Alison Young ahead in the Radials
The first morning of racing in the Perth International Regatta – the test event for next year’s Perth2011 Sailing World Championships - provided the Men’s Laser sailors with challenging conditions until the sea breeze filled in for the second race.At the end of the morning’s two races, the joint leaders were ISAF seventh ranked sailor Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia and Russia's Maxim Semerkhanov, who is outside the top ten ISAF rankings. They were followed by Skandia Team GBR's Nick Thompson. Paul Goodison was in fifth place and recently crowned ISAF Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby was 13th.
The morning Laser fleet also included some of the participants in the Perth 2011 Emerging Nations programme which is designed to assist developing sailing nations to participate in the Olympic sailing competition.
Peter Cook from the Cook Islands said his aim was to qualify for the Perth 2011 World Championships. “Australia is a great place to sail,” Cook said. “With the ENP program just finished two weeks ago, this regatta is a build up to Perth 2011 – it’s great”.
In the afternoon, the Laser Radial competition started with Fremantle’s famed sea breeze fully in for the two races. Two young local sailors from Australia, Matthew Wearn and Tristan Brown, are in the overall lead.
The final results of the two races for the Ladies provided success for Skandia Team GBR's Alison Young taking the lead on day one, followed by world number seven, Natalie Brugger from Switzerland. Finland's Tuula Tenkanen is lying third.
The highlight of the afternoon was the clash of the titans in the Finn class, with interest centred on the return of Ben Ainslie to full time Olympic Class competition. ISAF World number three, France's Jonathan Lobert, took the first day’s lead, followed by Swedish veteran Daniel Birgmark in second place and Spain's Rafael Trujillo Villar in third. British sailors put in a solid performance with Andrew Mills fourth, Giles Scott fifth and Ben Ainslie in sixth place.
Tomorrow is set to be a thrilling day with all four race courses operating.
More images from Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR: