Beijing Olympic gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE made an impressive start to her ISAF Sailing World Cup season, topping the leaderboard in the Laser Radial class following the second day of racing at Sail Melbourne.
It was a busy day on Port Phillip Bay, as day two of Sail Melbourne, the first event of the new ISAF Sailing World Cup
series, brought with it improved conditions. Olympic gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE
of the USA, made the most of three races in the Laser Radial class to pull out a three-point overall lead.
Unfortunately Radial racing was postponed yesterday due to the light air, however TUNNICLIFFE, as rusty as she admits to being, has had no trouble with conditions today. With 20 knot winds forecast for tomorrow, the US skipper is set to have further opportunity to demonstrate her famed ability across all wind ranges and conditions. TUNNICLIFFE's adaptability makes her an early favourite for the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup trophy, with the seven World Cup events across Oceania, North America and Europe sure to provide a wide range of very different sailing conditions and challenges.
In Melbourne today, the 24 year old worked her way through the field to post a third, second and first respectively to lead the regatta on six points. She is closely followed by Croatia's Tina MIHELIC
, the 2006 winner of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
, on 9 points and Rachel BASEVI
(NZL) on 14 points in third place.
Australia's new young star Gabrielle KING
(AUS), a double (2007 and 2008) Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion, got her series off to a solid start with 8, 12, 3 scores putting her fifth overall, behind Andrea BREWSTER
of Great Britain.
In the Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser fleet, Kiwi Michael BULLOT
leads on nine points, with Matias DEL SOLAR
of Chile just a single point behind. Another New Zealander, James SANDALL
, is in third place on 18 points overall. It was a disappointing start for world #4 skipper and Sydney winner Michael LEIGH
(CAN), who was 12th in races one and two, before recovering with a second place finish in race three. LEIGH is seventh overall on 26 points.
Sandringham Yacht club member Warwick HILL
(AUS) took one step closer to becoming known as a "Flying Finn" after day two of racing in the in Heavyweight Dinghy Finn fleet. The 21-year-old Finn sailor, who recently completed a Bachelor of Technology, majoring in Aviation, flew past his counterparts on the water today to take an impressive lead in his class.
The Finn sailors managed to get in three races today, following just the one yesterday, with HILL posting victories in the first three, only to be pipped into second place by half a boatlength in the fourth race.
HILL, who finished second at the Sydney International Regatta last week, said conditions on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay were tough and shifty and the fleet spent the whole time searching for pressure.
"Racing was pretty tough and pretty close the whole day - but the races were reasonably short so it wasn't too bad,"
HILL has only been in a Finn for the past 15 months and as a member of the Australian Development Squad is looking for a good result at his home club this week.
HILL has opened up a handy lead of 5 points over fellow ASDS member James PATERSON
(AUS) who won the fourth race of the day, with Jake GUNTHER
(AUS) in third place. Sydney International Regatta's winner Chris CALDECOAT
(AUS) is nine points off the pace in fourth position overall.
US Pair Fight Back In 470
US 470 class Olympic representatives Stuart MCNAY
and Graham BIEHL
crossed the line in first place in race four today and have managed to keep Aussie pair, Beijing gold medallist Malcolm PAGE
and his new skipper Mat BELCHER
well within their sights.
BELCHER and PAGE still lead the regatta on eight points after a solid performance on Port Phillip Bay, winning the first of the three races today and finishing third in the following two. MCNAY and BIEHL are three points further back on 11 points.
However it was the young pair of 19 year old SYC members Sam KIVELL
and Max TAYLOR
who impressed today, posting their first win on the regatta in race three and crossing the line in second place in race four, elevating themselves into third place overall on 13 points and still well in contention.
"The second race we just got a really good start, got out to the left and got some really good left pressure and that got across everyone - we then just managed to consolidate the whole way - once we were out in front it made it a lot easier which was good,"
The Australian pairing of Stacey OMAY and Chelsea HALL continue to be the dominant Women's 470 team.
Brits Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES and Mark ASQUITH continue to lead the compact 49er fleet after two day's of racing and one dropped race.
The only GBR team racing in the 49ers is on five points, five clear of Kiwi pair David MCDIARMID and Andrew ARCHIBALD on 10 points, with young Aussie pair Will PHILLIPS and Sam PHILLIPS just one point back in third place.
Both of the RS:X windsurfing fleets held in their first two races in Melbourne today. New Caledonia's Benjamin TILLIER, a runner up at Sail Melbourne two years ago, leads the men with a first and second place. Amongst the women, three-time Olympian Jessica CRISP (AUS) tops the leaderboard ahead of Kiwi Kate ELLINGHAM and Canada's Nikola GIRKE.
In the 2.4 mR fleet, Michael LEYDON (AUS) scored his third consecutive bullet to maintain the overall lead, whilst Chris RIORDAN and Bob SCHAHINGER won the opening race of the SKUD18 series.
Click here for all the news on Sail Melbourne 2008.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-28 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.