by Craig Heydon
Kieler Woche 2011 has witnessed Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page push forward even further at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Kiel, Germany, with two race victories and a sixth in the 470 class opening up a 16 point lead at the top of the ladder.
Belcher and Page on their way to another race win at Kieler Woche 2011
Belcher and Page have now won six of the eight races at this regatta as they continue in search of back-to-back Kiel Week and overall ISAF Sailing World Cup victories.
'Malcolm and I had another solid day today,' said Belcher. 'We had similar conditions to that of the previous two days, so we just wanted to keep consolidating our position. 'After winning the first race of the day, we thought things were going well but found our self rounding 23rd to the first top mark in race two,' he said.
'After fighting back hard we managed to get back into the top six which we were happy with. The third race things were more straight forward, after a good start we picked the first few shifts and built from there. 'The world number two Croatians are in second here, a few points back but tomorrow anything can happen so we’ll go out and race hard and see what nature brings,' said Belcher.
'The Greek teams have moved up into third and fourth so there’s plenty happening on the water but we’re happy with our sailing.' The 470 fleet will contest two more fleet races on Tuesday before the final 10 boat medal race on Wednesday.
Fellow Australians Sam Kivell and Will Ryan are currently eighth overall in the same class, with New South Wales brothers Alexander and Patrick Conway in 15th. In the 49er class Will and Sam Phillips have slipped slightly from their overnight lead and ended day three in third overall. With four fleet races left for the 49er class before the medal race the Phillips’ find themselves 11 points off the lead and just five points behind the Silver medal crew.
Steven Thomas and Nick Brownie ended the day 14th, with Tom Johnson and Rhys Mara 18th. The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team entry skippered by Olivia Price has qualified for the quarter-finals in fourth position with five wins from ten starts in the second round robin. In just her third World Cup regatta as a skipper Price has qualified for her first quarter-finals and will face off against Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen of Denmark for a place in the semi-finals.
Fellow Australian Nicky Souter will line up against regatta leader Anna Tunnicliffe of America after taking the last quarter-final position with her eighth place ranking. Krystal Weir is currently fourth in the Laser Radial class, tied on points with third position. Weir finished with a sixth and a seventh on day three and is currently joined in the top 10 by fellow Australian Gabrielle King who is seventh overall.
Ashley Stoddart is 11th, one point outside the top 10 in her final regatta before she heads to the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Croatia next month.
Tom Burton is eighth in the Laser class, ahead of Ryan Palk in 11th, James Burman in 16th, Matthew Wearn in 26th, Mark Whittington and Jared West in 41st and 43rd respectively, Ki-Raphael Sulkowski in 52nd, Tristan Brown in 59th and Christopher Jones in 79th. In the RS:X women’s class Australia’s Allison Shreeve and Jessica Crisp are continuing their great battle at this regatta with Shreeve currently sitting third and Crisp one point further back in fourth.
Joanna Sterling is 17th overall. Tessa Parkinson and Belinda Stowell are 11th in the 470 women’s class after two 10th place finishes on day three. In the 2.4mR class Matt Bugg has continued his solid form with a sixth and a fifth leaving him fifth overall in the 30 boat fleet. Oliver Tweddell continues to lead the way for the Australians in the Finn class and is currently in 11th, ahead of Tim Castles in 14th.
In the RS:X men’s Tim Gourlay is 14th, Jimmy Levy 20th and Patrick Vox 32nd.
Australian Sailing Team website
Kieler Woche website