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16 November 2010, 01:19 pm
Perth International Regatta: Day One
Laser Fleet
The Laser fleet in action on day one of the Perth International Regatta

Perth International Regatta
Perth, Australia

Racing is underway at the Perth International Regatta (PIR) - the test event for the Perth2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. The first morning of racing provided the Men's Laser sailors with challenging conditions until the sea breeze filled in for the second race.
At the end of the morning's two races, the joint leaders were ISAF #7 ranked sailor Tonci Stipanovi? of Croatia and Maxim Semerkhanov (RUS), who is outside the top ten ISAF rankings. They were followed by Nick Thompson (GBR) who is ranked world #3 and finished second overall in the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup.

Paul Goodison, a favourite from Great Britain, was in fifth place and recently crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (AUS) was 13th.

The morning Laser fleet also included some of the participants in the Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme which is designed to assist developing sailing nations to participate in the Olympic Sailing Competition.

Peter Cook from the Cook Islands said his aim was to qualify for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. "Australia is a great place to sail," Cook said. "With the ENP program just finished two weeks ago, this regatta is a build up to Perth 2011 - it's great".

In the afternoon, the Laser Radial competition started with Fremantle's famed sea breeze fully in for the two races. Two young local sailors from Australia, Matthew Wearn and Tristan Brown, lead overall.

The final results of the two races for the Ladies provided success for Alison Young (GBR) taking the lead on day one, followed by world number seven, Nathalie Brugger (SUI). Tuula Tenkanen from Finland is third.

The highlight of the afternoon was the clash of the titans in the Finn class, with interest centred on the return of Ben Ainslie (GBR) to a full time Finn campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

ISAF World number three, Jonathan Lobert (FRA), took the first day's lead, followed by Daniel Birgmark (SWE) in second place and Rafa Trujillo Villar (ESP) in third.

British sailors put in a solid performance with Andrew Mills fourth, Giles Scott fifth and Ben Ainslie in sixth place.

Wednesday is set to be a thrilling day with all four race courses operating.

To keep up to date with all the latest from Perth visit - www.perth2011.com

Tessa Parkinson/Perth 2011
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