Olympic class action in Melbourne

Natasha Sturges ahead in Mistral, Ed Wright up to second in Lasers

Tuesday January 14th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Nicko/Boyd Continue Their Run at the Top in 49er Skiff Protests Cause Changes to Race 6 and Point Score

Chris Nicholson and Gary Boyd (NSW) are continuing to outclass the rest of the field in the 49er skiff class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Race7 got underway in 16 plus knots of breeze at 185 degrees on the two-lap windward return courses, and not even the 6th ranked Sibello brothers (ITA) could catch Nicholson/Boyd, who finished 14 seconds in front. Next best placed were Luca and Manuel Modena (ITA).

Nicko/Boyd continued on their merry way winning Race 8, and placing 2nd in Race 9. The Sibello brothers are keeping the pair honest with 2nd in Race 8 and winning Race 9 to hold down second place overall.

Gabriel Wicke/Wolf Jeschonnek (GER) popped up in 3rd place in Race 8, with a 4th in Race 7, keeping them in a top 6 position, and Emmett Lazich/David Mann (NSW) remembering to sign on today, could count his mixed 7-14-3 places to keep him in the top 11.

Mark Turnbull/Nick Partridge (Vic) did not have a particularly pleasing day today, if it could go wrong, it did, including a number of swims on just about every part of the course, ‘we didn’t have a good day,’ he said as they came ashore.

Despite their 1-16-9 result, they still maintain 3rd place overall.

After protests from skippers Ilya Ermakov (RUS) and Mark Turnbull (AUS) in Sunday’s Race 6, the jury have awarded both skippers redress for that race, with Ermakov declared equal 1st place with Nicholson, while Turnbull scored equal 2nd place with Sibello.

This result did not affect the overall placings, just the points.

Progressively, Nicholson/Boyd lead with 8 points from Sibello/Sibello on 15, and Turnbull Partridge with 28.

Racing continues tomorrow on Port Phillip Bay.

Godefroid Again on Finn Course but Nossiter Getting Closer

Master of the Finn class, Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) took out Race 7 on the Finn course today, three seconds in front of Anthony Nossiter (NSW).. Paying him back, Nossiter won Race 8, with Godefroid 2nd.

Godefroid commented this morning that Nossiter had improved a lot since his time away competing in the Volvo Round the World Race.

‘He is a lot calmer, more focussed, it’s been good for him - he’s sailing better than I’ve ever seen him,’ he said. ‘It’s good to go and do some sailing on big boats, it teaches you a lot of things, things you maybe don’t even realise,’ he added. Meanwhile, Christoph Burger (SUI) finished third in Race 7, Pascal Rambeau (FRA) taking 3rd place in Race 8.

The Finn sailors worked hard today in the 15-20 knot winds, lots of gusts and waves, giving them pleasurable downwind surfing, but extremely hard, long works. Progressive scores have Godefroid well in front after eight races with 9 points, Nossiter has 15, Rambeau 20.

Racing continues tomorrow from 3.00pm with two further races scheduled.

Stuart Shimmeld Clear Leader in 2.4M Class at Sail Melbourne

Stuart Shimmeld (ACT) scored a further 1-1 result today to be the clear leader in the 2.4M class..

He has scored three first places and one third, to lead the regatta from James Thompson (Vic) who placed second in both races today, while Andrew May (NZL) placed third in both.

Racing on windward return one-lap courses, with the wind at 14-15 knots at 180 degrees, the fleet of eight includes seven Australians, and one New Zealander, Andrew May, while Pamela Murray (Tas) is the only female on the course.

Michael McLean (Vic) said today, ‘it was nice and wavy out there, if you could catch the waves and surf, you got a really good ride, the wind was really up and down out there, though.’

Progressive points have S. Shimmeld out in front with 6 points from James Thompson on 13 points and Michael McLean in 3rd on 18 points.

Racing continues tomorrow from 10.00am with two further races to be sailed in their 10 race series.

Racing Underway in Optimist Dinghy

The kids in the Optimist Dinghies got their first two races away this morning in 11 knots at 180 degrees on the International Optimists Courses on Port Phillip Bay from Sandringham Yacht Club.

In the all Australian fleet, Leon Poutsma came home first in Race 1, finishing second in Race 2, to lead the series with Ben Gunther, who reversed the situation with a 2-1 result. First female finisher was Melody Kelly, scoring 3-3 to lie in 3rd place overall. Nine Optimists are competing in this six race series, with five boys and four girls up for the Trophy.

Racing continues tomorrow from 10.00am with two further heats expected to be sailed.

Wilmot/Page All the Way in 470 Dinghy

Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page have continued to outclass the opposition in the 470 class today finishing the day with a 1-2 result to consolidate their lead in the Combined 470 class fleet.

Their major opposition at the Regatta, Philippe Gildas/Nicholas Leberre (FRA), have continued their chase of the Aussies, finishing their day with a 2-1, in a repeat situation of yesterday, to maintain their placing overall.

Andrew Brown/Jamie Hunt (NZL) had their best day of the Regatta, finishing with two 3rd placings to move up to 6th place.

