Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Three Kiwis Eye Podium at Kieler Woche

Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk are currently lying third in the Star class in Kieler Woche. Image copyright okpress/Kieler Woche.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Three New Zealanders have medals within their grasp as Kieler Woche Olympic Classes Regatta heads into the final race. Mike Bullot in the Laser, Star pair Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk and Dan Slater in the Finn are all lying within the top four with just the medal race remaining at this well attended regatta in Germany.

After two days without racing due to light winds each of these three fleets sailed three races overnight to catch up on the programme and determine the top ten medal race starters. Bullot, Slater and the Star pair all improved their overall standing and now head into the medal race, to be sailed tonight in Germany, within reach of medals.

Mike Bullot (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) sits in 2nd place in the 153 boats Laser fleet behind Olympic champion Paul Goodison of Great Britain. Bullot notched up another heat win overnight, as well as a 2nd place which moves him up the leaderboard from 4th to 2nd place.

Because a total of only five races have been sailed in the Laser class the points are tight amongst those at the top of the board making tonight’s race a high pressure race. Bullot has already returned a silver medal winning performance this year at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Event 3 in Mallorca, Spain in April and he’ll be hoping for another tonight.

Over in the Star class race officials managed three races last night to conclude the qualifying series. Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk finished 10th, 9th and 2nd in last night’s racing which improved their overall standing in the 43 boat fleet from 5th up to 3rd place.

Percy and Simpson (GBR) hold the lead in the Stars on 12 points, Mendelblatt and Strube (USA) have 2nd place on 14 points. The kiwis are a further 12 points back on 26 which means gold and silver are further away, however a good race tonight could secure them the bronze medal.

Dan Slater was the big mover of the kiwis last night climbing up the Finn leaderboard from 10th to 4th place on equal points to GBR’s Ed Wright in 3rd. Slater and Wright are just four points adrift of the Estonian and Croatian who are locked up for the lead going into the final double-points medal race. The narrow points margins allow no room for error in the medal race, which is shaping up as a hard fought on water tussle.

The three newcomers to the international racing in the 49er have all missed the cut for the medal race, however each of these crews has shown they can foot it with the best after some solid heat results during competition. David McDiarmid and Andrew Archibald were the closest to making the medal race cut just missing the top ten and finishing in 11th place.

The regatta concludes tonight in Germany.

New Zealand's Results after Day Four

Laser (153 boats)
2nd Mike Bullot (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
71st Matt Coutts (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)

Star (43 boats)
3rd Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron)

Finn (63 boats)
4th Dan Slater (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)

49er (50 boats)
11th David McDiarmid and Andrew Archibald (Mangonui Cruising Club)
16th Peter Burling (Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club) and Blair Tuke (Kerikeri Cruising Club)
36th Peter Graham and Iain Begg (Ravensbourne Boating Club)

Kieler Woche 2009
Yachting NZ

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