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11 January 2003, 12:03 pm
Olympic and Invited Classes Kick Off
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Sail Melbourne
Melbourne

Sail Melbourne, Australia's only ISAF Grade one Olympic classes regatta, started today in a light breeze on Port Phillip Bay.
In the 49er, fresh from the Australian Nationals, although with a crew with a bandaged arm, the Sibello brothers showed their form by winning the first race. ISAF ranked 6 in the World, the brothers had no trouble on the one-lap windward return course on Port Phillip Bay, in the light 5-7 winds at 205 degrees, in the first race to show their dominance over the rest of the fleet.

Changes occurred in the second race, which was sailed in similar conditions to race one, although the breeze had shifted to 235 degrees on flat seas.

Melbourne's Olympic Gold medallist in the 470 class, Mark Turnbull, with crew, Nick Partridge, won the second race from Ilya Ermakov/Maxim Logoutenko (RUS), with Nicholson/Boyd third.

In the third race of the day, in 7 knots of breeze at 205 degrees, it was Nicholson/Boyd firstt, Turnbull/Partridge second and John Harris/Euan McNicol (NSW) 3rd.

At the end of Day 1 in the 49ers, Turnbull/Partridge and Nicholson/ Boyd lead with 7 points each from Harris/McNicol with 12 points.

Colin Beashel/David Giles (NSW) showed their dominance in the first Star keelboat race, Beashel, who has represented at Olympics on five occasions, and Giles, who has represented three times, won the Bronze medal at the Games in 1996.

The pair is on the comeback trail following a layoff after the Sydney 2000 Games.

Ian 'Barney' Walker/Nick Williams (Vic), winners of last year's event, finished in 2nd place, only 20 seconds behind the leaders.

Andrew Hunn/Michael O'Brien (Tas) finished 3rd from Rod Hagerbols/Will Finlay (USA), followed by former 18ft skiff supremo, Iain Murray/Andrew Palfrey (NSW).

Race 2, and it was Walker/Williams, from Beashel/Giles, Walker saying, 'Beasho led at the start, but we caught them up and beat then by a whole foot! We had a not too bad day, we have been training for the past two months, but you can't afford to make a single mistake with Beasho, he's too slick.'

In 3rd place once again, were Hunn/O'Brien, leaving Beashel/Giles and Walker/Williams tied for 1st place with 3 points each, and Hunn/O'Brien in 2nd with 6 points.

Proponents of the Yngling keelboat, making its debut at the 2004 Olympic Games, 72 year-old twin sisters, Pat and Joyce Warn with young crew, Tneal Kawala (NSW), have shown the younger girls what it is all about, winning the first race and placing 2nd in the second race of the Yngling class today.

What makes this story more interesting is that they beat both two Olympic hopefuls, Nicky Bethwaite/Kate McHugh/Kristin Kosmala (NSW) and Melanie Dennison/Fiona Herbert/Caroline Aders (Vic), the latter ranked No. 2 in the World.

With the breeze at a constant five knots on Port Phillip Bay, the Warn's, who turn 73 in March, are the biggest stalwarts of the class, and were recently made Life Members of the International Yngling Association and of their club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Sydney, for their services to the Yngling class and to sailing in general.

Ranked No. 5 in the world, Lenka Smidova (CZE), won the first of the Europe, womens single-handed Dinghy class races from the No. 2 ranked Carolijn Brouwer (NED) at the Sail Melbourne Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta on Port Phillip Bay today.

The world's ISAF No. 1 ranked pair in the 470, Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page (NSW), won the first race of the day on the triangle windward return course in 12-knot breezes.

Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (FRA) the world-ranked 10th female pair, outsailed the rest of the mixed fleet to finish in 2nd place from Nicolas Charbonnier/Tanguy Cariou (FRA) in 3rd and brothers Matthew and Dan Belcher (AUS) in 4th, with Lisa Charlson/Friederike Zieggelay (AUS) in 5th spot in front of Gold Medal winners from the Sydney Olympics, Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell.

In the second race of the day on an Olympic Trapezoid course in 12 knots, it was Charbonnier/Cariou 1st from Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani (ITA),world-ranked 10, in 2nd place and the Belcher brothers in 3rd place from Wilmot/Page.

Progressively, in the Mixed fleet, Charbonnier/Cariou lead with 4 points from Wilmot/Page on 5 points and Belcher/Belcher getting of to a great start in 3rd place with 7 points.



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