The second wave of NZ sailors started their World Championship crusade Monday in stormy conditions off Fremantle, Western Australia. The Men’s RS:X, 49er, Laser and Women’s 470 had their first races of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships today.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er skiff class were the NZL Sailing Team’s top performers today, finishing all three of their races within the top five. After their first day of racing they are sitting in second overall, tied in points with the lead team.
The wind today relatively stable but unusual for this venue, Peter Burling explained. 'There were a few storms and systems going through, even thunder before our last race and it built quite quickly after that.'
'It was not the normal south west sea breeze today; it was more south or south east' said Peter. 'It was a new breeze for everyone, one we hadn’t sailed in before'
<:img Alt_ALEX91131.jpg :>
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke managed the challenge well. 'We’re walking away with three keepers and that’s the main thing. It was a good start, we’re pretty happy' concluded Peter.
The NZL Sailing Team Women’s 470 crew of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie also had a strong start. This crew, usually known as Team Jolly, finished their first two races in seventh and fourth place which leaves them in fourth overall.
The Men’s RS:X windsurfer, women’s 470 and the men’s single handed Laser class had two races today, while the 49ers had three.
As expected, Tom Ashley and JP Tobin were racing in close quarters on the Men’s RS:X course, the pair of them have only one point differing their overall standings of sixth (Tom) and eighth (JP). Tobin was reported to have protested Ashley after a mark rounding incident.
The famous five NZL Sailing Team Laser Sailors performed well today too, everybody’s race results within the top twelve bar one. In the overall standings, all of these men are in the top 25% of the fleet after the first day, and Josh Junior is the highest placed kiwi in twelfth overall.
<:img Alt_PAULPRK218361.jpg :>
All three men’s fleets are seeded in relatively even pools based on their ISAF rankings, and are racing in a qualifying series before being grouped to Gold/Silver/Bronze fleets based on their results from this regatta. The Women’s 470 remain in one pool due to their smaller fleet size at this years’ event.
The Women’s Match Racing team faced some of the top competitors in the regatta today with variable conditions on Fremantle’s Inner Harbour. They had spectacular wins against Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor and Finland’s Silija Lehtinen. In total, the team of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt have 8 wins and 6 losses in this stage two round robin repechage. After tomorrow’s last races just the top four teams will transition from the round robin to the quarter finals where the top eight will sail off.
The NZL Sailing Team is set to feature on the December 12th regatta highlights TV programme- available for viewing online www.sailing.org/tv
Racing continues for all classes tomorrow.
<:img Alt_PAULPRK114101.jpg :> Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
New Zealand’s current standings
49er- 67 Teams
2nd Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (5, 3, 2)
43rd Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (34DNC, 13, 18)
62nd Chris Burgess and Rohan Swanson (26, 29, 34DNC)
470 Women- 48 Teams
4th Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (7, 4)
39th Vicki Francis and Erica Dawson (32, 43)
Men’s Laser- 147 Competitors
12th Josh Junior (7, 3)
19th Andrew Murdoch (6, 7)
21st Mike Bullot (12, 4)
29th Andrew Maloney (17, 5)
32nd Sam Meech (12, 11)
90th Tom Saunders (26, 35)
RS:X Men’s- 89 Competitors
6th Tom Ashley (2, 7)
8th JP Tobin (6, 4)
58th Antonio Cozzolino (26, 32)
83rd Carl Evans(38, 47DNF)
Womens Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
8 Wins, 6 losses- second round robin repechage