by Nicole Brown
Australian Sailing Team update.
Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Jessica Crisp (AUS), second after the first two races of the Women’s RS-X event.
* 49ers - First Overall
* Women’s 470 - Equal First Overall
* Women’s RS:X - Second Overall
* Yngling - Third Overall
Four of the six Australian sailing crews competing today are now in top three leader board positions.
Leading the Aussie charge is the 49er crew of Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin. The current World Champions from the NSW Central Coast racked up a third and two wins to put them into first position overall. They lead with 13 points, followed closely by Denmark in second (15 points) and Italy in third (20 points).
Skipper Nathan Outteridge said he was happy with the day’s results but is conscious of the need to be consistent and minimise risk with another nine races to go before medal contention.
'Our strategy was to stay out of trouble,' said Outteridge.
'We had a nice clear start, good boat speed and made no mistakes.
'This has been six months of envisioning and today was a good confidence builder, but there’s a long way to go.'
Qingdao served up a crystal clear day with winds gusting up to 11 knots just before the start of racing and dropping down to 6 knots later in the afternoon. The clear conditions produced a few surprises for the team, who have spent a lot of time on this course over the past two years.
'I even saw some islands I’d never seen here before,' said a bemused Outteridge.
Windsurfer Jessica Crisp scored two seconds today and now sits in second place overall with six points. China is leading (two points) and Great Britain is third (seven points). Jessica won Bronze at the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao last year, claimed silver at the 2008 Sydney International Regatta and is the current Australian Champion. Her renowned fitness levels and big regatta experience will be important in the conditions at this event, which demand hard physical work.
Perth’s Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson are equal first overall in the Women’s 470. The girls led for most of their first race only to cross the line seven seconds behind France. They followed up with another second in the next race to finish the day on four points, equal to overall leaders and reigning World Champions The Netherlands (also four points), while Spain is third (nine points).
In the Men’s 470 class, Sydney’s Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page are provisionally fourth overall on eleven points after race results of fourth and seventh. France are leading (nine points), followed by Spain (10 points) and Portugal (10 points).
There are eight races to go before medal contention in the 470 and RS:X classes.
At the end of the third day’s racing for the Yngling class, Australians Krystal Weir, Karyn Gojnich and Angela Farrell moved into third place overall on 32 points. The team had a consistent day, finishing seventh in both today’s races. Great Britain is leading (15 points) and The Netherlands are second (18 points).
Anthony Nossiter dropped to 17th overall in the Finn class, with finishes of 13th and 21st taking him to 70 points. Great Britain lead the Finn class (17 points) with USA in second (18 points) and France third (26 points).
There are four races to go before medal competition in the Yngling and Finn classes but both classes have a rest day scheduled tomorrow.
Racing Tomorrow – TUESDAY 12 August
Tom Slingsby, the world’s number one Laser sailor takes to the water. The 23 year old from the NSW Central Coast is making his Olympic debut, having won an impressive 10 Gold, eight Silver and three Bronze Medals at ISAF Grade One Events and two World Championship titles placing him firmly at the top of the ISAF World Rankings.
Victoria’s Sarah Blanck will start her Laser Radial campaign. Ranked number two in the world, Sarah is taking part in her second Olympic Games, having finished in fourth place at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
470 and RSX races will continue.
49ers, Yngling and Finn have a rest day scheduled.
Australian Sailing Team Insights
'No green on boats and no haircuts during regattas.' – Nathan Wilmot, Men’s 470
Who do you admire?
'Don Bradman, for his ethics and skill.' – Malcolm Page, Men’s 470
Australian Sailing Team - click here