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14 January 2003, 02:50 pm
Day Four
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The Finns Start

Sail Melbourne - Olympic and Invited Classes
Melbourne

Australia's only ISAF Grade One Olympic Classes Regatta, Sail Melbourne continued today in almost perfect breeze on Port Phillip Bay from the Sandringham Yacht Club.
Olympic Classes

49er

Chris Nicholson/Gary Boyd (NSW) are continuing to outclass the rest of the field in the 49er skiff class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Race 7 got underway in 16 plus knots of breeze at 185 degrees on the two-lap windward return courses, and not even the 6th ranked Sibello brothers (ITA) could catch Nicholson/Boyd, who finished 14 seconds in front. Next best placed were Luca and Manuel Modena (ITA).

No ALT tag specifiedNicko/Boyd continued on their merry way winning Race 8, and placing second in Race 9. The Sibello brothers are keeping the pair honest with second in Race 8 and winning Race 9 to hold down second place overall.

Gabriel Wicke/Wolf Jeschonnek (GER) popped up in third place in Race 8, with a fourth in Race 7, keeping them in a top 6 position, and Emmett Lazich/David Mann (NSW) remembering to sign on today, could count his mixed 7-14-3 places to keep him in the top 11.

Mark Turnbull/Nick Partridge (Vic) did not have a particularly pleasing day today, if it could go wrong, it did, including a number of swims on just about every part of the course, 'we didn't have a good day,' he said as they came ashore.

Despite their 1-16-9 result, they still maintain third place overall.

After protests from skippers Ilya Ermakov (RUS) and Mark Turnbull (AUS) in Sunday's Race 6, the jury have awarded both skippers redress for that race, with Ermakov declared equal first place with Nicholson, while Turnbull scored equal second place with Sibello.

This result did not affect the overall placings, just the points.

Progressively, Nicholson/Boyd lead with 8 points from Sibello/Sibello on 15, and Turnbull Partridge with 28.

Finn

Master of the Finn class, Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) took out Race 7 on the Finn course today, three seconds in front of Anthony Nossiter (NSW) today in Melbourne

Paying him back, Nossiter won Race 8, with Godefroid second. Godefroid commented this morning that Nossiter had improved a lot since his time away competing in the Volvo Round the World Race. "He is a lot calmer, more focussed, it's been good for him - he's sailing better than I've ever seen him," he said.

"It's good to go and do some sailing on big boats, it teaches you a lot of things, things you maybe don't even realise," he added.

Progressive scores have Godefroid well in front after eight races with 9 points, Nossiter has 15, Rambeau 20.

2.4 mR

Stuart Shimmeld (ACT) scored a further 1-1 result today to be the clear leader in the 2.4M class. He has scored three first places and one third, to lead the regatta from James Thompson (Vic) who placed second in both races today, while Andrew May (NZL) placed third in both.

470 Men and Women

No ALT tag specifiedNathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page have continued to outclass the opposition in the 470 class today, finishing with a 1-2 result to consolidate their lead in the Combined 470 class fleet at Sail Melbourne.

Their major opposition at the regatta, Philippe Gildas/Nicholas Leberre (FRA), have continued their chase of the Aussies, finishing their day with a 2-1, in a repeat situation of yesterday, to maintain their placing overall.

Andrew Brown/Jamie Hunt (NZL) had their best day of the Regatta, finishing with two third placings to move up to sixth place overall

Having one of their best regattas to-date, Mat and Dan Belcher (Qld) had another good result today with a 4-4 finish.

Competitors in the 470 enjoyed the windier 15-18 knot winds that greeted them on the Olympic Trapezoid courses this afternoon.

The battle of the Womens fleet continues, with Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (FRA) finishing their day with 8-7 result, while Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell finished with a 13-6 result.

Yngling

No ALT tag specifiedMelanie Dennison/Fiona Herbert/Caroline Aders (Vic), won a further two races today in the Yngling to level the series with Nicky Bethwaite/Kate McHugh/Kristin Kosmala (NSW).

Revelling in the 18-20 knot winds at 180 degrees, Dennison had no trouble at all in keeping her rival for the Australian 2004 Olympic spot at bay in both races.

With the points now level, the battle will be well and truly on, with only four more races to be sailed.

Both skippers have represented at Olympics before, and both are determined they will be the one in Greece, come 2004.

Meanwhile, Pat and Joyce Warn, with crew Tneal Kawalla, finished third in race 7, but along with Margaret Morgan/Emily Furno/Melissa Chisholm, chose not to compete in Race 8, with winds increasing in strength - their crew weight too light.

Mistral Men and Women

Four out of a total of five New Zealand Mistral sailors are in the fight of their life for pole position at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Of the 27 starters, the four Kiwis feature in the top seven overall score. Two races were sailed today, Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL) winning both Races 5 and 6, Tom Ashley (NZL) coming home 2nd in both.

Lars Kleppich (AUS) was the lone Aussie trying to keep the Kiwis at arm's length, posting two 3rd places in the 20 plus knots of wind experienced on the water this afternoon.

Olivier Guide (FRA) was the lead international entry today, scoring two 4th placings on the Olympic Trapezoid courses.

The sailboarders had the ride of their lives this afternoon, plenty of wind, and plenty of waves - brilliant surfing conditions. Progressively, Tom Ashley is a nose in front with 12 points from JP Tobin with 14, Lars Kleppich has 15, with Michael Lance (AUS) holding on with 23.

ISAF World-ranked No. 1, Natasha Sturges (GBR), today stole the lead from Barbara Kendall (NZL) in the Mistral Womens series sailed on Port Phillip Bay.

