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12 March 2005, 09:49 pm
Pre-Regatta Favourite Out Of The Semis
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Harken Women's International Match Racing Regatta
Sydney, Australia

Another magic day was to be had on Sydney Harbour today, as consistent pressure built in Rushcutters Bay for the second day of racing in the ISAF Grade 3 Harken Women's International Match Racing Regatta.
The breeze increased as the girls lifted their performances, and competition was even fiercer today. Every race was crucial to overall results, with semis places determined only after the final race of the day.

In an upset pre-regatta favourite and winner of both the Australian and New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championships, Nicky SOUTER (AUS), was knocked out of a semi-final position by New Zealand skipper Jessica SMYTH.

The day began with matches between the two top ranked boats and the two crews ranked equal third at the end of the first day. The latter between Jessica SMYTH (AUS) and Amanda HARGRAVES (AUS) resulted in a decision to resail the race. In the re-sail at the very end of the day Smyth came out on top.

This crucial result put Smyth and Souter on equal points in fourth place, but Smyth's victory over the Australian in round robin two saw her crew take the fourth place in the semi final line-up.

The rest of the day was equally filled with drama, key umpire decisions, assertive sailing and tight scores. Nina CURTIS (AUS) and her crew , the youngest in the regatta, overthrew Jacqui BONNITCHA'S (AUS) previously undefeated Cruising Yacht Club of Australia team. Bonnitcha was in control of the pre-start but Curtis managed to come from behind to take the finish by a boat length. The crew cheered as they crossed the line, the only crew to beat Bonnitcha throughout the regatta, and both crews congratulated each other on a challenging race.

Curtis and her crew will progress to the semis tomorrow, ranked in third place.

Going in to tomorrow's semi finals Bonnitcha is ranked first, having lost only one match. She leads Katie SPITHILL (AUS) by one point, and their crews are up against Curtis and Smyth in another eventful day of racing.

Despite some outstanding sailing Jan DAWSON, Clare BROWN, Hargraves and Souter will sail for places 5-8. Hargraves, only one point short of Souter and Smyth, will sail against the RPAYC team, and Dawson (RNZYS) and Brown (RTYC) will meet to decide 7th and 8th place.

All eight crews were noticeably more confident today, and tomorrow should bring some tough competition.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF)
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