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49er Worlds - Heavy winds make for a tough day out

by Craig Heydon on 6 Jan 2010
2010 49er Worlds, Day 2, Grand Cayman Island Fried Elliott © http://www.friedbits.com

Australian Sailing Team crew Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have had a tough day by their high standards on day two of the 2010 49er World Championship, with a 9th and 11th place leaving them fourth overall.

The reigning World Champions went into the second day with a slender two point lead over Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes from Great Britain and had an up and down day in the windy conditions.

'Today was a tougher day for us, there was a lot more wind and we had a few capsizes,' said Outteridge. 'It was averaging about 20 knots and gusting up to 25 which was the most wind we’ve had since we got here.'

'It was real snakes and ladders out there, there where capsizes the whole way through the fleet,' he said. 'The Italians won the first race and finished 10th in the second after a swim, we spent a lot of the day just trying to keep it upright.'

Only two races were possible on day two due to the low tide leaving just a metre of water at the start line. The low tide was catastrophic for Irish crew Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern who’s boat was written off after colliding with a rock.

After five races Outteridge and Jensen sit on 14 points, just two behind second place and six off the lead.

'In the first race we had a capsize and then found ourselves out of phase with the shifts which hurt,' said Outteridge. 'Then in the second we went over at the bottom mark and fought our way back to fourth before going over again. Then we ended up with a massive tangle of ropes which slowed us down but we managed to get back to 11th.'

'We’ll keep pushing on tomorrow and if we’re within 10 points of the lead at the end of the qualification races we’ll be happy with that,' he said.

Fellow Australians Will and Sam Phillips are currently ninth after finishing the day with an 11th and 13th place and find themselves 16 points off the lead.

Euan McNicol and Tim Austin had a strong day on the water with two fourth places seeing them move up to 17th position, with their speed a good sign for the other Australian crews.

'Euan and Tim had a great day and their boat was really quick,' said Outteridge. 'That’s really promising for us as we know what we need to do to get our boat right. Today we just didn’t get our settings right for the heavy wind but we’ll dial it in for tomorrow.'

Steven Thomas and Luke Parkinson are currently in 23rd, ahead of Andrew Chapman and Peter Kendall in 42nd with Sean O’Rourke and Harry Bethwaite in 45th.

For more information go to www.australiansailingteam.com.au

www.49erworlds.org for results.
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