Sturges finished 2-1 in Races 5 and 6 today, with Allison Shreeve (NSW) sailing her best regatta yet with a 1-2 result to stay near the front of the leader board.

Current World champion, Barbara Kendall had a 3-5 result, while Jessica Crisp (NSW) went 4-3 to maintain a top three position. Sailing in the freshening 20 knots plus of wind on one- metre waves, the boards flew around the Olympic Trapezoid courses in no time.

Like the Mens Mistral, the current top four girls are having the battle of their lives as the lead places change as the days go by. Progressive placings have Sturges first with 10 points from Kendall with 13, Crisp a close 14 and Shreeve 15.

Tornado

Current World champions and No. 1 Tornado sailors in the world, Darren Bundock and John Forbes (NSW) are convincingly beating the rest of the field at Sail Melbourne Regatta this week.

The pair are unstoppable, the rest of the fleet thrilled with the opportunity to race against the 'dynamic duo' of this Olympic class. With a further two wins today, Bundock/Forbes lead the progressive points with a faultless score of five after six races with one race-drop in the series.

Iordanis 'Dennis' Paschalides/Christos Garefis (GRE), the training partners of Bundock/Forbes, are the next best placed with a further two second placings today, for 10 points.

Garefis said today, "we are getting so much better training with these two, they are teaching us so much, we are great friends, they look after us in Australia, and we look after them when they are in Greece."

Stephen Medwell/Brent Vaughan (NSW), today said they were having the time of their lives, on the triangle windward return course in 18 plus knots of wind.

"We are having great racing here, we are happy with the way we are performing," Vaughan said.

Star

No ALT tag specifiedColin Beashel/David Giles (NSW), furthered their chances of Olympic representation winning both races of the day at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay. Whilst the others tough it out for the minor places, Beashel/Giles have not looked back, their worst result a third place after eight races.

Ian 'Barney' Walker/Nick Williams (Vic) took second place in the earlier Race 7 today, finishing 3rd in Race 8. The two are throwing all they can at the former Olympians, but say they need more time sailing the Star to come up with the 'finesse' of Beashel and Giles.

Andrew Hunn/Michael O'Brien (Tas) scored a third in Race 7 today, while Iain Murray/Andrew Palfrey (NSW) took second place in Race 8. Progressive scores have Beashel/Giles on 8 points, with Walker/Williams on 14 and Murray/Palfrey on 22.

Europe

One of the most improving Europe sailors, Lenka Smidova (CZE) continues to lead the Europe single-handed dinghy class at Sail Melbourne this week. While the World-ranked 5 Smidova did not win either of the two races sailed today, finishing with a 4-3 result, it was enough to keep her in front.

Jo Dikkenberg (NSW) enjoyed the heavier conditions again today, winning Race 7, but placing 5th in Race 8, enjoying a great regatta so far. No. 2 World-ranked Carolijn Brouwer (NED) won Race 8, with current World champion, Sarah Blanck (Vic) coming home 2nd, while Sarah Macky (NZL) kept her hand in, with a 2nd in Race 7 and 4th in Race 8.

Brouwer commented after racing 'it was just fantastic out there today, Paradise, in fact, surfing downwind was just the best - the waves were great, but it was a hard slog going upwind again. This is the best place in the world to sail - I can't believe more top ranked international are not here.'

Laser

Michael Blackburn (NSW) displayed the form that won him the Bronze medal at the Sydney 200 Games today, winning both races to take the lead in the Laser. A focussed and committed sailor, Blackburn only recently made a return to the class after a stint on the 49er skiff with Chris Nicholson.

Ed Wright (GBR) finished with a 2-5 result to be in 2nd place for the series to-date, while Jon Holroyd (NSW), producing some great results in the past six months, had the race of his life to finish second in Race 8 against some of the toughest opposition at this regatta.

Brendan Casey (Qld) is having some mixed results, today he featured at both ends of the spectrum with a third in Race 5, then a BFD in Race 6.

Andrew Murdoch (NZL) finished his day with a 7-3, dropping him down the leader board. Progressively, Blackburn takes the lead today with 15 points from Wright who has 18 points and Murdoch 19.

Invited Classes

James Tudball/Matt Williams remain unbeaten on Day 2 of the 29er skiff at Sail Melbourne on Port Phillip Bay.

The pair, sailing in an all-Australian field, finished their day with another 1-1 result - four wins from four races, with Andrew Churcher/Michael MacDonald scoring a 2-2 result, with Lucien Francis/Wulf Wilkens finishing with two 3rd places on the Olympic Trapezoid courses in strong 20 knot winds at 175 degrees.

Progressively, Tudball/Williams lead with 4 points from Francis/Wilkens with 12 and Churcher/MacDonald with 14.

Jake Bartrom (NZL) today continued to barnstorm his way to the top in the Laser Radial at Sail Melbourne.

Having won the class at last year's event, this boy could certainly be a future Olympian, finishing with a 1-3 result to have a big lead from his compatriots this afternoon.

Tim Cubit (AUS) posted his second 2nd placing for the series in Race 5, with a 9th in Race 6, while Adam Beattie (AUS) finished today with a 5-2 score to hold his top three placing.

Richard Howard (AUS) also kept up his part of the bargain finishing with a 3rd in Race 5 and a win in Race 6, to keep him at the top of the board.

Sailing in 13-16 knot winds on Port Phillip Bay today, the Radials will have two further races tomorrow.

Progressive points have Bartrom on 7, from the jointly 2nd placed Howard and Beattie with 15 points.

Di Pearson/ISAF News Editor
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