Friday, 15 April 2011
Slingsby (AUS) leads Goodison (GBR) around the mark. Image copyright Jesus Renedo/Princesa Sofia/MAPFRE.
by Craig Heydon
The Australian Sailing Team’s Tom Slingsby has regained the lead in the Laser class on day four of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma, Spain.
Slingsby, the reigning World Champion and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, started the day one point behind Olympic champion Paul Goodison of Great Britain and after the day’s races now has a two point lead over Goodison and Nick Thompson, also of Great Britain.
Though not everything went the Australian’s way, after initially finishing fourth in the opening race he was later disqualified, though Goodison was also excluded from the results after jumping the start. Slingsby went on to finish sixth in race two and leapfrog the Brit.
The battle for the regatta win will go right down to the wire between the leading three with two more fleet races and the final medal race still to contest in Palma.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page had a tough day by their high standards in the 470 fleet, slipping from first to fifth position after a 16th and a 17th on day four.
“It wasn’t the best day for us,” said Page. “After only scoring 18 points in the first five races of the regatta we managed to rack 33 up today which wasn’t ideal.”
“We had opportunities in both races and were with the front pack but couldn’t keep up in the critical moments,” he said. “But tomorrow’s a new day, we’ve had good speed a times and we know we can be right up there.”
The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team crew of Nicky Souter, Nina Curtis and Olivia Price finished fourth in the repechage round robin with two wins and three losses, missing out on a position in the quarter-finals.
Fellow match racers Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Whitty had a good day’s racing in the silver round robin, winning four of their five races to finish second in the group.
Finn sailor Brendan Casey ended the first day of Gold fleet racing in 17th after a 38th and a 31st. With two fleet races remaining on Friday Casey finds himself 13 points away from 10th position and a spot in the final medal race.
Australian Sailing Squad member Krystal Weir had a consistent day on the water with an eighth and a 10th seeing her jump to ninth overall.
Fellow Squad member Ashley Brunning worked his way up the ladder in the Laser class to end the day 11th, and with two fleet races remaining is just seven points off 10th and a position in the medal race after a third and a 14th on Thursday.
In the 470 fleet Sam Kivell and Will Ryan are 18th after a 15th and a 27th and are in a tight bunch of crews with just three points between themselves and 14th position.
For more information on the Australian Sailing Team visit www.australiansailingteam.com.au or follow the team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AusSailingTeam