by Craig Heydon
Australia’s Women’s Match Racers have made a winning start to the Buddy Melges Challenge in Wisconsin, USA, with both Aussie crews ending the first day at the pointy end of the table.
Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty
Australia is being represented by two crews at the ISAF Grade 1 event with Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty sailing in one crew while Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Katie Spithill are competing in their first regatta together in the other.
Price, Curtis and Whitty arrived in America fresh from their fifth place finish at the recent Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, with the Australians continuing the winning form they showed on the final few days of the test event. Price and crew ended day one with five wins and one loss to be second overall, their only loss of the day against their fellow Australians.
'We had a solid day on the water with five wins out of six races, with our only loss being to Nicky,' said skipper Price. 'We had some exciting races against both French crews led by Le Berre and Bossard, with the lead changing twice in both races.
'Tomorrow afternoon there’s another three races scheduled and the conditions are looking better with heavy winds coming from the west,' she said. 'We've been really keen to get back into racing after the test event and were happy with our day.'
Souter, Eastwell and Spithill have made a strong start to their time in the boat together with four wins from their first four races together.
'Today was a good solid start to the regatta for both teams,' said Eastwell. 'Being our first regatta in this combination we’re happy with our racing today, winning all four races.
'The conditions were challenging with a big swell and unstable winds in the morning and we had some good races with our closest being against Dellenbaugh from the USA with the wind dropping off on the last downwind allowing them to gain a few lengths. 'We finished off the day with a race against our fellow Aussies,' she said. 'The conditions became more challenging in this race but a strong start allowed us to open up a comfortable lead.'
Racing continues in Wisconsin on Wednesday with the event continuing until Saturday.
For more information on the Australian Women’s Match Racing Team here