by Craig Heydon
ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, hosted by Sail Sheboygan, one of four US Sailing Centers is currently underway at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. Australia’s women’s match racers have made a strong start.
Olivia Price and crew on day one of the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final - ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final 2011
The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team crew of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty ended day one with four wins from five races and are currently fourth overall, behind three crews who won all of their races.
Price, Curtis and Whitty had wins against their Canadian, Chinese, American and South African opponents, with their loss coming against Mandy Mulder of the Netherlands.
'We had great conditions on the water today with a gusty 10 to 18 knots for racing,' said Whitty. 'Four wins and a loss is a solid start to the regatta so we’re pretty happy with where we’re at.
'The conditions were very volatile and really shifty today and you couldn’t miss a beat so to come out of it with four wins was good.
'We had a good race against Genny Tulloch of America where we were both over at the start and had to return to the line,' she said. 'Tulloch then got a penalty for not being on the course side and trying to get a port and starboard so it was a really positive race for us.'
The Australians will return to the water on Thursday with four races left to complete the round robin phase of the competition.
Three of those races are against crews ranked above them, including world number one Claire Leroy of France.
'We’ve got four more races scheduled for tomorrow and the plan is to build from today’s effort and we are looking forward to some tight racing,' said Whitty.
The ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final is a bi-annual event with teams qualifying through a series of regional events. Australia qualified after defeating New Zealand in the Oceania final in Sydney in May.
Racing continues in Sheboygan until Sunday 18 September.
For more information on the Australian Women’s Match Racing Team visit the Australian Sailing Team website.
ISAF Nations Cup website