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31 December 2003, 09:32 am
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420 Australian Championship

Mornington Yacht Club officials got more than they bargained for yesterday running the 420 Australian Championships as part of Sail Melbourne.
With only five races sailed going into today's scheduled two races, flukey wind conditions greeted competitors, followed by a squall warning just after 3pm local time was issued that threatened 35-40 knot winds from the west swinging through to the south-west - and happen it did, forcing organisers to abandon racing.

With over 100 competitors on the water, it was decided that safety of the crews was more important than keeping to the schedule.

Fortunately, due to an early start to the day and the 10-15 knot northerly winds, official managed to complete one race to catch up from the previous day, allowing the final selection of Gold and Silver fleets for the final selection of the Australian team to represent at the World's due to start on January 5.

Nathan OUTTERIDGE with his crew Iain JENSEN showed the form that won him the 420 World title recently, winning Race 6 to take the lead in the Open and Youth sections, pushing the previous leaders Gwennaig RUNAVOT/Sylvain LEBOEUF (FRA) into second overall and first in the Youth and Open Womens.

Matt BELCHER/Rike ZIEGELMAYER (AUS) have found their way into third overall in the Open section, while brothers James and Adam GARNAUT (AUS) are tenth overall, but second placed Australian Open qualifiers.

Elise RECHICHI/Tessa PARKINSON (AUS) continue their winning ways to be placed 6th overall in the Open section but have a huge lead in the Youth Womens.
Di Pearson (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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