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13 January 2003, 11:55 am
Day Three Round Up
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Sail Melbourne - Olympic and Invited Classes
Melbourne

Race Officials today made the decision to cancel sailing for a number of classes as winds up to 30 knots battered the Port Phillip Bay off Sandringham Yacht Club. Sailing did however, take place in Eight Classes.
Race Officials today made the decision to cancel sailing for a number of classes as winds up to 30 knots battered the Port Phillip Bay off Sandringham Yacht Club. Sailing did however, take place in Eight Classes.

In the Europes, young sailor, Jo Dikkenberg (AUS) revelled in the strong winds today to score a second in Race 5, followed by a win in Race 5.

After scoring a consistent fifth placing to-date, Dikkenberg, who is only of slight build, went out on the one-lap windward return courses with a new lease on life, creaming the internationally top-ranked sailors.

Lenka Smidova (CZE) continues her winning ways, taking out Race 5 and finishing S
second in Race 6.

Ranked fifth in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, Smidova hasn't put a foot wrong in this regatta, outsailing the current World champion, Sarah Blanck (AUS), who had her worst day with 6-7 result, and current World ranked 2, Carolijn Brouwer, who finished with a 5-3 result.

New Zealand's Sarah Macky, world-ranked 12, had a good day also, finishing with a 3-4 result. Half way through the series, with one race drop in play, the battle is on between the top-five placegetters. Progressive scores have Smidova in front with 8 points from Brouwer with 12, Macky on 15, Dikkenberg 18, and Blanck 19.

In exciting racing on the Yngling course, Melanie Dennison/Fiona Herbert/Caroline Aders (Vic) lifted their performance to win both Races 5 and 6.

Racing got underway in18 knots, with waves at one metre, Dennison and Bethwaite/McHugh/Kosmala (NSW) going neck-for-neck around the one-lap windward return course. As they hit the finish line, it was Dennison by the slightest of margins, two seconds. However, in Race 6, Dennison trounced the opposition for her second win of the series.

As Bethwaite said "you can't win em all, we lost the plot a bit in the second race, but we are happy, we learned a lot today, we tried a couple of different things with our sails."

Margaret Morgan/Melissa Chisholm/Emily Furno (AUS) came home third in both races, the famous 72 year old Warn twins electing to stay ashore today, their crew weight too light for the heavy winds.

Provisional progressive scores show Bethwaite leading with 7 points after one race drop, Dennison with 9 points, Warn with 14 and Morgan with 18.

Out on the Star course the wind played havoc with the competitors - disaster striking R Mahesh/Nitin Mongia (IND), their mast tumbling down in the early part of their first race.

Further down the track, and multiple Skiff Champion, Iain Murray/Andrew Palfrey (AUS), lost steerage when their tiller parted company from the boat, rendering them a non-finisher.

Rod Hagerbols/Will Finlay (USA) did not have much luck on their side either, Hagerbols parting company with his boat, and it was out the back door for them also.

Once again, former multiple Olympians, Colin Beashel/David Giles came home first within a whisker of Ian 'Barney' Walker/Nick Williams - only 8 seconds separating the two, making for stimulating racing.

Andrew Hunn/Michael O'Brien (Tas) were third home, with father and son combination Phillip Snr and Phillip Jnr Baker home fourth.

Race 5 produced a completely different result, Murray/Palfrey effecting repairs to win by 25 seconds from Walker/Williams, who had to be content with playing the brides maid again.

Beashel/Giles were lucky to finish 3rd, caught on the wrong side of the course - the rest of the fleet on the right side. They fought back from behind to finish in a top 3.

Progressive results show Beashel/Giles in the lead with 6 points, followed by Walker/Williams on 9 and Murray/Palfrey 16.

Former two-time Olympic representative, Lars Kleppich (AUS) had his second win of the Mistral Mens Series in Race 3 today on Port Phillip Bay.

Kleppich, in top form after time away from the sport, got away from his New Zealand compatriots Tom Ashley and Jon-Paul Tobin, who had to be content with a second and third placing respectively. Dominic Tidey (GBR), ISAF world-ranked 5, came home in fourth place.

Barbara Kendall, New Zealand's invincible Mistral sailor, is in terrific form at Sail Melbourne this year.

Two third placings today gives the current World Mistral Womens champion the lead at the regatta.

Kendall's story is an amazing one - at 35 years old, she recently made a return to the sport she loves, after taking time out to have a baby in 2001. Her World championship win qualified New Zealand for a place at the 2004 Olympic Games, and all she needs to do now is finish in the top five at the Cadiz Combined World Championships in September to confirm her place in the Olympic team.

Finishing with a 1-4 result today, another top board sailor to come out of mothballs, Jessica Crisp (NSW) is up in second place progressively after a good series to-date.

The World-ranked No. 1 Mistral sailor, Natasha Sturges (GBR) had a brilliant day too - with a 20-1 result to be in third position. Others in hunt for a top placing include Wai Kei Chan (HK) with 19 points, Allison Shreeve (NSW) on 21, and Sheena McKinnon (NZL) on 23.

Talented dinghy Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) today won both Finn races in 15-18 knot shifting winds. Anthony Nossiter held the lead in Race 5, but found himself on the wrong side of a wind shift, allowing Godefroid to sail through him on the other side of the course, surfing across the finish line in front.

Overall, provisionally, Godefroid has a good lead with 6 points from Nossiter with 12 and Rambeau 13. McKenzie is in 4th spot with 16, then young Josh Beaver with 22.

Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page (NSW) have increased their lead in the Mixed 470 double-handed class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta.

Finishing today's two races with a 2-1 result, the pair now have a clear lead from Philippe Gildas/Nicholas Leberre (FRA), who had the reverse results of 1-2.

Shane Smith/Andrew Verdon (AUS) had their best result of the series, finishing 3rd in Race 5, while Nicholas Charbonnier/Tanguy Cariou (FRA) had an 11-3 result today.

Leading the Womens fleet are Gold medallist from Sydney 2000, Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell (NSW). The pair had a better day today with a 6-5 result for 35 points, their nearest rivals Shelley Hesson/Linda Dickson (NZL) who scored a 9-16 today for a total of 61 points.

Having had six races now, one race drop comes into play, and shows Wilmot/Page with a big lead on 7 points from Gildas/Leberre with 17 points and Charbonnier/Cariou in third with 18 points.

The world-ranked No. 5 Laser sailor, Ed Wright (GBR), finally showed the talent that gave him his ranking, winning two races straight on the Laser course at the Sail Melbourne Regatta today.

Wright won Race 3 from his training partner, Brendan Casey (Qld), with Roope Suomalainen (FIN) in third, and series leader, Andrew Murdoch (NZL) in fourth place.

In Race 4, Murdoch finished second, with Peer Moberg (NOR) in 3rd from Tom Slingsby (NSW).

With the Laser fielding the largest numbers - 47 competitors to be exact, the fight for the trophy will be an interesting one, the points so far, extremely close in the top 8 places.

Currently, Murdoch leads with 17 points, from David Weaver (NZL) 18, Diego Negri (ITA) 20, Michael Blackburn (NSW) 22, and Ed Wright (25).



Di Pearson/ISAF News Editor
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