Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY of Australia were untouchable in race 7 of the 2008 Tornado Worlds and now hold the overall lead going into the final day.
On the breeziest day of the regatta so far in Takapuna, New Zealand, racing was fast and exciting with a 15-20 knot north easterly, choppy seas and sunny skies. Racing got underway on schedule at 13:00 and another two races were sailed; eight races are now completed with two more planned for tomorrow to decide the world title.
Rocketing off the start line in race 7 Darren BUNDOCK
and Glenn ASHBY
(AUS), the #1 crew in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings
, pulled out to a comfortable lead which they maintained throughout the race crossing way ahead of Roland GAEBLER
and Gunnar STRUCKMANN
of Germany who were second.
The Aussies didn't fare so well in race 8 and were in 16th place at the first mark rounding. Despite this they fought their way back to finish a respectable sixth which sees them take the overall lead after starting the day in second. With just two races remaining BUNDOCK and ASHBY are on 34 points and have a four point buffer over second place.
Leaders since day two, Yann GUICHARD
and Alexandre GUYADER
of France slipped to now sit in third place overall after a disappointing day on the water today. After a fifth in race 7 and then 23rd in race 8, they take a tumble from the lead but still have the title well in their grasp if they can out perform the other top contenders on the final day.
Both GUICHARD and GUYANDER, and Canada's Oskar JOHANSSON
and Kevin STITTLE
are equal on 39 points, just five points back from the new leaders.
The on-form Canadians, who are yet to qualify their country for an Olympic spot, brought home a two more solid race results today with a seventh and a fourth which means they're looking good for a podium spot if they can finish well. Not surprisingly they remain the best placed of the ten countries fighting for national Olympic qualification.
Austria has overtaken New Zealand in this race for an Olympic berth despite a mixed day on the water. Roman HAGARA
and Hans Peter STEINACHER
(AUT) recorded a DNF in race 7 but came out guns blazing in race 8 taking their first race win at this World Championship. While they slip out of the top ten from ninth overall back to 11th they did fare better than the Kiwis today who fell from seventh overall to 12th, just behind the Austrians.
Local favourites Aaron MCINTOSH
and Mark KENNEDY
(NZL) will be disappointed with their on water showing on the penultimate day; however they still look well placed to earn an Olympic berth for New Zealand. In race 7 they were 24th, which becomes their discard race, and were 15th in race 8 which sees them slip out of the top ten and back to 12th overall.
Blustery north easterlies and rain are predicted off Takapuna, North Shore City tomorrow for the final day of the 2008 Tornado World Championship. Racing is scheduled to start earlier than previously with race 9 set to get underway at 11:00.
Results - click here
Tornado World Championship - www.takapunaworlds.org