by Craig Heydon
Kieler Woche 2011 has now witnessed the Australians rise to the top of 470 and 49er classes after the first two days at Sailing World Cup in Germany.
Will and Sam Phillips racing in the 49er class at Kieler Woche 2011
Aussie's have continued their strong start to the final round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Kiel, Germany, with Australia’s 470 and 49er crews sitting at the top of their classes after two days of racing.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page continued their great run in Kiel with another two race wins making it four wins from five starts so far this regatta.
The pair, who won this event in 2010, has a nine point lead over the second placed Croatian crew with third place a further 10 points back.
'Malcolm and I are sailing well and are happy with where we are at after two days of racing,' said Belcher. 'The competition is close with the world number two crew from Croatia right behind us.
'The conditions today were pretty extreme, we went out to the course in a 12-15knot breeze but as the frontal systems approached the breeze built quite rapidly to low 20's, with a lot of rain,' he said. 'We led from start to finish in both races which was pleasing but there’s still plenty of racing to go.
'Tomorrow will be an interesting day, as we’ll try and consolidate our lead before we head into the last day of racing.' Will and Sam Phillips have continued their great run in the 49er class and have a one point lead over the second placed Danish crew after the opening eight races.
The Phillips brothers had two seconds, a sixth and a ninth on day two as they continue the strong form that took them to their best ever finish in a European World Cup regatta last week in Weymouth where they were fourth.
The Women’s Match Racing competition has finished the opening round robin with the Australian entry skippered by Olivia Price finishing third with Nicky Souter seventh. The competition now enters a second round robin before the top eight crews head into the quarter-finals.
'They are long, cold days on the water here in Kiel but we’re always progressing and learning with each new race,' said Price. 'We’ve had some close racing with tough opposition over the last two days and our performance has lifted, especially with the amount of racing we are doing.
'It feels as though we are lifting amongst tough competition and I feel as though I'm finally getting the hang of things on the helm and am feeling a lot more confident in the boat in more situations which is showing through our strong pre-starts and speed around the course,' she said.
Jessica Crisp and Allison Shreeve are fourth and fifth respectively in the RS:X women’s class and are in a tight battle for the overall lead with just six points separating the top five.
The pair had a great second race of the day with Shreeve taking out the win and Crisp finishing just behind her in second. Fellow Australian Joanna Sterling is currently in 16th. In the Laser Radial class Krystal Weir continues to be the leading Australian in fourth, tied on points with third and second, while Gabrielle King is seventh and Ashley Stoddart 11th.
Tom Burton is sixth overall in the Laser class, ahead of Ryan Palk who sits 10th after winning the opening race of the day, James Burman is 14th, Matthew Wearn 21st, Jared West 34th, Mark Whittington 41st, Tristan Brown and Ki-Raphael Sulkowski 52nd and 53rd respectively and Christopher Jones 80th.
Tessa Parkinson and Belinda Stowell have moved up to 11th in the 470 women’s class following a seventh and a ninth in Sunday’s two races. In the 470 men’s Sam Kivell and Will Ryan are 10th and Alexander and Patrick Conway are 14th.
Victorian sailor Oliver Tweddell has continued his solid opening to the week in the Finn class and is currently seventh overall, starting day two with a race win ahead of the reigning World Champion from Great Britain, and then picking up a third and a 10th, with fellow Australian Tim Castles 13th.
Matt Bugg is sixth in the 2.4mR class and in the 49ers Steven Thomas and Nick Brownie are 10th and Tom Johnson and Rhys Mara are 17th. In the RS:X men Tim Gourlay is 13th, ahead of Jimmy Levy in 21st and Patrick Vos in 33rd.
Australian Sailing Team website