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Macquarie Access World Championships - Perfect conditions

by Di Pearson on 12 Apr 2012
Liesl Tesch scrambles to windward in the SKUD 18 - Macquarie Access World Championships 2012 Andrea Francolini Photography
Macquarie Access World Championships 2012 penultimate day got underway on Sydney Harbour in light 10-12 knot south-westerly winds, which made a change from the heavy winds of the past two days. This did not detract Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) from the job at hand, as the two added a further pair of wins to their already perfect score.

Fitzgibbon and Tesch, who will officially be advised on Monday as to their inclusion in the Australian Paralympic team, have won all eight races sailed in the SKUD class of the Championship being hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, while the rest of the international fleet tries to catch them.

Ame Barnbrook and Lindsay Mason (AUS) revelled in the lighter winds and came back to MHYC with two second places and are now only two points behind the New Zealand team of Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel, who came home third in both races.

Barnbrook, from the NSW South Coast, had a big smile on her face back at the dock. 'Today was our perfect weather – I couldn’t imagine it being any better,' she said. 'We had good speed – not fast enough to catch Daniel – and we sailed the angles well,' she added.

'We’re only two points away from the New Zealanders (who are the top Kiwi crew and are also awaiting notification as to their inclusion into their team for the Paralympic Games) and if we get more weather like this….,' said Barnbrook, who openly admits, 'We struggle in anything over 15-18 knots, but we’re getting better.'

In the 303 two-person class, reigning world champions, Zoltan Pegan and his wife Eva Mircsev (HUN) were thrilled to find lighter breeze to sail to victory in both Races seven and eight.

Being a lighter crew, Pegan and Mircsev found the going extremely tough in the last two days.

'The weather was more to our liking and we could actually look for shifts in the wind, as opposed to fighting them like we’ve had to for the last two days,' Pegan, who was born and bred in Australia, said.

'Our two wins today have secured us third place. We’ve got a slight chance of finishing second, if we can come up with results like today, but there’s no way we can win from here,' he conceded.

Leading the way are Patricia Ennis and ex-world champion, Michael Leydon (AUS), who had to settle for two second places today. Second placed Mark Thorpe and Bruce James (AUS) had a pair of third places and are only seven points ahead of the world champs with two races remaining, weather permitting.

Racing concludes tomorrow off Middle Harbour Yacht Club, with the final racing start from 10.00am and 1.00pm.

Macquarie Access World Championships website

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