by Craig Heydon
At the 2013 49er and 49erFX World Championships, racing is underway in Marseille, France, with light winds dominating the opening day of racing.
Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis in Marseille
A lack of breeze kept the crews on shore in the morning, with both the 49er and 49erFX fleets eventually completing two races.
Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen showed that they haven’t lost any speed despite not racing since winning gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, finishing the opening day in sixth position.
Outteridge and Jensen began their World Championship defence with a third, before finishing fourth in race two, with the results leaving the pair five points behind the early leaders.
'It was nice to be back racing again in the 49er,' said Outteridge. 'We have a big fleet here and racing was tight as we had very light conditions.
'We haven’t been sailing in under 15 knots since the Olympics as all of our training has been in San Francisco so it was great to post a third and a fourth in the five to seven knots of breeze we had today,' he said. 'It’s a long event and the forecast remains light so we’ve got a long way to go but have had a good start.'
David Gilmour and Sam Phillips are the second placed Australians at the end of day one, currently in 22nd position. Gilmour and Phillips finished with a 10th and a 13th on Tuesday to be 10 points outside the top 10.
Will Phillips and Rhys Mara are currently 28th, with Luke Parkinson and Fang Warren 41st, George Davies and Jack Lloyd 45th and Peter Kendall and Harry Bethwaite 56th.
Tuesday marked the first ever day of racing at a 49erFX World Championship, with the class recently introduced for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall are the leading Australians after the opening two races, with the West Australians currently sitting in 17th position.
Parkinson and Hall were eighth in race one and 12th in race two to be just six points behind 10th.
Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks ended the day in 28th position following an 11th and a 16th, with Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis having a 13th and 21st to be 36th overall.
'We had some pretty tricky light air conditions which added a level of complexity to the racing,' said Curtis. 'We made a few errors today however we’ve had a thorough debrief and are ready to make some improvements for tomorrow’s racing.
'We are expecting the conditions tomorrow to be similar to today and are excited to continue racing,' she said.
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