Sunday, 19 June 2011

Kieler Woche : Australians off to a great start at Sailing World Cup in Germany

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page on day one in Kiel. Image copyright Victor Kovalenko.

by Craig Heydon

Australian sailors have made a great start to the final round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Germany, with Aussie crews ending day one in the top three in five different classes.

Reigning World and ISAF Sailing World Cup Champions Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page lead the way in the 470 class after a strong opening day.

The pair finished the first three races in Kiel with a fifth and two race wins to have a 12 point lead over second position.

“It was an interesting first day and we had all seasons in almost a single race,” said Belcher. “Torrential rain followed by frontal systems with 22 plus knots then 5 knots.

“Saying that, Kiel is a great event and we’re racing much closer to shore this year,” he said. “We ended the day with a five, one, one to lead overall.”

Victorian brothers Sam and Will Phillips lead the 49er class after the first four races with two race wins, a fifth and a second leaving them two points ahead of second.

The Phillips brothers form in Kiel follows their great performance one week ago in Weymouth where they finished fourth overall and won the final medal race.

The two Australian Women’s Match Racing Team crews competing in Kiel ended day one second and third overall in the 11 team field.

Olivia Price and crew are second overall following five wins and two losses while the crew skippered by Nicky Souter is in a four way tie for third position following four wins and two losses.

In the Laser Radial class Krystal Weir is third overall following an eighth, a second and a third, with fellow Australians Gabrielle King and Ashley Stoddart seventh and ninth respectively.

Jessica Crisp is the leading Australian in the RS:X women’s class in third with two fifths and a second, and is closely followed by Allison Shreeve in fifth, with Joanna Sterling 15th.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games Gold medalist Tessa Parkinson and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Gold medalist Belinda Stowell are 12th in the 470 women’s class in just their second regatta together.

In the Laser class Tom Burton is the leading Australian in fourth, just two points off the lead after the first three races. Western Australia’s Matthew Wearn is 18th, one place ahead of Ryan Palk with Jared West the next best Australian in 31st.

James Burman ended the day in 34th, with Mark Whittington 42nd, Tristan Brown 58th, Ki-Raphael Sulkowski 64th and Christopher Jones 85th.

Tasmanian Matt Bugg is fifth in the 2.4mR Paralympic class following a fourth and a seventh in opening two races.

470 sailors Sam Kivell and Will Ryan are in 11th overall, ahead of Alexander and Patrick Conway in 18th.

In the 49er class Tom Johnson and Rhys Mara are 10th with Steven Thomas and Nick Brownie 19th.

Oliver Tweddell is the leading Australian in the Finn class in 12th, two places ahead of fellow Australian Tim Castles.

In the RS:X men’s class Tim Gourlay is 17th with Jimmy Levy 20th and Patrick Vos 33rd.

Racing continues in Kiel on Sunday with the regatta running until June 22nd.

Australian Sailing Team
Kieler Woche