by Craig Heydon
The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011, test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, is now officially underway. On day one, Match Racers took to the waters with the Australian trio of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty contesting three races, unfortunately coming away without a win in the light conditions.
Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty in Helsinki
Skipper Price, who turned 19 on the opening day of racing, said that the team took a lot away from the first three races and are keen to hit the water again on Wednesday. 'Day one was an interesting one, we had quite light conditions and were postponed first up in the morning,' said Price. 'We had three races and the wind was maybe four knots and quite shifty.
'It was a fairly tough day, we came up against Claire Leroy of France first up and she was quite tough, then against Sally Barkow of the USA we did quite well in the prestart of that race but were still trying to find our rhythm,' she said. 'Our final race of the day was against Anna Kjellberg of Sweden and the lead changed quite a few times but she ended up getting us on the final downwind.
'We had some very close racing and definitely learnt a lot from today about the conditions, about the boats and about ourselves and we’ll take those lessons into tomorrow’s races,' said Price. 'We’re quite excited to get straight back into it tomorrow morning.'
Price, Curtis and Whitty are a relatively new combination, with this event only their third together since teaming up at the end of June. The trio will be back into racing on Wednesday morning with four races scheduled.
The remainder of the Australian team spent the day preparing for competition, with the crews taking the opportunity to train in the light conditions. The Match Racers will again be the only crew in action on day two, before the RS:X women and men, including Australian representatives Tim Gourlay and Jessica Crisp, begin racing on Thursday.
Australian Sailing Team website