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13 March 2003, 11:27 am
America|s Cup Sailors Contest for Pre-Olympic Spots
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2003 Olympicsail
Torbay Yacht Club

Former Team New Zealand and One World grinder Craig Monk made his return to the Finn Class in which he won bronze at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona

Speaking before the start of the regatta earlier this morning he said he has had the winter off between Americas Cup commitments and is keen to try the Finn again. Monk scored a 1st in the first race, but lost out to rival Finn sailor Clifton Webb in the final two races of the day.

In the 470 fleet, current World Champs and Halberg Award nominees, Simon Cooke and Peter Nicholas missed the start of the first race which was won by Andrew Brown and Jamie Hunt who also won the second race and scored third in the last race of the day. Also finishing strongly were Christchurch brothers, Philip and Stephen Keen and Derek Scott and David Healy from Auckland. However, Cooke and Nicholas were in a sitting in a similar position at the 470 Nationals which they ultimately won earlier in the month and they are expected to move up the scoreboard tomorrow.

Current National Champion, Jon-Paul Tobin, did not have everything his own way today in the Men's Mistral fleet, with shifty south westerly conditions not to his liking. He explained that because the fleet was relatively small with only a couple of International sailors competing and his former sparring partner Aaron McIntosh now sailing a Tornado the tactics were rather different to a normal race. At racing end his closest rival is an unknown Dutch sailor who had failed to complete his registration who had scored,1,2,4 and another unidentified sailor who had scored 5,1,2. These sailors will need to complete the formalities for their races to count. Barbara Kendall current Women's World champion notched up an easy three consecutive 1st placings in the women's division.

Also scoring three straight 1st's was Sarah Macky in a quite strong fleet of nine Europes. In the mens single handed class, the Laser, positions were quite scattered but with Andrew Murdoch having a 1st and 5th in the first two races, and David Weaver with two 4th's being the most consistent. In the double handed 49er fleet, Team New Zealand's Dan Slater and Nathan Handley made a smooth transition back from Americas Cup duties to finish the day with three 1st placings.

The five strong Tornado fleet were decimated in their first race with capsizes and injuries. Race Officer John Parrish sent the fleet ashore to patch themselves up before calling them out late in the day for two more races. Early form was shown by Aaron Macintosh, the only boat to survive the first race.

For the full results go to:
www.yachtingnz.org.nz and click on Events, Seminars, Regattas

Louise Andrews/ISAF Secretariat
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