Australian Olympic medallist Darren BUNDOCK this afternoon described he and crew Glenn ASHBY as being "on fire," after taking out the first two races of the Tornado Asia Pacific Races sailed on Westernport Bay late this afternoon.
Racing against some of the best Tornado sailors in the world, including World Champions Fernando ECHAVARRI
and Anton PAZ
(ESP), Darren BUNDOCK
said of race 1: "We got a good start and led around the track. It was very much a light air day and we didn't get ashore till just after 7.00pm."
The Aussie pair beat Tino MITTELMEIER
and Niko MITTELMEIER
(GER) and Andrey KIRILYUK
and Valery USHKOV
in race 1, then in race 2, it was Olympic medallist Mitch BOOTH
and his crew Pim NIEUWENHUIS
(NED) second and the MITTLEMEIER brothers third.
The MITTLEMEIERS have been racking up great results lately, their most recent a third place at the ISAF Grade 1 Sydney International Regatta, held in December.
BUNDOCK said: "Both races were held in very light and shifty easterly winds, but it was generally good for us and we managed to get one on the wire in the second race, as there was a bit more pressure.
"In our second race, the Greeks [Iordanis PASCHALIDIS and Konstantinos TRIGONIS] were black flagged and rolled us at the start, but we managed to catch up again and take the lead. We are pleased with our wins, as all the top international crews are here, including the world champions.
"We found that there was more pressure near shore than there was out to sea today, but it wasn't very consistent,"
He and Glenn ASHBY
, who is from Bendigo in Victoria, have been selected to represent Australia at the Beijing Games. This will be BUNDOCK's third Games and ASHBY's first. However, ASHBY won the 2006 Tornado Worlds with BUNDOCK, and can claim a few World titles of his own, including the 2007 A Cat world title, which he won recently.
Hosted by Somers Yacht Club on the Mornington Peninsula, the Tornado Asia Pacific Championship is a Sail Melbourne ISAF Grade 1 event. Racing continues tomorrow.
Sail Melbourne - www.sailmelbourne.com.au
Results - www.sailmelbourne.com.au/race-results/2008/tornado/series.htm