The medals were decided at Sail Melbourne today are a series of Medal Races held in predominantly light, shifty and tricky conditions.
and Glenn ASHBY
(AUS) cemented their status as hot favourites for the Tornado World title this March with an emphatic win in the Tornado Class of the Asia Pacific Regatta.
Although their Medal Race was abandoned due to light airs and running out of time, the two, following racing yesterday, finished 20 points clear of the their nearest rivals at host venue, Sandringham Yacht Club.
However a race today would have made little difference to the gold medal result, with BUNDOCK from NSW and ASHBY from Victoria enjoying their biggest regatta winning margin to date and one that couldn't be beaten.
"We're really happy with how it all worked out, and we were pretty stoked with how we were going in the light wind and the strong winds, so it's pretty good preparation for getting set up for the Worlds in a few weeks time,"
"We're certainly pretty happy that we're going down the right path with our sail design programme heading towards Beijing,"
the 30 year old added.
And following a second in the Olympic Test Event at Qingdao last year, BUNDOCK, 36, said their light wind training sessions were beginning to pay dividends.
"It [the Olympic Test Event] was a really big step for us I think, showing that we could compete in those sorts of light and tricky conditions, and from then on we've been concentrating on light wind conditions,"
"We certainly didn't have anything this week, like we're expecting in Beijing, but I think we got glimpses of it,"
the world #1 ranked skipper added.
Should they win the World title, to be sailed in Takapuna, New Zealand, it will be BUNDOCK's sixth, and equal record with his former silver medallist crew John FORBES
(AUS). It will be ASHBY's second, after winning the 2006 Worlds with BUNDOCK.
and Valery USHKOV
(RUS) enjoyed a consistent week of racing to consolidate their silver medal position with 41 points, followed by Leigh MCMILLAN
and Will HOWDEN
(GBR) in the bronze medal position, a further six points behind.
The Russians finished second to BUNDOCK and ASHBY at the Tornado Asia Pacific Regatta last week and today's final result has put them in pole position for Olympic team selection.
Just two points out of the medal position were World Champs Fernando ECHAVARRI
and Anton PAZ
(ESP), who have not sailed to optimum here in Australia.
Going into today's Medal Race Erin MAXWELL
and Isabelle KINSOLVING
(USA) were feeling good about their position ahead of Ai KONDO
and Naoko KAMATA
(JPN) in second and Giulia CONTI
and Giovanna MICOL
(ITA) in third.
"We've been at the top of the score board every day. We're mathematically guaranteed either first or second at an ISAF Grade 1 Event,"
an excited MAXWELL said yesterday.
Happily, the US girls who missed out on Olympic selection, took out the gold medal today, their second place in the Medal Race more than enough to cover them, having led the Women's 470 fleet from day one. A feisty KONDO and KAMATA were awarded the silver after their third place finish in the Medal Race, while CONTI and MICOL received the bronze.
and Noriko OKUMA
(JPN) won the Medal Race today for a fourth in the regatta.
But it isn't over yet, as the ISAF Grade W 470 World Championships at Sail Melbourne will be held next week at Mordialloc Sailing Club.
The Americans are feeling confident about next week. "We trained hard this fall, then took a break, so we are well trained and rested."
Yesterday's top three overall place holders managed to stay in their spots after today's close Medal Race, with Nick ROGERS
and Joe GLANFIELD
(GBR) claiming gold with a convincing first in the Medal Race this afternoon in light wafty airs on the course just off host venue, Sandringham Yacht Club.
Athens silver medallists ROGERS and GLANFIELD really enjoyed their week of racing at Sandringham and are looking forward to next week's ISAF Grade W 470 World Championships at Sail Melbourne. "It's beautiful here. The best sailing place,"
The silver medal went to world ranked #13 Sime FANTELA
and Igor MARENIC
(CRO) and bronze went to world #4 Mathew BELCHER
and Nick BEHRENS
(AUS), who just missed selection into the 2008 Beijing Games. The pair was extremely pleased, particularly BELCHER who has come fresh from winning the Moth Australian title.
Australian Tom SLINGSBY
lost his lead in the Laser Class at the Asia Pacific Regatta today and fell into the bronze medal position, Paul GOODISON
(GBR) taking out the gold.
SLINGSBY went into the Medal Race with the regatta lead on countback to GOODISON; who made up ground over the last couple of days, and three points clear of Andrew MURDOCH
(NZL), who had his own bit of bad luck with an OCS late in the series.
