Friday, December 16, 2011

Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships - Day 15 Wrap Up

Friday 16 December 2011
Fremantle, Western Australia

USA were crowned Women’s Match Racing world champions while Brazil’s Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada are on the brink of takinggold heading into the Star medal races Saturday after Day 15 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships on Friday.

Women’s Match Racing
 Photo: Tunnicliffe © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
Anna Tunnicliffe and her crew secured the USA team a gold medal with superb sailing against Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor in the Women’s Match Racing final on Fremantle’s Inner Harbour.

“It’s amazing, we’ve put a lot of effort into this year and had a lot of big events we had to get through and this has really topped off all our hard training,” Tunnicliffe said. “The team sailed really well, it was tricky conditions, conditions that we actually thought we were weakest in so we’re psyched we came out on top.”
 Photo:© Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
Tunnicliffe secured the gold in front of a packed grandstand with four straight wins, despite some very tight sailing from Macgregor who was beset by penalties through the afternoon.

“It was so close, neither team could give up. Everyone was pushing it to the limit,” Tunnicliffe said. “In the last race it was an inch or two to the finish line. That pretty much summed up the racing.”

“We made some monumental mistakes in getting penalties,” silver medallist Lucy Macgregor said.
 Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
It was a game of cat and mouse between the two contending world champions and at one point their boats were close enough to touch as they rounded the windward mark, drawing gasps from the crowd.

“It was close all around and Lucy is a great competitor, her team is awesome and we just had so much fun sailing against them,” Tunnicliffe said.

“It was incredibly hard, but a ton of fun,” added USA crew Molly Vandemoer. “It was never over ‘til the very, very end.”

France’s Claire Leroy took out the bronze medal in the petite final against Russia’s Ekaterina Skudina.
 Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
After being even on one match apiece and with a number of lead changes between the French and the Russians, Leroy won the next two matches to take the bronze.

Despite some hard fought sailing from Skudina, Leroy never thought she would lose third place.

“We were not worried. We were ready to fight and we just took it match after match,” Leroy said. “We knew at this level all the girls are really, really good so we did what we had to do.”


Unless the unthinkable happens, defending world champions Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) look set to retain their title with an 18 point overall lead going into Saturday’s (17 December) Star fleet Medal Race.
 Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
As the rest of the fleet fought for a place in the top 10, Scheidt and Prada placed second and third to tally 35 points overall after Friday’s races at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

The world number two pair has had a spectacular year, winning six international Star events, including the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta in July.

The top three teams remain unchanged from Thursday, with Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Faith still in second place on 53 points, and German pair Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen only two points behind in third.
Despite retaining their second place, the Americans had a disappointing day on the water, placing eighth and tenth in races 9 and 10.

Big winners on the penultimate day were Polish pair Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki. They won the first race by eight seconds over the Brazilians, but despite leading for most of race 10, they were beaten at the finish by Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) by only two seconds.

That result means the Swedish pair stays in fourth position overall, and may challenge for a medal. Kuznierewicz and Zycki move up one place to fifth, but are almost certainly out of medal contention.

The Star world championship will be decided in Saturday’s Medal Race, scheduled to begin at 1500 local time on Centre.

Women’s 470

Fleet leaders Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) are ahead by a solid 13 points going into Saturday’s final Gold fleet races at the ISAF Worlds, despite a fair day on the water on Friday.
 Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
Japanese duo Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata, on 44 points, have some serious catching up to do for a chance at winning the Worlds and will need to perform strongly on Saturday. Three points behind are Gil Cohen and Vered Buskila (ISR) in third.

Martine Grael and Isabel Swan’s (BRA) had a perfect start to Friday’s racing although were trumped by Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA) in the second race of Day 14.

Despite being beaten to the fourth mark, Grael and Swan (BRA) maintained sizeable leads throughout race 7, finishing first with a 15 second lead.
Photo: © Alex McKinnon/Perth 2011
Yuka Yoshisako and Noriko Okuma (JPN), Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux (FRA) and Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) battled it out from the fifth mark, with Yoshisako and Okuma finishing second closely followed by Aleh and Powrie.

The world number 12 and overall fleet leaders, Pacheco and Betanzos had their worst race so far in the competition in race 7, but this 27th placing is currently their discard.
Photo: © Alex McKinnon/Perth 2011
While Grael and Swan (BRA) lead the charge in race 8, they were overtaken before the last mark and finished 10 seconds behind winners Conti and Micol (ITA).

The surprise of the day went to Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer (DEN), who enjoyed their Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships personal best of third place in race 8.
Photo: © Alex McKinnon/Perth 2011 
With only two races to go and a fleet overall placing of 15, World number one duo, Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving (USA), have an almost impossible task ahead of them to secure a place in the top 10 fleet for Sunday’s Medal Race.

The women’s 470 competition is scheduled to continue from 1430 Perth time on the Success course on Saturday, with the top 10 going through to contest the world championship in the Medal Races on Sunday.


John Pink and Rick Peacock (GBR) have held onto their first place overall and are just two points clear as the 49ers head into Saturday’s final day of Gold fleet racing.
 Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
The British pair is on 61 points, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) are on 63 with the Toft Neilsen brothers (DEN) on 70. Two points behind them is the New Zealand pair, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

Friday started with Simon and Emil Toft Neilsen finishing first in race 10, with Mathieu Frei and Yann Rocherieux (FRA) placing second.
 Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011
Allan Noerregaard Christensen and Peter Lang (DEN) were out front for most of the time in race 11, holding on to finish first ahead of Charlie Enlund Ekberg and Kalle Torlen (SWE).

In the third Gold fleet race, world number two duo Nico Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) scored their first top three finish, taking first place from Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell (DEN).
Pink/Peacock Photo: © Richard Langdon/Perth 2011 
Overall leaders Pink and Peacock placed 15th, after starting the race further to the right than the rest of the fleet.

While race 12 was sailed in a sea breeze on the Owens course, the first two races Friday were on the Centre course with shifty, offshore easterlies.

The 49ers Gold fleet has three races scheduled for Saturday (17 December) from 1200 on the Success course, before the top ten go into to contest the World Championship title in Sunday’s Medal Race.

ISAF World Championships Media

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