Windy weather for Olympic classes
Officials went out on Port Phillip Bay this morning to gauge conditions and decided the 49er, 29er, 420, Tornado and 2.4M would stay ashore, with winds in the solid 23-25 knots with regular gusts up to 30 knots.
Individual class reports below:
Young sailor, Jo Dikkenberg (NSW) revelled in the 20 knot winds on Port Phillip Bay today to score a 2nd in Race 5,followed by a win in Race today of the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.
After scoring a consistent 5th placing to-date, Dikkenberg, who is only of slight build, went out on the one-lap windward return courses with a new lease on life, creaming the internationally top-ranked sailors.
Lenka Smidova (CZE) continues her winning ways, taking out Race 5 and finishing 2nd in Race 6.
World-ranked 5th, Smidova hasn’t put a foot wrong in this regatta, outsailing the current World champion, Sarah Blanck (Vic), who had her worst day with 6-7 result, and current World ranked 2, Carolijn Brouwer, who finished with a 5-3 result.
New Zealand’s Sarah Macky, world-ranked 12, had a good day also, finishing with a 3-4 result.
Half way through the series, with one race drop in play, the battle is on between the top-five placegetters.
Progressive scores have Smidova in front with 8 points from Brouwer with 12, Macky on 15, Dikkenberg 18, and Blanck 19.
In exciting racing on the Yngling course today at the Sail Melbourne Regatta, Melanie Dennison/Fiona Herbert/Caroline Aders (Vic) lifted their performance to win both Races 5 and 6.
Racing got underway in18 knots at 340 degrees, with waves at one metre, Dennison and Bethwaite/McHugh/Kosmala (NSW) going neck-for-neck around the one-lap windward return course.
As they hit the finish line, it was Dennison by the slightest of margins, two seconds. However, in Race 6, Dennison trounced the opposition for her second win of the series.
As Bethwaite said ‘you can’t win em all, we lost the plot a bit in the second race, but we are happy, we learned a lot today, we tried a couple of different things with our sails.’
Margaret Morgan/Melissa Chisholm/Emily Furno (Vic) came home 3rd in both races, the famous Warn twins electing to stay ashore today, their crew weight too light for the heavy winds.
Provisional progressive scores show Bethwaite leading with 7 points after one race drop, Dennison with 9 points, Warn with 14 and Morgan with 18.
Out on the Star course today at Sail Melbourne, the 18 knot winds and one metre seas played havoc with the competitors – disaster striking R Mahesh/Nitin Mongia (IND), their mast tumbling down in the early part of their first race today.
Further down the track, and multiple 18ft World champion, Iain Murray/Andrew Palfrey (NSW), lost steerage when their tiller parted company from the boat, rendering them a non-finisher.
Rod Hagerbols/Will Finlay (USA) did not have much luck on their side either, Hagerbols parting company with his boat, and it was out the back door for them also.
Once again, former multiple Olympians, Colin Beashel/David Giles (NSW) came home first within a whisker of Ian ‘Barney’ Walker/Nick Williams (Vic) – only 8 seconds separating the two, making for stimulating racing.
Andrew Hunn/Michael O’Brien (Tas) were 3rd home, with father and son combination Phillip Snr and Phillip Jnr Baker home 4th.
Race 5 produced a completely different result, Murray/Palfrey effecting repairs to win by 25 seconds from Walker/Williams, who had to be content with playing the brides maid again.
Beashel/Giles were lucky to finish 3rd, caught on the wrong side of the course – the rest of the fleet on the right side. They fought back from behind to finish in a top 3.
Progressive results show Beashel/Giles in the lead with 6 points, followed by Walker/Williams on 9 and Murray/Palfrey 16.
Former two-time Olympic representative, Lars Kleppich (Aust) had his second win of the Sail Melbourne Mistral Mens Series in Race 3 today on Port Phillip Bay.
Kleppich, in top form after time away from the sport, got away from his New Zealand compatriots Tom Ashley and Jon-Paul Tobin, who had to be content with a 2nd and 3rd placing respectively. Dominic Tidey (GBR), world-ranked 5, came home in 4th place.
Things were quite different in the second Race 4, however, with Joeri Van Dyk (NED) come home first from James Wells (NZL) with Ashley 3rd, Michael Lancey (NSW) 4th, and Kleppich 5th.
Sailed in freshening 14-knot winds at 360 degrees, competitors had some wild surfing on the two-lap Olympic Trapezoid courses.
Provisional progressive results show Michael Lancey and Tom Ashley in equal 1st place with 12 points, followed by Lars Kleppich with 16 and Joeri Van Dyk with 19.
Barbara Kendall, New Zealand’s invincible Mistral sailor, is in terrific form at Sail Melbourne this year.
Two 3rd placings today gives the current World Mistral Womens champion the lead at the regatta.
Kendall’s story is an amazing one – at 35 years old, she recently made a return to the sport she loves, after taking time out to have a baby in 2001. Her World championship win qualified New Zealand for a place at the 2004 Olympic Games, and all she needs to do now is finish in the top five at the Cadiz Combined World Championships in September to confirm her place in the Olympic team.
Finishing with a 1-4 result today, another top board sailor to come out of mothballs, Jessica Crisp (NSW) is up in 2nd place progressively after a good series to-date.
The World-ranked No. 1 Mistral sailor, Natasha Sturges (GBR) had a brilliant day too – with a 20-1 result to be in 3rd position.
Others in hunt for a top placing include Wai Kei Chan (HK) with 19 points, Allison Shreeve (NSW) on 21, and Sheena McKinnon (NZL) on 23..
Today’s two races were sailed in 14 knots at 360 degrees on Olympic Trapezoid courses, with a further two races to be sailed tomorrow starting from 3.00pm.
Talented dinghy Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) today won both Finn races in 15-18 knot shifting winds on Port Phillip Bay to maintain his lead in the Olympic & Invited Classes being hosted by Sandringham YC.
Anthony Nossiter held the lead in Race 5, but found himself on the wrong side of a wind shift, allowing Godefroid to sail through him on the other side of the course, surfing across the finish line in front.
Nossiter had to be content with 3rd, with Pascal Rambeau coming in 2nd, with a 3rd in Race 6.
Paul McKenzie (Vic), showing some form, finished today with a 6-2 placing.
Overall, provisionally, Godefroid has a good lead with 6 points from Nossiter with 12 and Rambeau 13. McKenzie is in 4th spot with 16, then young Josh Beaver with 22.
Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page (NSW) have increased their lead in the Mixed 470 double-handed class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta.
Finishing today’s two races with a 2-1 result, the pair now have a clear lead from Philippe Gildas/Nicholas Leberre (FRA), who had the reverse results of 1-2.
Shane Smith/Andrew Verdon (AUS) had their best result of the series, finishing 3rd in Race 5, while Nicholas Charbonnier/Tanguy Cariou (FRA) had an 11-3 result today.
Leading the Womens fleet are Gold medallist from Sydney 2000, Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell (NSW). The pair had a better day today with a 6-5 result for 35 points, their nearest rivals Shelley Hesson/Linda Dickson (NZL) who scored a 9-16 today for a total of 61 points.
Having had six races now, one race drop comes into play, and shows Wilmot/Page with a big lead on 7 points from Gildas/Leberre with 17 points and Charbonnier/Cariou in 3rd with 18 points.
Racing continues on Port Phillip Bay tomorrow, with two races expected to start from 12.00pm, weather permitting.
Ed Wright Wins Two on the Trot in Laser Class Today
The world-ranked No. 5 Laser sailor, Ed Wright (GBR), finally showed the talent that gave him his ranking, winning two races straight on the Laser course at the Sail Melbourne Regatta today.
Wright won Race 3 from his training partner, Brendan Casey (Qld), with Roope Suomalainen (FIN) in 3rd, and series leader, Andrew Murdoch (NZL) in 4th place.
In Race 4, Murdoch finished 2nd, with Peer Moberg (NOR) in 3rd from Tom Slingsby (NSW).
With the Laser fielding the largest numbers – 47 competitors to be exact, the fight for the trophy will be an interesting one, the points so far, extremely close in the top 8 places.
Currently, Murdoch leads with 17 points, from David Weaver (NZL) 18, Diego Negri (ITA) 20, Michael Blackburn (NSW) 22, and Ed Wright (25).
Young New Zealander, Jake Bartrom has had outstanding results to lead the Laser Radial class by miles at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.
Scoring a 6th place in Race 3 – his worst for the regatta, Bartrom won Race 4, provisionally, as it appears there are some discrepancies in this race that will not be resolved until tomorrow.
Sen Leong Koh (SIN) finished Race 3 in 2nd place from Adam Beattie (AUS) and Chris Macky (NZL).
Race 4 will be updated tomorrow, once placing queries have been resolved.
Currently, Bartrom is leading with 8 points from Koh with 20 and Richard Howard (AUS) with 21.