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Flying start for Brits on first day of 29er Worlds

by Di Pearson / Sail-world.com/uk on 4 Jan 2008
Britain's James Peters and Ed Fitzgerald won two of their opening races, and Bleddyn Mon and Tom Humpheries also had a great start - winning one and taking second in two others - on the first day of the 29er Worlds hosted by Sorrento Couta Sailing BC in Australia.

Four races were completed for the qualifying heats and the Australian sailors Steven Thomas and Jasper Warren are tied in the lead with Denmark’s Henrik Sogaard and Soren Kristensen on seven points.

Peters and Fitzgerald (GBR) are in third place, just a point behind, with another Danish crew, and the first female skipper, Katrine Andersen and crew Rie Luxhoi in fourth place and Mon and Humphreys (GBR) fifth, just one point away from the Danes.

With four races away, the West Australians, Thomas and Warren had a blinder, winning three of their group’s four races, finishing fourth in the fourth race. However, due to the number of entries, competitors are sailing in four groups in the qualifying rounds, and Denmark’s Sogaard and Kristensen are on equal points with the Aussies after 1, 3, 1, 2 results.

The four 29er groups raced on two courses starting just after 10.00am this morning. Like the 49ers, they faced 15 knot nor-easterly breezes which faded as the day went on.

The qualifying rounds of the Sail Melbourne event continue tomorrow off Sorrento, with a further four races on windward/leeward courses planned.

29er - Leading positions after 4 races

1 AUS THOMAS, Steven/WARREN, Jasper 1 1 1 4 7 pts
2 DEN SOGAARD, Henrik Rask/KRISTENSEN, Soren Wiegand 1 3 1 2 7 pts
3 GBR PETERS, James/FITZGERALD, Ed 2 1 4 1 8 pts
4 DEN ANDERSEN, Katrine Ditmar/LUXHOI, Rie 4 2 1 3 10 pts
5 GBR MON, Bleddyn/HUMPHREYS, Tom 6 1 2 2 11 pts
6 AUS PEATE, Nick/MARA, Rhys 2 2 3 5 12 pts
7 AUS ROSE, Joel /WOODS, Jamie 1 4 2 6 13 pts
8 AUS WHITE, Byron/RYAN, William 3 3 3 5 14 pts
9 RSA JACOBS, Taariq/ MALAN, Neil 9 2 1 4 16 pts
10 SIN LIU, Justin /CHENG, Sherman 6 7 4 1 18 pts

Results are provisional pending any protests.
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