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15 January 2002, 11:01 am
Turnball Leads 49ers
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Sail Melbourne

Olympic Gold medal winner in the 470 class at the Sydney Games, Mark Turnbull (AUS), has taken the lead with his crew Nick Partridge, in the Olympic 49er skiff class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta being sailed on Port Phillip Bay.
Sailing a further three races today, Melbourne's Turnbull finished with a 2-2-4 score to a total of 12 points to take the lead, with Tom Fitzpatrick/Euan McNichol (Ireland) in 2nd with 18 points and Jason Beebe/Phillip Manning (Aust) sailing well to be in 3rd place with 19 points. Japan's entrants in the Sydney Olympics, Kenji Nakamura/Masato Takaki hold down 4th spot with 20 points.

Three-time World champion in the class, Chris Nicholson, sailing with Sydney Games Bronze medallist in the Laser class, Michael Blackburn, is currently sitting in 5th place with 22 points - but it is eight month's since the pair sailed together on the 49er, Nicholson has been away sailing in the Volvo Round the World Race aboard Amer Sports One.

Conditions on the race-track today started around 15 knots, but picked up to around 20 knots by 2.30pm swinging from sou-sou-west to sou-west.

The 49ers have now had six races, which allows them to drop their worst race after five races. They still have nine races to complete - a further two races are scheduled for tomorrow. Once nine races have been sailed, a further worst race may be dropped.

A further two races were sailed in the Europe class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay today with Trine Abrahamsen (Denmark) repeating yesterday's performance, finishing 4-2 to take the lead with 12 points, from fellow Dane, Ditte Juul who sits in 2nd place on 13 points, one point behind the leader.

Melbourne's Sarah Blanck, who held the lead going into today's races, had a disappointing day, scoring an OCS in the first race of the day, but finishing 3rd in the second race, to be 3rd for the overall for the series on countback.

Sharing 17 points with Blanck are Monika Bronicka (Poland) and Sydney's Jo Dikkenberg (Aust), successful Youth sailor who is new to the Europe class and sailing very well.

Conditions for the Europe's today were ideal - 15-20 knot winds swinging during the day from sou-sou-west to sou-west.

Racing continues tomorrow with a further two races to commence around 3.00pm in the 12 race series which finishes on Saturday afternoon..

Queensland's Renee and Aaron Linton scored a 3rd and a 1st in today's 29er racers at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

In increasing winds varying in the 15-20 knot range, that swung from sou-sou-west to sou-west, the sister and brother duo revelled in the conditions that leaves them ahead in the regatta with total points of 7, only one point ahead of Julian Hampton/Adrian Kamer, whilst further back the 3rd placed Nick Randolph/Meg Delahoy have a total of 15, in this bar-one all-Australian fleet.

The only international entry, Ashun Tyouh and Ztggyiioh Sdiutd from Bangladesh, have not managed to finish a race yet, but are out on the track each day.

The 29ers have had four races now; 12 constitutes the series. Two more races will be sailed tomorrow, and once five races have been completed, competitors will be allowed to drop their worst race.

Di Pearson/News Editor
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