Having one of their best regattas to-date, Mat and Dan Belcher (Qld) had another good result today with a 4-4 finish. Competitors in the 470 enjoyed the windier 15-18 knot winds that greeted them on the Olympic Trapezoid courses this afternoon.

The battle of the Womens fleet continues, with Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (FRA) finishing their day with 8-7 result, while Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell finished with a 13-6 result.

Provisional Progressive results Combined show Wilmot/Page with a big lead on 10 points from Gildas/Leberre with 20 and Belcher/Belcher with 31.

In the Womens, Armstrong/Stowell lead with 53 points (7th overall), from Petitjean Douroux with 67 and Shelley Hesson/Linda Dickson (NZL) with 72 points.

Racing continues on Port Phillip Bay tomorrow with two races commencing at 12.00pm.

Tudball/Williams Continue to Lead 29er Skiff

James Tudball/Matt Williams remain unbeaten on Day 2 of the 29er skiff racing.

The pair, sailing in an all-Australian field, finished their day with another 1-1 result - four wins from four races, with Andrew Churcher/Michael MacDonald scoring a 2-2 result, with Lucien Francis/Wulf Wilkens finishing with two third places on the Olympic Trapezoid courses in strong 20 knot winds at 175 degrees.

Progressively, Tudball/Williams lead with 4 points from Francis/Wilkens with 12 and Churcher/MacDonald with 14.

Racing continues tomorrow on Port Phillip Bay with two further races starting from 3.00pm.

Dennison and Crew Go Two Straight Again to Level Yngling Keelboat Score

Melanie Dennison/Fiona Herbert/Caroline Aders (Vic), won a further two races today in the Yngling Keelboat to level the series with Nicky Bethwaite/Kate McHugh/Kristin Kosmala (NSW).

Revelling in the 18-20 knot winds at 180 degrees, Dennison had no trouble at all in keeping her rival for the Australian 2004 Olympic spot at bay in both races.

With the points now level, the battle will be well and truly on, with only four more races to be sailed.

Both skippers have represented at Olympics before, and both are determined they will be the one in Greece, come 2004.

Meanwhile, Pat and Joyce Warn, with crew Tneal Kawalla, finished third in race 7, but along with Margaret Morgan/Emily Furno/Melissa Chisholm, chose not to compete in Race 8, with winds increasing in veracity – their crew weight too light.

Two further races will be sailed on the Yngling course tomorrow, starting from 1200 hours.

Progressive Points have Dennison and Bethwaite even on 11, with Warn on 22 and Morgan with 28.

New Zealander’s Fight it Out for Top Place in Mistral Mens

Four out of a total of five New Zealand Mistral sailors are in the fight of their life for pole position at the Sail Melbourne Regatta on Port Phillip Bay.

Of the 27 starters, the four Kiwis feature in the top seven overall score. Two races were sailed today, Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL) winning both Races 5 and 6, Tom Ashley (NZL) coming home 2nd in both.

Lars Kleppich (AUS) was the lone Aussie trying to keep the Kiwis at arm’s length, posting two 3rd places in the 20 plus knots of wind experienced on the water this afternoon.

Olivier Guide (FRA) was the lead international entry today, scoring two fourth placings on the Olympic Trapezoid courses.

The sailboarders had the ride of their lives this afternoon, plenty of wind, and plenty of waves – brilliant surfing conditions.

Progressively, Tom Ashley is a nose in front with 12 points from JP Tobin with 14, Lars Kleppich has 15, with Michael Lance (AUS) holding on with 23.

Natasha Sturgis Snatches Lead In Mistral Womens at Sail Melbourne

World-ranked No. 1, Natasha Sturges (GBR), today stole the lead from Barbara Kendall (NZL) in the Mistral Womens series sailed on Port Phillip Bay.

Sturges finished 2-1 in Races 5 and 6 today, with Allison Shreeve (NSW) sailing her best regatta yet with a 1-2 result to stay near the front of the leader board. Current World champion, Barbara Kendall had a 3-5 result, while Jessica Crisp (NSW) went 4-3 to maintain a top three position.

Sailing in the freshening 20 knots plus of wind on one- metre waves, the boards flew around the Olympic Trapezoid courses in no time. Like the Mens Mistral, the current top four girls are having the battle of their lives as the lead places change as the days go by.

Progressive placings have Sturges 1st with 10 points from Kendall with 13, Crisp a close 14 and Shreeve 15.

Two further races will be sailed tomorrow starting from 3.00pm.

Bundock & Forbes Unstoppable in Tornado Class

Current World champions and No. 1 Tornado sailors in the world, Darren Bundock and John Forbes (NSW) are convincingly beating the rest of the field this week. The pair are unstoppable, the rest of the fleet thrilled with the opportunity to race against the ‘dynamic duo’ of this Olympic class.

With a further two wins today, Bundock/Forbes lead the progressive points with a faultless score of five after six races with one race-drop in the series.

Iordanis ‘Dennis’ Paschalides/Christos Garefis (GRE), the training partners of Bundock/Forbes, are the next best placed with a further two second placings today, for 10 points.

