A completely different set of conditions prevailed for the second day of racing in the ISAF World Sailing Cup at Melbourne.
In contrast to the high temperatures, fresh winds and blue skies of yesterday, racing in the first session of the day limped away in light southerly winds, with overcast skies, light rain at times, a cross-sea and plenty of postponements.
This was the first racing session for the Nacra 17 multihull, which has drawn a good fleet including two New Zealand crews. There is some top Australian talent competing including Darren Bundock, multiple world champion in the Tornado class and Olympoic silver medalist in Qingdao, China
In the opening stanzas of the first race Bundock did not have it his own way lying fourth around the first mark, and that is where he, and crew Nina Curtis, lay on the standings after the first two races. However a win in the final race was a great tonic for their scorecard moving the new Australian combination moving them into second overall at the end of the day's racing.
First overall is the Australian combination of Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty, who won the first race. Bundock and Curtis are one point astern in the standings, with a further point back to the New Zealand crew of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders, who won the second race of the day.
Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland (AUS) are a further point behind in fourth place, in what looks like being a very tight series in the new Olympic class and Mixed Multihull event.
The conditions were little better for the RS:X Mens and Womens events, which started racing on a course further south than the Nacra 17’s.
The same light winds and difficult sea prevailed, however it did not seem to worry the strong Chinese team who dominated the racing today.
Not only did they take the first three places in each race, however to rub salt into the Mens’ egos they caught up many of the Mens fleet and to say this was a dominant performance is a massive understatement.
Overall leader in the series is Manjia Zheng (CHN) who won both races today, her compatriot Qioshan Weng placed second in each and with Yunxiu Lu (CHN) in third overall after finishing third in the first race, and fourth in the second. Chinese hold the first four position overall, with the first non-Chinese sailor in fifth position – Poland’s Malgorzata Bialecka. The token Australian lies in eighth place in the eight strong fleet.
It was China all the way in the RS:X Men, but without the same domination seen in the Womens fleet.
Zhenganan Fang placed third in the opening race, in which the competitors were standing on their boards and pumping for much of the windward leg. He scored a win in the second race of the day to head the pointstable on a tie breaker, with another Chinese competitor Chuankun Shi winning the first and placing third in the second. In fact there is a threew ay tie on the points table for the men with Chunzhuang Liu also on four points, by virtue of finishing second in both races sailed.
Australian and New Zealand competitors make up the rest of the fleet, with Patirck Vos (AUS) in fourth overall and Tony Mackenzie (NZL) fifth overall in the nine competitor fleet.
The Australian crew crew of Matt Belcher and Will Ryan kept their bow ahead of the current European Champions Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO), winning the third race of the regatta, with the Croatian crew placing second. However a starting error cost the Australians dearly in the second race of the day and they were recorded as a premature starter and whistled off the course by officials. That leaves the Croatian crew with the yellow jerseys for tomorrow's racing, with Belcher and Ryan in second place, but able to discard today's snafu later in the regatta when each competitor is permitted to discard their worst place for their final pointscore.
An Brazilian crew lie in third place overall, tied on points with the fourth place crew and just a single point ahead of another Australian crew.
A new race leader has emerged in the Womens 470 event with the crew of Jacqui Gurr and Amelia Catt (AUS) holding the lead in the cklass after four races, despite not recording a race win. Second overall is the Chinese crew of Nan Zhang and Yixiao Lv who won the final race of the day, but a fifth place in the first race of the day counted against them and despite winning two races in the regatta. Young Australian World Youth Champion, Carrie Smith, and new crew Sarah Cook dropped back to third place overall after two disappointing places today.
With two races sailed in the 49er class there is a three way tie for the lead with three Australian crews locked on 4pts. Current Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen won the first race of the day, which was delayed as officials waited for the southerly wind to settle in. David Gilmour and Sam Phillips placed third in the opening race and then bounced back to win the second, with a third Australian crew Will Phillips and Rhys Mara being a consistent second in both races to complete the Australian trifecta. The tiebreaker was applied in favour of the best placed crew in the last race sailed, giving Gilmour and Phillips the overnight lead.
A sensation at the finish of the Womens 49erFX resulted in some confused results after the race leaders failed to cross the correct finish line and it was the fortunate lot of Ragna and Maia Agerup of Norway, to receive the winner's hooter after taking full advantage of the original leaders' mistake. A Swedish crew placed third, with the remainder of the fleet realising the error of their ways and crossing the finish before the allowed time had expired. The Norwegian crew lead on the points table overnight, with Australian crews in second and third.
Young Australian Jake Lilley sensationally leading the Finns class after four races, he added two seconds today to his two bullets yesterday to lead the series from Bjoern Allansson of Sweden. 'I am usually a slow starter' Lilley commented 'so I hope I dont fade this time.' Lilley retains his lead by a two point margin.
Australia's Tom Burton holds a commanding lead in the Mens Laser class, ahead of Ashley Brunning (AUS) and Thomas Saunders (NZL). The World Ranked number one Tom Burton won two more Laser races today -'A long day on the water, frustating time for race managment but they were patient and we got in two good races. I seem to be in the right pace at the right time, with plenty of speed.'
Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) leads the Womens Laser Radial from China's Dongshuang Zhang, with Krystal Weir (AUS) tied on points but scored in third place.
For full results click here
by Richard Gladwell
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3:36 AM Tue 3 Dec 2013GMT
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2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne
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