Morrison/Rhodes take it to the wire at 49er Worlds

49er World Championships start. Sail Melbourne 2008

Britain's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes are tied in the lead with Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin at the 49er World Championships in Melbourne. With just one series race and the Medal race to go, the British pair pulled up from sixth to tie the lead today. Outteridge and Austin also pulled out everything to move from third to first.

With one day of racing remaining, reigning world champions Morrison and Rhodes turned in a champions performance to tie the lead with Outteridge and Austin. Leaders going into racing today, Athens silver medallists Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk (UKR) are now in third place, but only one point off the lead in what has turned into a nail biting series, with only one day of racing remaining.

Next best placed, 11 points behind the leaders, are brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello from Italy. Athens gold medallists, Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) dropped back to sixth place overall after a shocking day with 22, 10, 19, 14th results. They are now 25 points off the lead in an almost unrecoverable situation.

Racing was conducted in shifty and fluky breezes which peaked at 15 knots and averaged 10 knots, 'but it was all over the place and up and down,' according to race officials.

'It was really, really hard today,' said Nathan Outteridge. 'Iker (Martinez) was with us a couple of times, but he fell away – we made our way back to ninth in the first race today. The breeze was so shifty. In two races we got it right and in two races we got it really wrong. We came from last in Race 1, to get back to ninth – that was the important race for us in terms of overall results.'

'We were a whole leg behind in the third race; we just got the shifts wrong and rounded last around the top mark. But it was too close to shore and moored boats – it made it a lottery. The mark should have been further out, then it wouldn’t have been a problem. Have a look at the results – it was one of those days,' Outteridge said.

Race Officials sent the 49ers off on four races today, leaving a one race to be sailed tomorrow, then the top ten from the 25 crews in the gold fleet series will then sail off for the Championship in the Medal Race, worth double points, scheduled for 3.00pm tomorrow afternoon. The Medal Race cannot be used as a drop.

More to worry about in the Silver fleet, as the two top nations which have not yet qualified for the Games, will do so following their two final races.

Results are provisional pending protests.

1OUTTERIDGE, Nathan

AUSTIN, Ben
FearlessAUS3AUS2131175131131592221 58
2MORRISON, Stevie

RHODES, Ben
GBR1GBR214851631223810375 58
3LUKA, Rodion

LEONCHUK, George
VoroninUKR14UKR3135231232146336146 59
4SIBELLO, Piero

SIBELLO, Gianfranco
ITA4ITA1927311116614754107 69
5WADLOW, Tim

RAST, Chris
SecoraUSA13USA6882335571051191313 78
6MARTINEZ, Iker

FERNANDEZ, Xabier
ESP10ESP44942617181222101914 83
7PECKOLT, Jan Peter

PECKOLT, Hannes
11GER14625324415241852023 89
8WARRER, Jonas

KIRKETERP, Martin
Hempel Dong EnergyDEN 8DEN914113444964726

DSQ
161324 96
9CAMPBELL-JAMES, Paul

ASQUITH, Mark`
EITSGBR21GBR35211492428

DNF
121519148123 104
10DELLE KARTH, Nico Luca Marc

RESCH, Nikolaus Leopold
Mary Jane, HOBAS Tiroler Wasserkraft 1A Inst.AUT2AUT6353641261332320191115 111
11FONSECA, Andre

DUARTE, Rodrigo
Vaca VoadoraBRA29BRA7761841228

DNF
8241214171162 115
12LIMA, Jorge

ANDRADE, Francisco
LusodietePOR18POR35128527839956242322 115
13COOK, Gordon

REMOCKER, Ben
SamsonCAN19CAN928

OCS
74214108319116131189 115
14HANSEN, Peter

HANSEN, Soren
Hempel/Dong EnergyDEN12DEN1215142134426

DSQ
1712241498 116
15EMMANUEL, Dyen

YANN, Rochierieux
FRA16FRA29161771146211424721412 116
16EVANS, Dave

HOPSON, Alex
MyfanwyGBR22GBR751012102378181094171811 121
17GUNDERSEN, Christopher

BOVIM, Frode
NOR20NOR1188675994519172312119 129
18PHILLIPS, William

NEWMAN, Jon
AUS27AUS561334111151132122197324 131
19FEDERICO, Alonso

ARTURO, Alonso
ESP6ESP102518125197161125161725 133
20MORGAN, Lagraviere

STÉPHANE, Christidis
Rougail RiverFRA 7FRA5617611012816201815152110 133
21KRÃœGER ANDERSEN, Peter

DENGSØ ANDERSEN, Dennis
DEN15DEN631410283728

DSQ
208162122521 144
22BAUR, Marcus

BAUMANN, Hannes
FritzIIGER26GER8186418386171718101118620 150
23PINK, John

WHEELER, Simon
Skandia Team GBRGBR28GBR532528

BFD
1811352325202231516 151
24ANGILELLA, Giuseppe

ZUCCHETTI, Pietro
ITA30ITA4222865857212413826

OCS
2418 153
25LINDBERG, Jonas

TORLÉN, Kalle
AplicatorSWE42SWE106991014491322222112202517 184


Xabier FERNANDEZ and Iker MARTINEZ (ESP) 49er World Championships - 2008 Sail Melbourne
http://www.sail-world.com/40673