All but decided

The latest from Sail Melbourne

Saturday December 20th 2008, Author: Jodi Kelly, Location: United Kingdom
Openly inspired by their more experienced counterparts, fledgling West Australian 470s pair Stacey Omay and Chelsea Hall admit their inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup result is not the most important component for them this week.

Despite that admission, the talented youngsters will take a commanding and unassailable lead into tomorrow’s final race of the Sail Melbourne regatta at Sandringham Yacht Club.

“At the end of the day, the standings aren’t important for us at this time, it’s just a big learning experience and we’re here just being big sponges and trying to soak as much up information from Victor (Kovalenko) and Mal (Page) and Mat (Belcher) and other coaches who are out there as well,” Omay said.

Omay, 19 and Hall, 18, have a bright future ahead of them if this week is any indication. While still in the 420 Class, they were coached by Beijing 470 Gold Medallists Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson - now they have their sights set on replicating their mentors.

“We’re really excited to give it a shot towards 2012 and this is the first step towards that - Elise and Tess coached us and now we’re competing against each other so its definitely a turnaround but we’ve taken very similar pathways I guess.

“We’ll keep pushing for as long as we can, Mal’s a good inspiration for how long you can be in it for and continue to be so competitive,” Omay said with a grin.

Omay/Hall have won all but one race leading into tomorrow’s final race of the regatta - they lead on 9 points, 14 points ahead of Amy Kivell/Alexandra Ward (AUS), with Laura Baldwin/Michelle Muller (AUS) a further 4 points in arrears.

Hot off a win at the Sydney International Regatta last week, Omay/Hall will add the inaugural World Cup 470 women’s Sail Melbourne title to their trophy cabinet, sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile 470 Men’s favourites Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page continue to pile on the pressure and will also take an unbeatable lead into tomorrow’s final race.

Gold Medallist Page and his new skipper Belcher admitted to struggling a little in the first race of the day however still managed to cross the line in second place.

Rectifying what Belcher said were a few annoying elementary mistakes they made initially, the duo felt very comfortable in the second race to record their seventh win from 10 starts.

Stealing the honours from their more fancied rivals was Sandringham young guns Sam Kivell and Max Taylor.
Kivell/Taylor’s victory has all but secured a podium World Cup finish for the pair who on 26 points, trail US Olympic representatives Stuart McNay/Graham Biehl by 6 points.

Finn Class

The big men of the small, yet competitive Finn fleet enjoyed the heavier 12-15 knot conditions on Port Phillip Bay today.

“The waves are a bit particular off here and if you’re training off here all the time it helps a little,” regatta leader, young Sandringham sailor Warwick Hill said. “But James (Paterson) certainly wasn’t too slow out there today and in the first race there was probably only a couple of millimeters in it … we were both pumping until we were cramping up on the last reach to the finish."

Hill is enjoying a healthy rivalry with his South Australian counterpart James Paterson. Paterson, who won at SIR’s last week looks like he will have to lower his colours this week to Hill. He is leading the fleet on 11 points, five clear of Paterson, with Chris Caldecoat (AUS) well out of contention in third place on 28 points.

RS:X

It is going to be a nail biting finish for full first round World Cup points in the RS:X men’s class tomorrow.

Locked on 16 points a piece is French windsurfer Nicolas Le Gal, who has led the regatta for the most of the week, with fast finishing Kiwi boarder Antonio Cozzolino.

Cozzolino has strung together three wins in a row to head into tomorrow’s final race slightly favoured on his late week form.

Sitting in third position is another New Zealander, Joshua Nixon on 26 points.

In the women’s RS:X class, Spanish boarder Blanca Manchon would have to make some dramatic mistakes to be headed by dual Aussie Olympian Jessica Crisp in second place.

Manchon, who sits on 15 points, is nine points clear of Crisp, with Kiwi Kate Ellingham just one point further back.

Other Progressive Results:

After 10 races:

470 Class
Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) 11
Stuart McNay/Graham Biehl (USA) 20
Sam Kivell/Max Taylor (AUS) 26

470 Women’s Class
Stacey Omay/Chelsea Hall (AUS) 9
Amy Kivell/Alexandra Ward (AUS) 23
Laura Baldwin/Michelle Muller (AUS) 27

Finn Class
Warwick Hill (AUS) 11
James Paterson (AUS) 16
Chris Caldecoat (AUS) 28

Laser Full Rig
Matias Del Solar (CHI) 25
Mike Bullot (NZL) 36
Mike Leigh (CAN) 41

Laser Radial Women
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) 19
Gabrielle King (AUS) 25
Tina Michelic (CRO) 31

Laser Radial Men
Klade Hauschildt (AUS) 13
Chris Jones (AUS) 29
Tim Coltman (NZL) 37

RS:X Women
Blanca Manchon (ESP) 7
Jessica Crisp (AUS) 24
Kate Ellingham (NZL) 25

RS:X Men
Nicolas Le Gal (FRA) 16
Antonio Cozzolino (NZL) 16
Josh Nixon (NZL) 26

29er Class
James Sly/Andrew Gillies (AUS) 8
Bec Tuma/Emma Louise Daly (AUS) 17
Jack Lloyd/James Lainson (AUS) 24

Laser 4.7 Class
Stephen Collings (AUS) 12
Alison Dale (AUS) 16
Zac Pullen (AUS) 23


2.4m Class
Michael Leydon (AUS) 12
Peter Russell (AUS) 12
Joshua McKenzie-Brown (NZL) 27

Skud
Duncan McGregor/Andrew Cook (AUS) 9
Chris Riordan/Robert Schahinger (AUS) 11
David Staley/Bruce James (AUS) 13

After 13 races:

49er Class
Paul Campbell-James/Mark Asquith (GBR) 16
William Phillips/Samuel Phillips (AUS) 33
David McDiarmid/Andrew Archibald (NZL) 41

Ends
Jodi Kelly
Media Manager – Sail Melbourne
0413 599 799

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