS), also had no need to compete in today's race to finish 2nd with 22 points. He left Sandringham Yacht Club last night to get ready for his last event.

Melanie Dennison and crew (AUS) did not compete in today's final Yngling race at the Sail Melbourne Regatta - they had already won the event with eight wins in eleven races.

Sydney's Nicky Bethwaite and crew won today's final race, giving them four wins from 12 races, finishing 2nd in all other races, to finish 2nd overall with 16 points.

These two combatants raced neck for neck all series, their finishes extremely close. To all intent purposes, it was a two-boat event - both are aiming for Olympic selection in the Yngling which is making it's Olympic debut in Athens in 2004.

Darren Bundock and John Forbes have won every race of the Tornado Nationals at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Racing 14 other competitors, the pair had no alternative but to drop two 1st places in the 12 race series which allows competitors to drop their worst two places.

Belgium's Min Dezillie has won the Europe class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta by one point from Australia's Sarah Blanck at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Blanck won the last race of the series, but Dezillie came 2nd, which kept her one point in front after winning races 10 and 11 of the 12 race series. Dezillie finished with 15 points, Blanck with 16.

Cheung Ka Ho and Ashun Tong Ping Shun (HK) sailed themselves to a win in the 420 class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta today.

The 420's got away at 1.00pm local time in a light 8-9 knot south-south-westerly breeze, but that did not phase Ho and Shun - although they finished in 2nd place, to Louise Hutton/Clair McCartney (Aust) who posted their second win for the 12 race series.

Queensland's dynamic Renee and Aaron Linton have stormed home to win the 29er class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta today.

The teenage sister and brother from Bowen in Queensland, won nine of their twelve races, including today's final one, to wrap up the series with 11 points.

Jake Bartrom (NZL) has won the Laser Radial class on the last day at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Bartrom was trailing Aaron Gregory (AUS) until yesterday when he won the last race of the day to take the lead - and there he stayed. He finished 4th in today's final race to Gregory's 1st placing, but it was enough to give the New Zealander the series - by one point, finishing for a total of 15 points.

Queensland brothers Brendan and Stewart Casey came to the Sail Melbourne Regatta with one purpose in mind- for Brendan to score the all important ranking points that will help him in his quest to represent Australia at the next Olympic Games in Athens.

Today, 24 year old Brendan won the Laser event - by two points from Great Britain's Edward Wright, and 27 year old Stewart finished 3rd. It was Wright, though, who won the last race of the series.
Di Pearson/News Editor
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