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2010 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta - RS:X Medal Races remain –Tobin makes cut, Ashley just misses

The 2010 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta is now down to the final day with only the top ten of each fleet set to sail off in the medal races late tonight (NZT) in Weymouth England. Eight of New Zealand’s representatives have made the top ten and will hit the water tonight in a last ditch attempt to reach the podium.

Sara Winther in second in the Laser Radial is the only one of the New Zealanders lying in the top three going into the medal race, and the team need to pull out all the stops and sail to their absolute best to get their hands on the silverware. However, the medal race is a high pressure, quick-fire sail off that counts for double-points, so anything can happen.

Here’s who will sail the medal races for New Zealand...

Laser Radial
Sara Winther has been at a personal best in terms of form during this series sailing with consistency in the world class fleet of 91 boats and improving her position as the series has unfolded despite being challenged with a variety of sailing conditions.

Overnight she returned a 5th and a 2nd which sees her move up again, from fourth place to now sit in second position before tonight’s medal race where the battle is on between the top four placed sailors.

Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands on 32 has the lead four points ahead of Winther on 36, while Sarah Steyaert of France and Finland’s Sari Multala are close behind with 38 and 39 points respectively.

Laser
Both Andrew Murdoch and Mike Bullot are pretty familiar with sailing a medal race, and both have sailed through to qualify after five days of gruelling racing.

However the leaders – Tom Slingsby from Australia in front and Paul Goodison sailing on home waters in second place, have pushed out to what appears to be an unassailable lead, with the battle on for the bronze medal behind them.

Murdoch goes into the final races six points adrift of third place, in fifth position in the standings, with Bullot a further 11 points behind lying seventh.

Finn
Dan Slater reports in after the penultimate day of racing; “Today was 8-12 knots and very shifty.”

Slater sailed well, crossing the line first in race one, but was among a group disqualified for being across the start line early. From there he bounced back with a second, and goes into the medal race lying sixth with a shot at the podium.

“I can get as high as second overall as the four boats in front of me are all within seven points,” reports Slater.

Men’s RS:X
Jon-Paul Tobin is set to represent New Zealand in the Men’s RS:X fleet, with Tom Ashley dipping out of contention after last night’s racing.

Despite it not being his best day on the water last night, Tobin has done enough throughout the series to go into the finale in sixth place in the standings. 17 points back from third place it could be a tough ask for the North Shore board sailor to reach the podium this time, but he is clearly in excellent form and will go on to the RS:X World Champs soon after.

Tom Ashley has finished the regatta in 11th place – just outside the top ten.

Women’s 470
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie had mixed results from last night’s two races with a 38th and a 4th, and they go into the Women’s 470 medal race lying seventh. Points are close around them and the leaders are well out in front so it’s a tough challenge for the kiwi girls tonight who recently won World Championship silver.

Star
Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk are in seventh place on the board going into the Star class medal race sail off. The pair have had good days and not so good days over the course of the event and will be looking to finish on a high note.

49er
Mixed results from last night also for the young 49er duo of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke who sailed away from the fleet in one race to cross the finish a minute and a half ahead. Footing it in the top ten at times in the other two races they slipped away to finish in the twenties.

They have comfortably made the cut for the medal race, qualifying in seventh place, but the points spread means they’re out of medal contention.

Today’s comments from Rod Slater in Weymouth with the NZL Sailing Team...

“Both Hamish Pepper, Craig Monk and Dan Slater are showing how these conditions here a very similar to New Zealand’s shifty tricky conditions which bodes well for 2012.”

“Disappointment for Dan Slater winning race one only to be OCS but great to see him bounce straight back with a second.”

You can now follow the NZL Sailing Team via their Facebook page.

Full results, images and more information are available on the regatta website. Media requiring high resolution images or footage can contact event media services on Sarah.Alexander@intotheblue.biz

2010 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta
New Zealand’s Current Standings after day five as available

Star (36 boats)
7th Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk (1, 1, 9, 10, 22, 25, 2, 6, 28, 15)

Laser (180 boats)
5th Andrew Murdoch (1, 2, 4, 7, 5, 15, 20, 21, RAF62, 12)
7th Mike Bullot (13, 12, 3, 13, 5, 2, 19, 12, 19, 26)
14th Josh Junior ( 2, 39, 1, 1, 14, 13, 62BFD, 24, 9, 4)
17th Sam Meech (5, 34, 3, 4, 3, 6, 42,13, 22, 24)
23rd Andy Maloney (43, 9, 21, 10, 6, 19, 8, 3, 23, BFD62)
88th (27th silver fleet) James Sandall (10, 32, 45, 34, 33, 36, 7, 26, 29, 36)
128th (8th bronze fleet) George Lane (34, 37, 53, 46, 44, 45, 6, 25, 17, 25)
154th (34th bronze fleet) Spencer Loxton (DSQ, 52, 33, 41, 47, 45, 7, 21, 49, BFD61)

Laser Radial (91 boats)
2nd Sara Winther (5, 22, 3, 4, 6, 1, 10, 3, 2)
32nd Rachel Basevi (33, 24, 6, 8, 1, 35, 30, 36, 30)
34th Miranda Powrie (33, 31, 15, 11, 14, 24, 15, 44, 25)

470 Men (60 boats)
18th Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders (18, 8, 11, 3, 6, 4, 10, 22, 11, 28, 22)
28th Geoff Woolley and Daniel Willcox (15, 10, 14, 24, 14, 10, 19, 20, 15, 27)
31st (1st in silevr fleet) Francisco Lardies and Finn Drummond (20, 18, 9, 11, 15, 15, 6, 4, 2, 6)

470 Women (46 boats)
7th Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (20, 12, 16, 1, 19, 20, 2, 8, 38, 4)

49er (58 boats)
7th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (3, 3, 4, 2, 3, 2, 14, 16, 12, 11)

Finn (50 boats)
6th Dan Slater (2, 17, 9RDG, 3, 8, 14, 7, 6)

RS:X Men (75 sailors)
4th Jon-Paul Tobin (6, 6, 1, 1, 8, 1, 5, 7)
9th Tom Ashley (19, 2, 4, 4, 2, 8, 11, 8)

RS:X Women (50 sailors)
24th Natalia Kosinska (25, 30, 28, 24, 17, 15, 19, 30)
34th Stephanie Williams (40, 27, 23, 16, 44, 43, 37, 28)
35th Alice Monk (41, 34, 24, 31, 42, 33, 31, 20)

Women’s Match Racing (24 teams)
13th overall - Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt

Coaching Team
Graeme Sutherland
Jez Fanstone
Mark Howard
Andrew Palfrey
David Robertson
Rod Slater
Hamish Willcox

Links
Regatta website
NZL Sailing Team Facebook page

For more information contact:
Jodie Bakewell-White
YNZ Communications Manager (in Auckland)
Tel. 021 709 065
Email. jodie@yachtingnz.org.nz

Or Sarah Branson (in Weymouth, England)
Tel. + 44 (0) 7710 664172
Email: sarah@thebransons.com

About this Regatta
Skandia Sail for Gold is the last round of seven events in the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup series for Olympic class sailors. Racing starts on August 9th and runs until August 14th.

The Numbers...
703 Entries
57 Nations
975 Athletes
212 Coaches

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