by Craig Heydon
Competition is heating up at the 2013 49er and 49erFX World Championships, with crews battling for positions in the top 10 ahead of Sunday’s finals.
The 49erFX fleet racing at the 2013 World Championships
The top teams took on each other for the first time on Friday with more breeze allowing the crews to stretch their legs in Marseille.
Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks are the top placed Australians in the 49erFX fleet, currently sitting in 12th position.
Price and Elks had a tough start to the day, being black flagged in the opening race, but bounced back well with a seventh, a fourth and a 10th.
'Today the breeze came in at around midday and we got four races done,' said Price. 'We had a black flag in the first start which wasn’t the ideal way to kick off gold fleet racing.
'From there on we took it one race at a time and hope to execute our starting strategy better in tomorrow’s racing,' she said. 'The forecast is looking quite windy which will be a nice change for tomorrow.'
Fellow Australians Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis are just behind in 14th overall following a 15th, a fifth, an 18th and a third.
The results leave Outteridge and Curtis just eight points outside the top 10.
Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall ended day four in 17th position, with the West Australians black flagged in the opening race before going on to finish 13th, ninth and eighth.
In the 49er fleet Australia’s London 2012 gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen had a tough day by their high standards and currently sit 18th overall.
The 2013 49er World Championships is the first event the pair has contested in the class since London 2012, having spent the last year campaigning for the America’s Cup with Artemis Racing.
Outteridge and Jensen were 18th and 15th from the first two races of the day before being black flagged in race three. The pair finished the day off with a 17.
The fleet will contest the semi finals on Saturday with Outteridge and Jensen set to push hard to close the gap on the leaders and get into the top 10 for Sunday.
Will Phillips and Rhys Mara are currently eighth in the repechage fleet following a fourth and a 16th on Friday, with David Gilmour and Sam Phillips leading the silver fleet, ahead of George Davies and Jack Lloyd in 27th. Peter Kendall and Harry Bethwaite are fourth in the bronze fleet.
Top 10 Results from the 49er and 49erFX World Championships
49er world championships results
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