Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nacra 17s Smoking Hot At Sail Melbourne - Day 2

A completely different set of conditions prevailed for the second day of racing in the ISAF World Sailing Cup - Melbourne.
Krystal Weir Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library
In contrast to the high temperatures, fresh winds and blue skies of yesterday, racing in the first session of the day limped away in light southerly winds, with overcast skies, light rain at times, a cross-sea and plenty of postponements.
Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library 
Today was the first racing session for the Nacra 17 multihull, which has drawn a good fleet including two New Zealand crews, as well as some top Australian talent, including multiple world champion and Qingdao Olympic silver medallist in the Tornado class, Darren Bundock.
Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library
In the opening stanzas of the first race Bundock did not have it his own way, lying fourth around the first mark. Which is the position that he and crew Nina Curtis now hold on the points table after their first day of racing.
Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library
First overall are the winners of the first race, the Australian combination of Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty. One point astern in the standings is the New Zealand crew of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders, who won the second race of the day.
Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library
Bundock and Curtis are locked on points with the third overall Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland (AUS).


The conditions were little better for the RS:X Men’s and Women’s events, which started racing on a course further south than the Nacra 17’s.

The same light winds and difficult sea prevailed, however it did not seem to worry the strong Chinese team who dominated the racing today.

Not only did the Chinese women take the first three places in each race, they also managed to rub salt into the Men’s egos as they caught up many of the competitors in the Men’s fleet. To say this was a dominant performance is a massive understatement.

Overall leader in the series is Manjia Zheng (CHN) who won both races today. Her compatriot Qioshan Weng placed second in each race, with Yunxiu Lu (CHN) in third overall after finishing third in the first race and fourth in the second. The Chinese team hold the first four positions overall, with Poland’s Malgorzata Bialecka the first non-Chinese sailor in fifth position.

In the Men’s RS:X fleet, it was again China all the way, but without the same domination as seen in the Women’s fleet.

Zhenganan Fang placed third in the opening race, in which the competitors were standing on their boards and pumping for much of the windward leg. He scored a win in the second race of the day to head the points table on a tie breaker. Another Chinese competitor, Chuankun Shi won the first and then placed third in the second race of the day. In fact there is a three way tie on the points table for the men with Chunzhuang Liu also on four points, by virtue of finishing second in both races sailed.

Australian and New Zealand competitors make up the rest of the fleet, with Patrick Vos (AUS) in fourth overall and Tony Mackenzie (NZL) fifth overall in the nine competitor fleet.


The Australian crew of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, kept their bow ahead of the current European Champions Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO), winning the third race of the regatta, with the Croatian crew placing second. However, a starting error cost the Australians dearly in the second race of the day and they were recorded as a premature starter and whistled off the course by officials. That leaves the Croatian crew with the yellow jerseys for tomorrow's racing, with Belcher and Ryan in second place. Fortunately for the Australians they should be able to discard today's race two result later in the regatta when each competitor is permitted to discard their worst place for their final point score.

Brazilian crew Geison Mendes and Gustavo Thiesen lie in third place overall, tied on points with the fourth place crew and just a single point ahead of another Australian crew.


A new race leader has emerged in the Women’s 470 event with the crew of Jacqui Gurr and Amelia Catt (AUS) holding the lead in the class after four races, despite not recording a race win. Second overall is the Chinese crew of Nan Zhang and Yixiao Lv who won the final race of the day, but a fifth place in the first race of the day counted against them, despite winning two races in the regatta. World Youth Champion, Australian Carrie Smith and new crew Sarah Cook dropped back to third place overall after two disappointing places today.


With two races sailed in the 49er class there is a three way tie for the lead with three Australian crews locked on 4pts. Current Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen won the first race of the day, which was delayed as officials waited for the southerly wind to settle. David Gilmour and Sam Phillips placed third in the opening race and then bounced back to win the second. A third Australian crew Will Phillips and Rhys Mara recorded consistent second places in both races to complete the Australian trifecta. The tiebreaker was applied in favour of the best placed crew in the last race sailed, giving Gilmour and Phillips the overnight lead.


A sensation at the finish of the Women’s 49erFX resulted in some confused results after the race leaders failed to cross the correct finish line. This was to the fortune of Australian crew Monique de Vries and Danielle Carr to receive the winner’s hooter, followed closely by Ragna and Maia Agerup of Norway, who also took full advantage of the original leaders' mistake. A Swedish crew placed third, with the remainder of the fleet realising the error of their ways and crossing the finish before the allowed time had expired.


Young Australian Jake Lilley is sensationally leading the Finns class after four races. He added two seconds today to his two bullets yesterday to now lead the series from Bjoern Allansson of Sweden. “I am usually a slow starter, so I hope I don’t fade this time,” Lilley commented.' The Australian retains his opening day lead by a two point margin.


Australia's Tom Burton holds a commanding lead in the Men’s Laser class, ahead of Ashley Brunning (AUS) and Thomas Saunders (NZL). The World Ranked number one won two more races today and commented, “A long day on the water, frustrating time for race management but they were patient and we got in two good races. I seem to be in the right place at the right time, with plenty of speed.”

Laser Radial

Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) leads the Women’s Laser Radial from China's Dongshuang Zhang, with Krystal Weir (AUS) tied on points but in third place on count back.

ISAF Sailing World Cup – Event Media

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