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28 February 2008, 09:06 am
French Still Lead At Tornado Worlds
Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY
Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY were the star performers on day four in Takapuna

Tornado World Championship 2008
Takapuna Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Yann GUICHARD and Alexandre GAEBLER still hold the lead with the Tornado World Championship now past the midway point in Takapuna.
While the forecast wasn't promising Takapuna turned it on today with fabulous sailing conditions and warm, sunny skies. Racing started on time and sailors enjoyed a north easterly breeze which built through the afternoon to around 12 knots for the second race of the day making for exciting sailing.

The snakes and ladders on the leader board continued today with constant shuffling in the overall standings. Now past the midway point in this ten race series, the one discard for the series has come into play which saw some competitors make big gains on the board.

The top two overnight, Yann GUICHARD and Alexandre GUYADER (FRA) and Roland GAEBLER and Gunnar STRUCKMANN (GER) were 13th in the first race of the day allowing the Canadians Oskar JOHANSSON and Kevin STITTLE to steal the overall lead momentarily, however the French were quick to fight back coming fourth in race 6, they then discarded their worst result and took back the lead.

2006 World Champions and world #1 crew Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY were the big movers of the day shifting up to second, just six points adrift of the leaders and putting themselves right back in the game for the title. They were eighth in race 5 and then followed that up with a win in race 6 to rocket six places up the leaderboard aided by the first discard coming into play.

It was a mixed day for Canadians JOHANSSON and STITTLE who took the overall lead after a fourth in race 5. But in race 6 they were 19th across the line and now sit in third place overall at the end of the day. Still looking to qualify their country for an Olympic spot they are well out in front in this race which sees ten nations who are yet to qualify fighting it out for four remaining places.

German's GAEBLER and STRUCKMAN had a disappointing day losing their overnight position of second and falling back to fifth overall with a 30th and an 18th in racing today.

Lying second in the race for Olympic qualification is the Kiwi pair of Aaron MCINTOSH and Mark KENNEDY. The New Zealanders were pleased with their performance on the water today and happy with their overall consistency.

"That was a good one for us," said MCINTOSH. "The big thing is that we've been super consistent all the way through."

When asked about their tactics for racing MCINTOSH replied, "Keep it simple, do the simple things well. We've had two days of offshore and today we had the sea breeze which was pretty light, and a little bit sticky. But we had good starts and managed to get to the right side of the course early."

MCINTOSH is pleased and perhaps a touch surprised at his overall standing. When asked how he was feeling now six races in he said, "Really great, a little surprised, but we know we've got in ourselves."

Austrians Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER, the reigning Olympic Champions, improved their overall standing today from 14th up to ninth which also puts them in a good position to earn Olympic qualification.

Racing resumes tomorrow with a planned start time of 13:00 with two races scheduled; racing concludes on Saturday.

Results - click here
Tornado World Championship - www.takapunaworlds.org
Jodie Bakewell-White (As Amended By ISAF)
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