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ISAF Sailing World Championships - Aussie Women's Match Racers on form

by Craig Heydon on 4 Dec 2011
Olivia Price of Australia and Tamara Echegoyen of Spain compete during the Womens Match Racing Group B Heat of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Paul Kane /Perth 2011
Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships day two continued with the Women's Match Racing competition in Fremantle, Australia. Australia’s Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty have made a solid start to their campaign with three wins and two losses from their opening five races.

After spending Saturday onshore watching their fellow match racers in action the Australian trio got their chance to open their account today, with tricky conditions and stifling heat again challenging all of the crews.

'We had our first race at 10am this morning and didn’t get off the water until 5.30pm, making it a long day for five races,' said Price. 'The wind was shifting all over the place today, really up and down pressure and a really tricky day for everyone.'

Price, Curtis and Whitty had a winning start to the day, taking the points in their first race against Tamara Echegoyen of Spain by the narrowest of margins.

The Aussies then lost against Mandy Mulder of the Netherlands, with the race including a collision between the two crews, before bouncing back in style with a win against Great Britain’s Lucy MacGregor. With the breeze softening on Fremantle Harbour Price and crew picked up another win, this time against Silvia Roca of Spain before a loss to France’s Claire Leroy.

'Overall today we won three and lost two, with one of the losses in a drifter of a race which was a little disappointing,' said Curtis. 'But nevertheless on a day like today with all of the shifts and carry on and everything else that came our way we’re really, really happy with the results.

'After today it’s anyone’s first round, there were wins and losses across the board with the conditions mixing up the fleet so it’s all good for us, bring it on,' she said.

Price, Curtis and Whitty will now have Monday off, with fellow Australian Women’s Match Racing Team members Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Katie Spithill returning to the water to resume racing in group A.

Monday also marks the start of competition for the 470 men’s, RS:X women’s, Laser Radial and Finn fleets with Australian crews in action in all four classes.

The Australian Sailing Team’s 470 men’s crew of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page will be out to defend the World Championship they won in the Netherlands in 2010 and also qualify Australia for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

'Our preparation has gone really well, we feel like we’re sailing well and are in good shape heading into the regatta,' said Belcher. 'The build up has been good with racing at Sail Melbourne and then our nationals here in Perth and we got everything done that we wanted in terms of equipment selection and testing so we’re in a good position.

'Going into the first day of racing we’re confident with our speed and now it’s up to us to go out there and get the job done,' he said.

Jessica Crisp headlines the Australian entries in the RS:X women’s fleet as she continues on her path towards a fourth straight Olympic Games appearance.

Krystal Weir is the highest ranked Australian in the Laser Radial fleet while Brendan Casey will represent the Australian Sailing Team in the Finn class.

Full results, live blog, tracking and news is available on the event website.
Australian Sailing Team website
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