Garefis said today, ‘we are getting so much better training with these two, they are teaching us so much, we are great friends, they look after us in Australia, and we look after them when they are in Greece.’

Stephen Medwell/Brent Vaughan (NSW), today said they were having the time of their lives, on the triangle windward return course in 18 plus knots of wind.

‘We are having great racing here, we are happy with the way we are performing,’ Vaughan said.

They are currently placed 3rd in the fleet with 21 points.

The Tornados are set for two more races tomorrow starting from 12.00pm.

Beashel & Giles on Track for Another Olympic Games in Star Keelboat

Colin Beashel/David Giles (NSW), furthered their chances of Olympic representation winning both races of the day .

While the others tough it out for the minor places, Beashel/Giles have not looked back, their worst result a third place after eight races.

Ian ‘Barney’ Walker/Nick Williams (Vic) took 2nd place in the earlier Race 7 today, finishing 3rd in Race 8. The two are throwing all they can at the former Olympians, but say they need more time sailing the Star to come up with the ‘finesse’ of Beashel and Giles.

Andrew Hunn/Michael O’Brien (Tas) scored a 3rd in Race 7 today, while Iain Murray/Andrew Palfrey (NSW) took 2nd place in Race 8. Progressive scores have Beashel/Giles on 8 points, with Walker/Williams on 14 and Murray/Palfrey on 22.

The Stars will race from Sandringham YC again tomorrow, with two more heats starting from 12.00pm.

Mixed Results Make for Interesting Series in 420 Class

With only four competitors contesting the 420 class at Sail Melbourne this week, due to the 420 National championship having just finished in Adelaide, results have been mixed in this event.

Today, in a relentless 20 knots of wind sailed on Olympic Trapezoid courses, Kate Woolley/Daniel Farthing (AUS) won from James Dyer/Danielle Pascoe (AUS) with Mithu Nahak/Thimiti Srikanth Chatu in 3rd for Race 3 of the series.

The latter pair were the only ones to complete Race 4, so progressively, Woolley/Farthing lead with 8 points from Nahak/Chatu with 11 and Dyer/Pascoe on 15.

The 420s will race again tomorrow starting at 3.00pm, with a further two races.

Lenka Smidova Continues to Lead Europe Class

One of the most improving Europe sailors, Lenka Smidova (CZE) continues to lead the Europe single-handed dinghy class.

While the World-ranked 5 Smidova did not win either of the two races sailed today, finishing with a 4-3 result, it was enough to keep her in front. Jo Dikkenberg (NSW) enjoyed the heavier conditions again today, winning Race 7, but placing 5th in Race 8, enjoying a great regatta so far.

No. 2 World-ranked Carolijn Brouwer (NED) won Race 8, with current World champion, Sarah Blanck (Vic) coming home 2nd, while Sarah Macky (NZL) kept her hand in, with a 2nd in Race 7 and 4th in Race 8.

Brouwer commented after racing ‘it was just fantastic out there today, Paradise, in fact, surfing downwind was just the best – the waves were great, but it was a hard slog going upwind again. This is the best place in the world to sail – I can’t believe more top ranked international are not here.’

Conditions on the Olympic Trapezoid courses were 18-20 knots with gusts.

Progressively, Smidova continues her lead with 14 points from Brouwer with 16 and Macky with 21. Dikkenberg is next with 24 points, two in front of Blanck.

Blackburn at His Best on Laser Course

Michael Blackburn (NSW) displayed the form that won him the Bronze medal at the Sydney 200 Games today, winning both races to take the lead in the Laser class at the Sail Melbourne Regatta.

A focussed and committed sailor, Blackburn only recently made a return to the class after a stint on the 49er skiff with Chris Nicholson.

Ed Wright (GBR) finished with a 2-5 result to be in 2nd place for the series to-date, while Jon Holroyd (NSW), producing some great results in the past six months, had the race of his life to finish 2nd in Race 8 against some of the toughest opposition at this regatta.

Brendan Casey (Qld) is having some mixed results, today he featured at both ends of the spectrum with a 3rd in Race 5, then a BFD in Race 6.

Andrew Murdoch (NZL) finished his day with a 7-3, dropping him down the leader board.

Progressively, Blackburn takes the lead today with 15 points from Wright who has 18 points and Murdoch 19.

Jake Bartrom Continues His Demolition of Laser Radial

Jake Bartrom (NZL) today continued to barnstorm his way to the top in the Laser Radial class. Having won the class at last year’s event, this boy could certainly be a future Olympian, finishing with a 1-3 result to have a big lead from his compatriots this afternoon.

Tim Cubit (AUS) posted his second 2nd placing for the series in Race 5, with a 9th in Race 6, while Adam Beattie (AUS) finished today with a 5-2 score to hold his top three placing.

Richard Howard (AUS) also kept up his part of the bargain finishing with a 3rd in Race 5 and a win in Race 6, to keep him at the top of the board.

Sailing in 13-16 knot winds on Port Phillip Bay today, the Radials will have two further races tomorrow.

Progressive points have Bartrom on 7, from the jointly 2nd placed Howard and Beattie with 15 points.

For full results and information go to the official website at: www.sailmelbourne.com.au

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