Australian Women’s Match Racing Team has had a successful weekend. However they on separate sides of the world, with one crew racing on Sydney harbour and the other in Helsinki, Finland.
by Craig Heydon
On home waters team members Olivia Price and Nina Curtis, sailing alongside Rayshele Martin and Sophie Lahey, won the Oceania Regional Finals for the ISAF Nations Cup while in Helsinki Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Whitty won the Women’s Match Racing 2011 European Championship Qualification Event.
The win by Price and crew qualified Australia for the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final to be held in Sheboygan, USA, in September, with the Australian sailors the standout performers over the three days of racing at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
The Australians suffered only one loss during the round robin stage, progressing to take on Olivia Powrie of New Zealand in the final. Price and crew dominated the final, defeating their New Zealand opponents three-nil to win the event.
‘It was the first regatta that my crew have done together and a special thanks to Sophie for joining us at very late notice,' said Price. 'It was a week full of learning and we enjoyed the way the regatta was run, and thanks to all the competitors who came such a long way for the event.'
Lucinda Whitty, Katie Spithill and Jessica Eastwell in Helsinki - Will Ryan
On the other side of globe fellow Australian’s Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Whitty were not only taking on some of the best Women’s Match Racing crews in the world but also gale force winds and sub-zero temperatures in Helsinki.
The Aussie trio needed to finish in the top three at the regatta to qualify for the 2011 European Championships to be held in July, also in Helsinki. After heavy winds played havoc with the opening day of racing the Australians went on to win all but one of their races.
'Racing was better today with 6 – 14 knots, and a lower wind chill, so no hypothermia today,' said Spithill. 'We’re really pleased with our results and our only loss was yesterday to Ru Wang from China in a spinnaker finish with not even half a metre in it.'
The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team now heads to Holland for the fifth round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Australian Sailing Team Website
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2:33 AM Mon 16 May 2011 GMT
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