Commonwealth champs day four

Di Pearson reports from Melbourne

Wednesday January 22nd 2003, Author: Di Pearson, Location: Australasia
Laser Radial

Melanie Dennison (Vic) sailing a Laser Radial at the Commonwealth Championships on Port Phillip Bay, won a further two races today, following up on her two wins yesterday.

Unable to participate on the first day of racing, Dennison is making up for lost time with four straight wins from Debbie Hanna (NIR), who still leads on points, having won every race until Dennison surfaced.

Sailing in blustery 20 knot winds at 195 degrees, Megan De Lange (Vic) was 2nd in Race 7, finishing 3rd in Race 8, while Hanna scored a 2-3 result.

With only two races remaining, to be sailed tomorrow from 12.00pm, it is impossible for Dennison to catch the overall top two, the points difference too significant.

Progressive Points with 1 race drop:

1. Debbie Hanna 10
2. Megan De Lange 17
3. Melanie Dennison 20

Laser

Michael Blackburn (NSW) continues to the Laser class at the Commonwealth Sailing Championships posting a 2-1 result in today’s races.

Winner of the Bronze medal at the Sydney 2000 Games, Blackburn is one of the most focussed and dedicated athletes on the sailing scene, always out to improve his performance and will be hard to beat in this series, having a 7-point lead.

Ed Wright (GBR) had a win in Race 7, placing 3rd in Race 8, to maintain his 2nd overall position.

Sailing n 20 plus knots of wind on Port Phillip Bay, Kevin Lim (MAS), put in a good effort to finish with a 3rd and 4th place in Races 7 and 8, whilst Alastair Gair (NZL) scored 4th and 2nd places in the shifty conditions.

Racing finishes tomorrow with two final races starting from 12.00pm.

Progressive Points with 1 Race Drop:

1. Michael Blackburn 10
2. Ed Wright 17
3. Alastair Gair 21

Hobie 16

Robbie Lovig/Glen Douglas (Vic), continue to lead the Hobie 16 class at the Commonwealth Sailing Championships on Port Phillip Bay.

Hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club, today’s races were sailed in blustery shifty conditions, Lovig/Douglas won Race 7, placing 2nd in Race 8 to continue to lead the 10 race series which ends tomorrow with two final races starting from 12.00pm.

Steve Fields/Kieren Brown (Vic) had a good day today, with 2nd in Race 7 and winning Race 8, while the current 2nd overall placegetters, Shayne Brodie/Loren Gough (FIJ), finished their day with two 3rd places in the windy 20-25 knots on the course.

Progressive Points with 1 race drop:

1. Robbie Lovig/Glen Douglas 12
2. Shayne Brodie/Loren Gough 16
3. Steve Fields/Kieran Browne 18

470

It was an exciting two races on the 470 course at the Commonwealth Sailing Championships today sailed on Port Phillip Bay.

In blustery 20-25 knot winds, with massive wind shifts in both races today, Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell saw their chance in Race 7 today, and took it.

Sitting comfortably in 2nd place, they watched as the spinnaker on Wilmot/Page’s boat shredded and on the final run home, passed the World No. 1 pair to steal 1st place, with Stephen and Philip Keen (NZL) in 2nd and Mat and Dan Belcher (Qld) in 3rd.

‘Yes, you really had to watch the shifts today, we missed a couple, but we were there when it counted, you could say we won it by default,’ Stowell said of the spinnaker shredding after coming ashore.

‘With the wind increasing, the seas really built up, there was a lot of swell and the New Zealand guys (Andrew Brown/Jamie Hunt) had a massive capsize, which really put them right out of the picture,’ she added.

In Race 8, and more shifts, Stowell said places kept changing throughout the race, which the Belcher brothers won from Wilmot/Page and Brown/Hunt, with Armstrong/Stowell in 4th.

The Belcher brothers are happy with their performances at the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta and the Commonwealth Sailing Championships, Dan commenting, ‘with coaching from Victor Kovalenko (he coached the 470 Mens and Womens 2000 Olympic pairings to Gold Medals), and practicing with Nathan and Malcolm and Jenny and Belinda, we feel we are getting better.’

The Commonwealth Sailing Championships end tomorrow with two final races starting from 12.00pm.

Progressive Points with 1 race drop:

1. Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page 15
2. Mathew & Daniel Belcher 17
3. Andrew Brown/Jamie Hunt 19
4. Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell 21

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