by Craig Heydon
IFDS World Championship 2011, Weymouth, England.
Jamie Dunross and Rachael Cox from Australia racing in the Skud class on day 1 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta. Copyright onEdition 2011©
Light winds have challenged crews on the opening day of the IFDS World Championship with Australia’s leading Paralympic class sailors having mixed results.
After a three hour delay due to the lack of breeze, racing finally got underway for the Australia’s representatives in the Skud 18, Sonar and 2.4mR classes. They all completed two races.
Jamie Dunross and Rachael Cox are the leading Australian crew in the Skud 18 class, finishing day one fifth overall, tied on points with Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch who sit in seventh.
Dunross and Cox, competing in just their second international regatta together, had a second and a tenth on the waters of Portland Harbour to be just a point off third position.
'We had a positive day today,' said Dunross. 'Our first race was good, we had a fair start and managed to stay out of trouble for most of the race and Rachael was fantastic up the front calling the wind shifts.
'Unfortunately in the second race things got a bit harder but we fought back in the end,' he said. 'Tomorrow is a new day and we’re looking forward to getting into racing again.'
Fellow Australians Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch are hot on the heels of Dunross and Cox after a third and a ninth left them seventh on day one.
'Today was a bit disappointing,' said Tesch. 'I’m new to sailing in light winds so I struggled a little bit with that but tomorrow it’s going to be light again so we’ll have to re-look at our boat set up and go from there.'
Ame Barnbrook and Lindsay Mason are ninth overall and with the pair just four points off the podium are well in touch with the leaders.
Barnbrook and Mason continued the trend for the Australian Skud 18 sailors with one good and one tough race on day, crossing the line with a tenth and a fifth.
'We had an average day for us today but we ended up getting a tenth and a fifth which is okay overall,' said Barnbrook. 'We’ve now got to concentrate and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.'
In the Sonar class Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Rod Angwin are the leading Australian crew in 13th overall.
The West Australian trio finished with a 13th and a 11th in the strong 23 boat fleet.
'Our day was not too bad however not quite as good as we anticipated,' said Angwin. 'Going into the next two races we need to communicate more and try and find the clear lanes which we couldn’t quite seem to find today.'
Matt Bugg had a tough opening day in the 2.4mR class, the Tasmania was called over the line early in race one and excluded from it before finishing 19th in race two to end the day 33rd.
'Unfortunately I had an OCS in the first race out there and then in race two had very bad start and was basically playing catch up from then onwards,' said Bugg. 'With another two races tomorrow I’m planning on getting back up into the top five and staying there.'
Racing continues in Weymouth on Monday with the 2011 IFDS World Championship continuing until Friday July 8.
Australian Sailing Team visit website
Full results here