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23 September 2005, 10:36 am
RPAYC Holds Quinella
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Line 7 Australian Women's Match Racing Championship 2005
Sydney, Australia

Competition at the ISAF Grade 3 Line 7 Australian Women's Match Racing Championship in Sydney is deadlocked and Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) holds the quinella. Australia's top two sailors in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Nicky SOUTER and club mate Katie SPITHILL are equal first, with SOUTER ahead on count back, while school girl Nina CURTIS moves up to third place.
Nicky BETHWAITE's Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) team suffered two upsets late in the day, defeated easily by the South Australian team and immediately after by the Victorians.

Racing today was even closer than yesterday, with some of the younger crews threatening the more experienced in a number of matches.

Umpire Jodie EARNSHAW, who also umpired at the event in 2004, was impressed with the high level of competition and the depth of the field. 'The level of competitors and the number of states represented has gone up. The standard of women's sailing is increasing, with top ISAF ranked sailors and ex Olympians here. Some of the young sailors will be brilliant in a few years, there is a lot of talent out there to nurture.'

She also commented on the suitability of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) Elliott 6s and feels they have brought out the best in the sailors.

Like yesterday, SOUTER versus SPITHILL was the match of the day, with aggressive tactics and a number of lead changes. SOUTER eventually crossed the finish first, after rolling SPITHILL under spinnaker towards the end of the race.

The competitors were greeted by another blissful morning on Sydney Harbour, albeit less wind than yesterday. At 1000 hours local time yesterday's SPITHILL vs. DEWING match was resailed to complete round robin one and wind was light and patchy from the west. Soon after 1100 the sea breeze filled in and remained at eight to ten knots for the day, making for another day of perfect sailing conditions.

SOUTER, SPITHILL, CURTIS and BETHWAITE make up the top four for tomorrow's semi finals. The winners will qualify for Sunday's final, whilst the defeated teams will contest the petit final.

The remaining five teams, who have all won races and shown great improvement, will contest a mini round robin tomorrow to determine positions five to nine. All going to plan, those competitors will then join the jostling spectator fleet for Sunday's showdown.

Line 7 Australian Women's Match Racing Championship Standings

1. Nicky SOUTER, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (NSW), 7-1
2. Katie SPITHILL, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (NSW), 7-1
3. Nina CURTIS, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (NSW), 6-2
4. Nicky BETHWAITE, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (NSW), 4-3
5. Megan RIDGWAY, Sandringham Yacht Club (VIC), 4-3
6. Natalie DEWING, Adelaide Sailing Club (SA), 3-4
7. Adele FREAN, South of Perth Yacht Club (WA), 3-4
8. Sam BOYD, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (NSW), 1-7
9. Jeanne-Claude STRONG, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (NSW), 1-7

Jo Dikkenberg (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Nina CURTIS has booked her place in tomorrow's semi finals:© Andrea Francolini/afrancolini.com
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