Thursday, 23 September 2010

Australians move through to Gold fleet at Women’s Match Racing World Championship

Nicky souter in action at the New York Yacht Culub. Image copyright Fried Elliott/

by Craig Heydon

The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team has continued its strong start to the 2010 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Rhode Island, USA, with both crews qualifying for the Gold fleet at the end of day two of racing.

The Australian crew of Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell, Angela Farrell and Stacey Jackson finished the opening round robin second in the red group behind Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain.

Spithill and crew finished the opening round with six wins and three losses after starting the day with a perfect four wins record.

“Today didn’t go quite as well as day one but after some really tough races today we did enough to make the Gold fleet and the top eight,” said Spithill.

“After two days racing as a team in the Sonar it feels like we are coming together well,” she said. “Tomorrow is forecast to be light winds so it will fell like a whole new event. On top of that we don’t carry any of our scores through to the Gold fleet so it’s all new from tomorrow.”

After finishing day one in a four way tie for second position in the blue group Nicky Souter, Nina Curtis, Olivia Price and Laura Baldwin moved through to the Gold fleet in third position with a seven wins and two losses record.

The Australians claimed hard fought victories against regular ISAF Sailing World Cup competitors Anna Tunnicliffe of America, Renee Groeneveld of the Netherlands and Ekaterina Skudina of Russia.

“Today was a really good day for us,” said Souter. “We had two very close races with American Anna Tunnicliffe and Claire Leroy of France where the winner was decided right on the line, fortunately one win against Anna went our way but we lost out to Claire.”

“After the opening round robin we’re pretty happy with our upwind speed,” she said. “We know we are fast in the breeze upwind, especially against the tough field in our round robin group, but tomorrow the forecast is quite light so the results could be interesting.”

Racing continues in Rhode Island, Newport, on Thursday with the 2010 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship concluding on Saturday.

Australian Sailing Team
Women's World Match Racing Championships