Sail Auckland- Tight battles fought at the top on Day 2

Michael Bullot (198114) crosses ahead of rival, Andrew Murdoch (197273) in the second race of the Mens Laser Sail Auckland - 2011 - Day 2

Racing continued today at Sail Auckland 2011 as the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic classes regatta now hits the half way mark with some tight battles unfolding ensuring an exciting conclusion to the event over the weekend.

The westerly offshore breeze challenged the fleets once again with patchy pressure at times, but greater push today in the 15-18 knot range for the opening races, dropping slightly through the afternoon.

Tom Ashley continues to reign supreme in the Men’s RS:X fleet, sailing three races today, the Olympic champs leads the fleet but things are tight at the top of the board. Just three points separate first and fourth place after a total of five races.

JP Tobin leads Tom Ashley in the closing stages of the first race - Sail Auckland - 2011 - Day 2

With a 2-4-2 card today Ashley, on 7 points is just one point ahead of Dorian van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands, with Antonio Cozzolino and Jon-Paul Tobin just behind sharing third place 10 points each.

For the NZL Sailing Team’s Kate Ellingham, Sail Auckland marks a return to competition after an enforced injury break. 'I had had a really long break after the Worlds because of my back, and I’ve finally got that under control now, so it hasn’t been bothering me since November which is good, it’s really exciting.'

Ellingham won today’s two opening races in the RS:X 8.5 windsurfing, then placed second and has opened up a small lead on rival Natalia Kosinska two points adrift in second place. Justina Sellers, also on the comeback from injury, is third.

Describing conditions today Ellingham said; 'Offshore 15-18 knots for the first two races, 8-14 for the final race... heaps more that yesterday. I don’t mind, but I do enjoy the wind for sure, especially when it’s this gusty.'

'The first two I won, which was good. The final one I was winning most of the way around and then on the last upwind I tried to plane when the wind died and people came from behind to catch up... so that was disappointing, but I guess that’s what happens when it’s offshore and shifty like this.'

'The whole plan of this regatta was to get good starts, so far out of five races I’ve had four good starts and one when I kinda got the pin a bit muddled up with the finish line, so I was over, but I went back and it was fine, I still won.'

It’s all on between Andrew Murdoch and Mike Bullot, both NZL Sailing Team sailors, at the top of the 30-strong Laser fleet. With a 3-2-1 score card today Murdoch edges out in front – on 10 points he is just two clear of Bullot who also had solid results today with 2-1-4 in the three races sailed.

Australia’s Tom Burton is in third six points back.

No change to the standings at the top of the Radial fleet with Michael Cate holding out Olympic campaigner Sara Winther for the lead. Cate is on 13 points, with Winther five back on 17 points.

New Zealand’s Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders ahead of Britain’s Nick Rogers and Chris Grube - Sail Auckland - 2011 - Day 2

Nick Rogers and Chris Grube of Great Britain extended their strangle-hold in the 470 division racing home with two wins and a second today. They now have an eight point leading margin.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders improved their standing with a 1-3-2 today and moving up the ladder into second place ahead of Mark Overington and Ben Goodwin.

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie are the best of the women placed fifth overall.


Dan Slater still tops the leader board in the Finn fleet with a second and two wins he is two points ahead of Rafael Trujillo Villar ESP, with Matt Coutts in third.

Results after Day 2 – top three in each event

See for full results

Laser top three

1st Andrew Murdoch NZL – 10 points
2nd Mike Bullot NZL – 12 points
3rd Tom Burton AUS – 18 points

Laser Radial top three

1st Michael Cate NZL - 13 points
2nd Sara Winther NZL - 17 points
3rd Nicholas Croft NZL – 18 points

470 top three

1st Nick Rogers & Chris Grube - 6 points
2nd Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders – 14 points
3rd Mark Overington & Ben Goodwin - 15 points

Finn top three

1st Dan Slater NZL - 6 points
2nd Rafael Trujillo Villar ESP - 8 points
3rd Matt Coutts NZL – 13 points

RS:X Men top three

1st Tom Ashley NZL – 7 points
2nd Dorian van Rijsselberge NED – 8 points
3rd = Antonio Cozzolino – 10 points
3rd = Jon-Paul Tobin – 10 points

RS:X Women top three

1st Natalia Kosinska NZL – 5 points
2nd Kate Ellingham NZL – 7 points
3rd Justina Sellers NZL – 11 points

49er top three

1st Marcus Hansen & Aaron Hume-Merry NZL - 9 points
2nd Chris Burgess & Rowan Swanson NZL - 19 points
3rd Kagan Weeks & Jake Weeks NZL – 33 points

RS:X 8.5 top three

1st Sven Pedersen NZL - 4 points
2nd Tony McKenzie NZL - 10 points
3rd Enzo Pla FRA - 10 points

420 top three

1st Alex Munro & Brad Moss NZL - 8 points
2nd Charlotte Corston & Vicki Francis NZL – 10 points
3rd Sam Mackay & Oscar Rovick NZL - 12 points

29er top three

1st Matthew Spary &Tyler Russell NZL – 9 points
2nd Jack Simpson & Logan Beck NZL - 17 points
3rd Stewart Dodson & Harry Hull NZL – 27 points