by Craig Heydon
Harsh weather condition welcomed sailors on the first day of Sail Melbourne and it continues to overwhelm the playing field unto the second day of racing competition, though this time it’s intolerable. Sail Melbourne Race Committee decided to postpone almost all sailing events for the day due to gustiness of 35 knots recorded on Port Philip, the host for the first leg of the 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup. On the other hand, organizers are expected a wild race in the kiteboarding event as world class participants look to capitalise on extremely strong winds pummeling on Melbourne's bay area.
Racing has been cancelled on day two of Sail Melbourne due to strong winds - Photo Jeff Crow
The breeze built throughout the morning with gusts above 35 knots recorded on Port Phillip Bay, forcing the Sail Melbourne Race Committee to cancel racing for the day.
The crews will be back in action on Wednesday with racing scheduled through until the double-points medal races on Saturday at Sandringham Yacht Club.
Australian sailors featured predominantly at the top of the leader boards after the opening day of racing at the first round of the 2012/2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup.
London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist Mathew Belcher and new crew Will Ryan got their Rio campaign off to the perfect start with two wins from two starts to sit at the top of the 470 men’s table, five points clear of South Africans Jim Asenathi and Roger Hudson.
Brendan Casey leads an all-Australian top three in the Finn class, with two opening day wins giving him a three-point lead over Oliver Tweddell and Jake Lilley.
Australians hold down the top five positions in the Laser class with Ryan Palk ending day one first overall. Tom Burton is one point behind in second, followed by Matthew Wearn, Jared West and Ashley Brunning.
Ashley Stoddart and Krystal Weir are tied on points at the front of the Laser Radial fleet, with Stoddart edging out the two-time Olympian on a countback. Louise Evans is four points further back in third.
Sisters Sasha and Jaime Ryan are first in the 470 women’s, mirroring their older brother Will’s start, with a pair of wins. Lucy Shephard and Aurora Paterson are second with new combination Elise Rechichi and Sarah Cook ending their first day of competition together in third.
In the new 49erFX class Beijing 2008 gold medallist Tessa Parkinson and crew Kate Lathouras are currently first overall after two wins and a fourth on Port Phillip Bay.
New Zealanders Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are second with London 2012 silver medallist Olivia Price and crew James Sly third.
Steven Thomas and Rhys Mara lead the 49er fleet after three races, one point ahead of Luke Parkinson and Jaspar Warren. New combination Sam Kivell and Sam Phillips are third.
In the RS:X class Sam Treharne is first overall, one point clear of Luke Baillie with Patrick Vos in third.
Australian Sailing Team website
Sail Melbourne website