by Di Pearson
The first of the medals at the Sydney International Regatta were decided when Darren Bundock/Glenn Ashby (AUS) crossed the finish line in the final Race 9 just after midday to claim the gold medal, with the British team of Leigh McMillan/Will Howden taking silver and brothers Tino and Niko Mittlemeier (GER) carting off the bronze medal.
Bundock and Ashby - SIRS 2007
Bundock, the Sydney 2000 silver medallist and multiple world champion in the cat class and Ashby, a world champion in various catamaran classes, inclusive of the 2006 Tornado worlds win with Bundock, won both today’s races. The two won six of the nine races sailed and remarkably only once finished outside of a top three result during the series.
'We had a couple of good ones,' said an understated Ashby of their two bullets today. The Victorian sailor told: 'We led the first race from the top mark pretty much the whole way through.
'The winds were so shifty on the Sound it was difficult to cover everyone, so we sacrificed a bit of our lead to stay safe. We were so fast downwind and our angles were great. That’s what did it for us,' Ashby said.
Bundock chipped in: 'the second race, we went round the top mark mid-field, but we recovered.' The two are in the Australian team for Beijing and are ranked No. 1 Tornado sailors in the world.
British team of Leigh McMillan and Will Howden took the silver medal - Will Howden described his and McMillan’s day. 'We did not do very well at all in the first race. We started well, but got caught on the wrong side of a shift. In the second race we lead around the top mark and finished second. That was a lot better,' he said.
German brothers Tino and Niko Mittlemeier were thrilled with their bronze medal result. 'We are very happy,' the two said in unison as they hit the beach at Woollahra Sailing Club. 'We got fourth and third today. We were in front of the English guys, but they caught us on the last downwind leg. That was a shame,' said Niko.
The two had a lot to smile about, as they are in contention for a place in the German team for Beijing, but have to beat two other crews over the next few months. 'This result only helps us to maybe get our dream,' said Niko.
The testosterone was alive and kicking on the final day of the Sydney International Regatta, with medals at stake, Laser sailors keen to make the most of the start resulted in a general recall or two.
This is the final day of Yachting NSW’s Sydney International Regatta, and many of the Australian Sailing Team members headed to the Beijing Games next year are in contention for medals at this ISAF Grade 1 Olympic class regatta.
It is a bright sunny day and racing got underway from 10.00am in shifty southerly 10-12 knot winds.
Tornado - Final scores
1 Bundock/Ashby 3 1 1 5 3 1 1 1 16 11 pts
2 Mc Milan/Howden 2 3 3 1 6 3 2 8 28 20 pts
3 Mittelmeier/Mittelmeier 7 6 6 2 1 4 4 4 34 27 pts
4 Johansson/Stittle 4 5 5 8 2 2 5 5 36 28 pts
5 Carolijn/Sebastian 6 2 2 7 4 5 6 7 39 32 pts
6 Polgar/Spalteholz 1 4 7 4 5 12 12 2 47 35 pts
7 Norregaard/Risoer 5 2 4 9 9 8 12 3 52 40 pts
8 Kirilyuk/Ushkov 8 12 12 3 7 7 3 6 58 46 pts
9 Dzhienbaev/Semenov 9 6 8 6 8 6 7 10 60 50 pts
10 Langworthy/Punch 10 12 12 10 10 12 12 9 87 75 pts
11 Davies/Stevens 12 12 12 12 11 12 12 12 95 83 pts
All other results for the Yachting NSW organised ISAF Grade 1 event can be found at: www.nsw.yachting.org.au/ and click on SIRS link. More pics at: www.jackatley.com