GOODISON finished second in the Medal Race to win gold, MURDOCH was fifth, while SLINGSBY's seventh cost him the series.
GOODISON's final points tally was 25 points, MURDOCH's 34 and SLINGSBY scored 35.
's (AUS) gold medal win at the Asia Pacific Regatta was one of the most decisive victories for the whole series, taking the series by a huge 21-point lead ahead of the second place Sari MULTALA
BLANCK, who finished third in today's shifty light Medal Race, will now head to New Zealand for the Laser Radial World Championship in February with her head held high.
The Victorian, who is in the team for Beijing, recently scored the coaching services of Sydney 2000 Laser bronze medallist Michael BLACKBURN
(AUS) and the pairing is working just fine.
MULTALA won silver despite a disappointing ninth place in the Medal Race, which was won by top Kiwi sailor and light air specialist Jo ALEH
(NZL), who took home the bronze medal, while Nathalie BRUGGER
(SUI) finished second.
As expected, British sailor Ben AINSLIE
proved his worth as the outstanding Finn Class sailor of his generation with yet another emphatic victory at the Asia Pacific Regatta at Black Rock Yacht Club this afternoon, after finishing the Medal Race today in second place.
Light and shifty conditions beset all in the Medal Races today, and those who read the shifts scored the dividends.
Winner of gold at Sail Melbourne's Asia Pacific Regatta, AINSLIE will line up again next week at the Finn Gold Cup (the World Championship) in a bid to become the first Finn sailor to grab a fifth World title in the class to add to his two Olympic gold medals.
The Brits managed to dominate the Finn class all week, with AINSLIE's national rival Ed WRIGHT
(GBR) in outright second place following his seventh in the Medal Race. He finished 22 points in arrears of AINSLIE, followed by 2007 World Champion Rafa TRUJILLO
(ESP) on 66 points. Both have a lot of work to do if they are to get close to AINSLIE next week.
Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC
(CRO) can go into next week's event with bragging rights for the Medal Race after winning it today, however he finished the regatta seventh overall, well out of medal contention on 103 points. Australia's Anthony NOSSITER
Going into the final day today, son and father duo Morgan and David STALEY (AUS) had first place cemented with a four point lead in the Paralympic class SKUD18 Class of the Asia Pacific Regatta. Second was another son and father duo Duncan and Peter MACGREGOR (AUS).
In third place was Tan JOVIN and Desiree LIM (SIN) and in fourth place was Amy BARNBROOK and Leigh DUNSTAN (AUS).
After the day's racing, Morgan expressed his delight with the regatta.
"I'm really happy with that [their result] .. you just have to try your hardest and go out there and do your best,"
"We were really just out there having fun with everyone else and getting the best result out of ourselves and sailing with my dad was really great pleasure,"
the 16-year-old admitted.
Peter MACGREGOR said he and son Duncan, the 2007 Access 2.3 World Champion, had a great time too. "There were massive shifts again today, but the finish was so close; it came down to three boats. Jovin won - he had his first win yesterday, so that's great for him. We've both really enjoyed ourselves here,"
Australian's Peter RUSSELL and Peter THOMPSON were on equal points without drops going into today's final race of the 2.4 Metre class of the Asia Pacific Regatta at Sandringham Yacht Club.
"The light conditions this morning favoured me, it was light and sloppy and I've always done reasonably well in those conditions,"
RUSSELL, the overall winner, said.
Up the first beat of the race there was a 40-degree shift to the left and RUSSELL on the favoured side of the course.
"With good boat speed, I achieved a reasonable lead, which extended through the day,"
RUSSELL said after finishing the race in first place with THOMPSON in fifth.
"It's always good to win regattas. It would have been nice to have a close battle with Peter, but with that shift, it meant there weren't those strategic options available,"
THOMPSON finished the regatta in second place followed by Aaron HILL (AUS) in third. This is the second time RUSSELL has won this event.
Men's Laser Radial
The Laser Radial men's gold was won by Greg ADAMS (AUS) after going into today's Medal Race 18 points ahead of fellow Australian and youth sailor on the move, Klade HAUSCHILDT, who started the day in fourth place overall.
In the Medal Race, Kelsey ORMSBY (AUS) came first followed by HAUSCHILDT, then Tristan BROWN (AUS) in third.
HAUSCHILDT's impressive second place rewarded him with the silver medal and Richard BOTT (AUS) won bronze.
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