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19 January 2003, 11:54 am
New Zealand and Australia Tie in 470 on the First Day
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Commonwealth Sailing Championship
Melbourne

Andrew Brown/Jamie Hunt (NZL) and Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page (NSW) are tied for 1st place in the double-handed 470 class on the first day of the Commonwealth Sailing Championships at Sandringham Yacht Club today.
Sailing on Port Phillip Bay, Brown /Hunt went 1-2, while Wilmot/Page finished 2-1 in the first two races of the Championships.

Wilmot/Page, ranked 1 in the World, come fresh from their win at the Sail Melbourne International & Invited Classes Regatta, in which Brown/Hunt finished 6th.

Holding down 3rd place overall is the pairing of Stephen and Philip Keen (NZL) after a 4-3 result, from Gold medal winners at the 2000 Olympics, and winners at Sail Melbourne, Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell, with a 3-5 result.

Competitors sailed in extremely pleasant conditions today, the first race getting underway in 5-8 knots at 190 degrees, the second in 9-12 knots at 190 degrees.

Winner from the recent Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta, Debbie Hanna (NIR), has taken the lead in the Laser Radial class, Hanna, representing Northern Ireland, has just come from her win at the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta and took both races from Megan De Lange (AUS), who scored two 2nd places.

Margaret Morgan (Vic) who finished the day with two 3rd places, has not sailed a Laser since 1989, and has just competed in the Yngling keelboat class at the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta.

Like the 470's, the Radials sailed their first race in light breezes, which picked up for their second race.

Melanie Dennison, winner of the Yngling class at that regatta, was unable to compete today, but is expected to be on the Laser Radial start line tomorrow.

Day 1 of the Commonwealth Sailing Championships and the Laser battle is back on at Sandringham Yacht Club.

In Race 1, Ed Wright (GBR) took the gun from his training partner Brendan Casey (Qld) with Michael Blackburn (NSW) in 3rd.

Race 2, and it was Blackburn 1st from Casey and Kevin Lee (MAL) in 3rd.

Both Casey and Blackburn are after the spot to represent Australia at the Olympic Games in Athens, the latter making a recent return to the class, winning at the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta.

Jonathan Bonnitcha (NSW) won the first race of the Mistral Sailboard.

With a 2nd in Race 2, to Michael Lancey's 2-1 result today, the pair are tied for 1st place, Lancey this past week putting in a great effort at the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta to finish 4th overall.

The two Mistral sailors were out on the course on their own today in the 15 knot winds at 190 degrees.

Having sailed in the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta, finishing 4th overall, Robbie Lovig, with his new crew Glen Douglas (Vic) finished today's first two races of the Commonwealth Sailing Championships with a 1-2 result to take the lead in the Hobie 16 class.

Paul Pascoe, with daughter Danielle crewing (Vic) currently sit in 2nd overall with a 4-3 result, and Shayne Brodie/Loren Gough (FIJ) in 3rd place after their OCS in Race 1, which they followed up with a win in Race 2.

Racing got underway on the triangle windward return courses at 3.00pm in 16 knots of wind at 190 degrees.
Di Pearson/ISAF News Editor
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