Difficult conditions beset SIRs competitors

Entrants competing on Day 2 of the Sydney International Regatta yesterday experienced some of the most difficult sailing conditions on Sydney Harbour as the wind went up and down and around the clock throughout the day.

Early on the breeze was a lovely 10 knot nor-easterly which was increasing nicely until a westerly made an appearance at Shark Island heading towards the Harbour Bridge and then everything collapsed as boats sat wallowing for a short while the two breezes fought each other for prominence.

It became a no win (or wind situation) as the nor-east held onto its rights in Watsons Bay and offshore, but further up the Harbour, around Shark Island, the breeze was at west, then north-west, up and down – it was impossible to know what would happen next.

The 18 footers delayed their start, but when they did start, it was right between the two opposing breezes which remained light throughout the afternoon, not gusting till late when a storm arrived.

A couple of SIR’s courses had to be moved, but it was the Lasers that suffered most. Their start line was near Shark Island where there was little breeze and they were further hampered by a cruiser operated by ‘All Occasions’ that breasted the start line just as the gun had gone, causing all those at the pin who went left to wallow in irons. Not much fun when you are contesting an important graded event that counts towards funding and Olympic points.

In that fleet, Michael Lee (CAN) won Race 3 with Brett Bayer (AUS) second and Brendan Casey (AUS) third. The leader going into Day 2, Roope Suomalainen (FIN), had a bad day with a fifth and a seventh, which pushed him back to second overall. Michael Bullot (NZL) is the new leader after a fourth and a win.

Zac Skulander (AUS) and Mark Langford (AUS) continue their top two places respectively in the Laser Radial class, with World champion Krystal Weir (AUS) maintaining her third overall and first Womens.

She is a massive 14 points clear of her nearest female rival, Samantha Boyd (AUS), with Samantha England third Womens, 29 points behind Weir.

West Australian Olympic hopeful, Josh Beaver (AUS), took the gun in Race 3 of the Finn class and at the end of the day was second overall, three points behind the leader, two time Olympic representative, Anthony Nossiter. Jim Turner (GBR) is the best of the internationals, his second and third places yesterday enough to leave him third overall.

Darren Bundock and his new Melbourne crew Aaron Worrall (AUS), unsurprisingly continue their lead of the Tornado, with Victorian pair Robbie Lovig/Glen Douglas (AUS) in second and Greg Wyers/David Hart (AUS) third.

Queensland’s Mathew Belcher/Nick Behrens (AUS) scored two 1sts in the 470 class to move to the top of the leaderboard. Western Australia’s Womens 420 world champions, Elise Rechichi/Tessa Parkinson (AUS) have made a smooth transition into the 470 class and going into Day 3, are second overall in front of third placed Tom Chisholm/Jon Newman (AUS).

Emmett Lazich/Jukka Pirainen (AUS) continue to dominate the 49er class with 49er designer, Julian Bethwaite/Tai Elliott (AUS) second placed from Scott Kennedy/Chris Kitchen.

Having a first crack at the 49er class, Nathan Outteridge and his crew Malcolm Page are in a credible fourth place. Outteridge, the 420 Youth World champion and multi-talented sailor is the newly crowned NSW Youth Sailor of the Year who has been honing his match racing skills of late.

Page, with his skipper, Nathan Wilmot (who is second placed in the 505 class at this regatta) won the NSW Sailor of the Year award, holding both the 420 and 470 World titles in 2004 and representing Australia at the Athens Olympics.

‘I’m on a learning curve in the 49er. I’m just too heavy for a 470 and I want to go to the Olympics and the 49er looked exciting. We plan on doing a lot of training and hopefully we’ll do well at Sail Melbourne,’ Outteridge said.

Racing in the Yachting NSW organised SIRs concludes today.

Provisional Results for Day 2 only:

Laser

1. Michael Bullot (AUS)

2. Roope Suomalainen (FIN)

3. Michael Leigh (CAN)

Laser Radial

1. Zac Skulander (AUS)

2. Mark Langford (AUS)

3. Krystal Weir (AUS)

Laser 4.7

1. Lincoln Albert (AUS)

2. Marc Jarvin (AUS)

3. Hamish Hurley (AUS)

470

1. Mathew Belcher/Nick Behrens (AUS)

2. Elise Rechichi/Tessa Parkinson (AUS)

3. Tom Chisholm/Jon Newman (AUS)

420

1. Craig Souter/Jeremy Roberts (AUS)

2. Will Phillips/Max Taylor (AUS)

3. Tom Brewer/Samuel Mackay (AUS)

49er

1. Emmett Lazich/Jukka Piirainen (AUS)

2. Julian Bethwaite/Tai Elliott (AUS)

3. Scott Kennedy/Chris Kitchen (NZL)

29er

1. Silja Lehtinen, Scott Babbage (FIN)

2. Jalen Andreatta, Jamie Jochheim (AUS)

3. Jamie Woods, Ian Jensen (AUS)

Finn

1. Anthony Nossiter (AUS)

2. Josh Beaver (AUS)

3. Jim Turner (GBR)

Mistral

1. Jonathan Bonnitcha (AUS)

2. Michael Lancey (AUS)

3. Corey Plant (AUS)

505

1. Michael Quirk/Geoff Lange (GBR)

2. Nathan Wilmot/Justine Kelleher (AUS)

3. Andrew Hewson/ Kane Sinclair (AUS)

Tornado

1. Darren Bundock/Aaron Worrall (AUS)

2. Robbie Lovig/Glen Douglas (AUS)

3. Greg Wyers/ David Hart (AUS)

Sydney International Regatta complete provisional results are available on the Yachting NSW website at www.nsw.yachting.org.au.
http://www.sail-world.com/15695