Kiel Week 2013 - Australian sailors make winning start

Nina Curtis & Haylee Outteridge christening their new 49erFX
Australian Sailing Team
Kiel Week 2013 - Australian sailors have made a strong start to the third EUROSAF Champions Cup round in Kiel, Germany, with four crews ending the opening day in top two positions.

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are at the top of the Nacra 17 fleet, with Will Phillips and Rhys Mara leading the 49ers, Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall are second in the 49erFX and in the Laser class Ashley Brunning is second.

Waterhouse and Darmanin are two points clear at the top of the leader board following a race win, a third and a second on Saturday.

'Today was a solid day for us, we had great starts and were first to the top mark in every race,' said Darmanin. 'Overall we’re really happy with how we sailed and really enjoyed the conditions out there. Despite some strategic errors we finished the day with a first, a third and a second which is a great start to the regatta.'

Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski are sixth in the Nacra 17 fleet following three top 10 results to begin their regatta. Fellow Australians Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty ended day one in 12th position, tied on points with ninth.

Will Phillips and Rhys Mara began their second regatta together in style, winning the first three races in the 49er class, before rounding out the day with a fifth to lead overall.

'We had a long wait onshore today while the 49erFX crews and the 49er yellow fleet completed their races,' said Phillips. 'So by the late afternoon when we eventually launched we were restless and just ready to sail.

'The short courses meant there was plenty of congestion, however we were able to break free and usually just extended away,' he said. 'We’re really happy that we were able to put ourselves in good positions on the first upwinds.'

Luke Parkinson and Fang Warren are the second placed Australian crew in the 49er fleet, ending day one in eighth position. George Davies and Jack Lloyd are currently 24th, with David Gilmour and Sam Phillips 28th, and Joel Turner and Lewis Brake one place behind in 29th. Peter Kendall and Harry Bethwaite are 38th.

Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall made the perfect start to their first 49erFX regatta together, winning the opening race of the regatta. The Beijing 2008 gold medallist and her fellow West Australian finished fifth in race two before picking up their second win of the event in race three.

Parkinson and Hall rounded out the opening day with a second to be one point behind the leading German crew.

Fellow Australians Ella Giudice and Kate Lathouras, who are also competing in their first 49erFX event, are in fourth position, with Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks seventh overall.

Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis had a day of highs and lows, all before the finish of the first race. Outteridge and Curtis christened their brand new boat on Saturday morning after working flat out to prepare it for racing, but were unfortunately involved in a big crash on the water, causing significant damage to their boat and forcing them out for the day.

The pair will receive average points for the day as they were not at fault, and after another long day of boat work will be back racing on Sunday.

'Today was a big day for Haylee and I,' said Curtis. 'We christened our new boat ‘The Iron Lotus’ and were sailing well in the first race in second position when a German boat infringed on us on the downwind.

'We did everything possible to keep clear but it caused a big crash and substantial damage to our new boat,' she said. 'After lots of help from the whole Aussie 49er team we’ll be back on the water tomorrow and have been awarded average points for the four races that we missed.'

Ashley Brunning ended the first day in the Laser class one point behind Brazil’s Robert Scheidt after the opening three races.

Brunning was third in the opening race, crossing the line first in race two, and rounding the day out with a second place finish.

Mitchell Kennedy is the next best placed Australian in 17th, with Jeremy O’Connell in 24th.

Ashley Stoddart ended the day in 20th position in the Laser Radial class, with fellow Australian Madison Kennedy 41st.

In the 470 women’s class Jacqueline Gurr and Amelia Catt are in 11th position, with Lucy Shephard and Aurora Paterson 19th.

Alexander and Patrick Conway are currently 16th in the 470 men’s class, ahead of Scott Cotton and Tom Potter who are 32nd.