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RS:X Worlds - Ashley and Tobin close and in top 10 after day 1

Momentum builds for second wave of competitors. The second wave of NZ sailors started their World Championship crusade today in stormy conditions off Fremantle, Western Australia. The Men’s RS:X, 49er, Laser and Women’s 470 had their first races of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships today. As expected, Tom Ashley and JP Tobin were racing in close quarters on the Men’s RS:X course, the pair of them have only one point differing their overall standings of 6th (Tom) and 8th (JP).

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er skiff class were the NZL Sailing Team’s top performers today, finishing all three of their races within the top five. After their first day of racing they are sitting in second overall, tied in points with the lead team.

The wind today relatively stable but unusual for this venue, Peter Burling explained. “There were a few storms and systems going through, even thunder before our last race and it built quite quickly after that.”

“It was not the normal south west sea breeze today; it was more south or south east” said Peter. “It was a new breeze for everyone, one we hadn’t sailed in before”

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke managed the challenge well. “We’re walking away with three keepers and that’s the main thing. It was a good start, we’re pretty happy” concluded Peter.

The NZL Sailing Team Women’s 470 crew of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie also had a strong start. This crew, usually known as Team Jolly, finished their first two races in seventh and fourth place which leaves them in fourth overall.

The Men’s RS:X windsurfer, women’s 470 and the men’s single handed Laser class had two races today, while the 49ers had three.

As expected, Tom Ashley and JP Tobin were racing in close quarters on the Men’s RS:X course, the pair of them have only one point differing their overall standings of 6th (Tom) and 8th (JP).

The famous five NZL Sailing Team Laser Sailors performed well today too, everybody’s race results within the top twelve bar one. In the overall standings, all of these men are in the top 25% of the fleet after the first day, and Josh Junior is the highest placed kiwi in twelfth overall.

All three men’s fleets are seeded in relatively even pools based on their ISAF rankings, and are racing in a qualifying series before being grouped to Gold/Silver/Bronze fleets based on their results from this regatta. The Women’s 470 remain in one pool due to their smaller fleet size at this years’ event.

The Women’s Match Racing team faced some of the top competitors in the regatta today with variable conditions on Fremantle’s Inner Harbour. They had spectacular wins against Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor and Finland’s Silija Lehtinen. In total, the team of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt have 8 wins and 6 losses in this stage two round robin repechage. After tomorrow’s last races just the top four teams will transition from the round robin to the quarter finals where the top eight will sail off.

The NZL Sailing Team is set to feature on the December 12th regatta highlights TV programme- available for viewing online www.sailing.org/tv

Racing continues for all classes tomorrow.

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
New Zealand’s current standings

49er- 67 Teams
2nd Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (5, 3, 2)
43rd Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (34DNC, 13, 18)
62nd Chris Burgess and Rohan Swanson (26, 29, 34DNC)

470 Women- 48 Teams
4th Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (7, 4)
39th Vicki Francis and Erica Dawson (32, 43)

Men’s Laser- 147 Competitors
12th Josh Junior (7, 3)
19th Andrew Murdoch (6, 7)
21st Mike Bullot (12, 4)
29th Andrew Maloney (17, 5)
32nd Sam Meech (12, 11)
90th Tom Saunders (26, 35)

RS:X Men’s- 89 Competitors
6th Tom Ashley (2, 7)
8th JP Tobin (6, 4)
58th Antonio Cozzolino (26, 32)
83rd Carl Evans(38, 47DNF)

Womens Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
8 Wins, 6 losses- second round robin repechage

About this event
The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships feature the world’s best sailors in all ten Olympic classes from over 80 nations. Over 1200 Sailors will take part, contending for country qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games, and the World Championship titles.

The event officially opened on December 3rd with the start of the Women’s Match Racing and this class will race for the duration of the event, due to the round-robin format of match racing. All other classes will have seven days of racing that conclude with a double point medal race for the top ten.

The first week of racing (December 5 – 11) featured the Women’s RS:X windsurfer, Women’s single person dinghy class Laser Radial, Men’s double handed class 470 and the Men’s one person dinghy heavy, the Finn class. NZ’s top two results were also personal bests for the campaigns, 8th overall for Paul Snow Hansen with Jason Saunders in the 470, and 10th overall for Sara Winther in the Laser Radial.

The sailors of week one have qualified New Zealand in all four classes that have completed racing.

The second week of racing (December 12-18) now hosts all other classes, the Men’s RS:X Windsurfer, Men’s single person dinghy class Laser, Women’s double handed class 470, Men’s Skiff 49er.

Visit the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships for results, tracking, live updates, and much more news from on and off the water. www.perth2011.com

A daily TV programme of approximately 25 minutes will also be available online www.sailing.org/tv

‘Like’ the NZL Sailing Team on Facebook, or follow@nzlsailingteam on twitter for news and results as they happen.

-Ends-

Photos available by request.

For more information:
Kristine Lederis
Yachting New Zealand
Kristine@yachtingnz.org.nz

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