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9 January 2003, 10:29 am
Nicholson/Boyd Take First Place
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Australian 49er Championship

Released from hospital late last evening, it transpires that Italian, Gianfranco Sibello, has in fact sustained a slight fracture to his arm, fortunate not to break his arm, he has been advised by doctors not to sail for a few days.
Although disappointed, the ISAF World Ranked No. 6 Sibello's (his brother Pietro skippers the boat), were philosophical about their demise from the series they were leading.

They are grateful that Gianfranco will be able to compete at the Sail Melbourne Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta starting January 11 at Sandringham Yacht Club.

Four races were sailed today to complete the Australian Championship in south-westerly breezes in the 7-9 knot range that built throughout the afternoon to around 17 knots from the south-south-east.

In good form, former three-time World 49er champion, Chris Nicholson, with crew, Gary Boyd (NSW), won the championship convincingly with 28 points, from Mark Turnbull/Nick Partridge (Vic), with 46 points and Ben and Marcus Tardrew, who sailed exceptionally well to finish third with 57 points.

A multi-talented sailor, Nicholson also recently won the 505 World Championship with brother, Darren, and recently finished second on line aboard Grundig in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race. He also competed in the recent Volvo Round the World Yacht Race, so has been off the 49er track for a while.

All competitors will leave Geelong tonight to head to Sandringham for the Sail Melbourne Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta.

Overall Top Ten (After 13 Races/2 Discards)

Place Skipper From Total Points
1 C Nicholson AUS 28
2 M Turnbull AUS 46
3 B Tardrew AUS 57
4 J Harris AUS 59
5 K Nakamura JPN 63
6 D Jones AUS 75
7 I Ermakov RUS 85
8 A Linton AUS 90
9 L Modena Italy 98
10 M Kennedy NZL 102

Di Pearson/ISAF News Editor
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