by Craig Heydon
Australian sailors sit inside the top 10 in three classes after the opening two days of racing at Kiel Week, the final round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Kiel, Germany.
Brendan Casey on his way to victory in Hyeres
After the first five races Brendan Casey is second overall in the Finn class, with Ryan Palk sixth in the Laser class and Ashley Stoddart sixth in the Laser Radials.
Gold Coast based Casey, who was recently named to represent Australia in the Finn class at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is five points off the leader, Estonia’s Deniss Karpak.
Casey has been in the top seven in all five races so far, including a race win on day one. 'We’re currently five races into Kiel week,' said Casey. 'The wind conditions so far have been pretty mixed. Day one saw light winds under 10 knots and day two saw stronger conditions of 15-20 knots, with gust sometimes higher. 'I’m looking forward to the racing tomorrow and improving my on water performance,' he said.
In the Laser class Ryan Palk is the leading Australian in sixth overall. Competition is tight at the top of the leader board with just nine points separating Germany’s Simon Groteluschen in first and Palk in sixth.
'It was cold and windy racing today with big gusts and shifts making it very tricky,' said Palk. 'I had a steady day, scoring a second and a third, with some tight battles with the leading German sailors Buhl and Groteluschen.
'Young Australians Mitch Kennedy and Jake Lilley had solid days today as well which was good to see,' he said. 'I’m sitting in sixth overall, and it’s very tight, with just nine points to the leader.
'The finals series starts tomorrow so I’m looking for more of the same consistency and am enjoying my racing here in Kiel,' said Palk. 'It looks like being a similar day tomorrow, maybe a touch lighter in the first races so we’ll see what happens.'
Fellow Australian Jake Lilley is currently 18th overall, ahead of Mitchell Kennedy in 24th and Ki-Raphael Sulkowski in 57th.
Ashley Stoddart sits in sixth position in the Laser Radials after another consistent day on the water. The Queenslander finished with a pair of sevenths on day two to be tied on points with fifth and just 12 off the podium at the halfway point of the regatta. In the 470 men’s class Angus Galloway and Tim Hannah are currently in 12th position in their first international regatta together.
Full results can be found at www.kieler-woche.de/english.
For more information on the Australian Sailing Team visit www.australiansailingteam.com.au