by Craig Heydon
Triple Olympian and Australian Sailing Team member Jessica Crisp has started 2012 in winning style with regatta victories on either side of the Tasman.
Jessica Crisp (AUS)- Class: RS:X
Crisp picked up her first win for the year at the 2012 RS:X Australian Championships at Hawks Nest in New South Wales over the Australia Day weekend.
Crisp was the first female competitor in the mixed fleet before heading to New Zealand for Sail Auckland with racing wrapping up on Tuesday.
Crisp was in the mix all week, sitting second overall for most of the regatta before making her move on the final day with two race wins giving her overall victory by nine points.
The RS:X fleet sails home - Sail Auckland 2012, Final Day
'Sail Auckland was a really good regatta, with a variety of conditions and good, close racing,' said Crisp. 'Everyone had their day and I managed to get it together on the last day with two wins to round out the regatta.
'I was second the whole way through the regatta and going into the last day was one point off the lead with third and fourth right behind me so it all came down to the last day,' she said. 'It was good to put it together when it counted and get the win.'
Crisp said that she enjoyed the chance to race in a variety of conditions as she continued her preparation for March’s RS:X World Championships and the London 2012 Olympic Games which are less than six months away.
'I was much more comfortable in the heavy wind over there which was great, I also picked up a race win in planing conditions which was good,' said Crisp. 'The conditions were tricky in Auckland, it was very shifty, a lot like Sydney Harbour so it was tough racing.'
Crisp returns to New Zealand next week for the 2012 New Zealand RS:X Championship before heading to Spain for the 2012 RS:X World Championships with racing taking place between March 20 and 29.
Crisp was joined in New Zealand by a number of Australians with fellow Australian Sailing Team members Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell finishing sixth overall and second female crew in the 470 class.
ISAF Sailing World Championship. AUS Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell - 470 Women
Rechichi and Stowell, competing in their first regatta since their impressive ninth place at the recent Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, were in the mix all week with three top three finishes from the nine races.
New combination Josh Franklin and Alex Gough finished the week eighth in the 470 fleet, just ahead of fellow Australians Matthew and Robert Crawford in 10th.
Joanna Sterling was ninth in the RS:X 8.5 class, with James Burman eighth in the Laser class and Jake Lilley 13th in the same fleet, and in the Laser Radial class Ashley Stoddart was 10th.
Australian Sailing Team website