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RS:X windsurfing - It is 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for the NZ team in China

Qingdao, China produced just enough wind for a second day of racing at the Pre-Olympics regatta. Amongst the seven kiwi representatives the team is currently holding 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th placings.

Jo Aleh, Andrew Murdoch, Tom Ashley and Hamish Pepper were the stand-outs on Saturday in the kiwi team, mastering the light conditions.

Jo Aleh recorded a 3rd and a bullet in racing on Saturday to overtake Evi Van Acker (BEL) and take the lead in the Laser Radial fleet. She now has two wins from four races and has a four point leading margin over Van Acker.

“The tide was at full strength, running up the course, so that the upwind legs were short, and the downwind legs extremely long,” says Aleh describing Saturday’s conditions. “I had another terrible start, but got clear well and sailed a good beat to round the top mark in 4th, then went round the top mark and just absolutely parked up in the tide. The rest of the fleet came round behind in a big line and blocked all the wind. I managed to not lose too much by the bottom, and rounded the bottom mark in 7th, but managed to get back up and finish in 3rd.”

”As for the second race… my start was a little better, but in no way good, and once again I sailed a great beat to lead around the top mark, but got passed on the downwind leg, and was in 2nd for most of the race, until I got into the lead at the last mark before the finish. So I managed to win another race.”

”Tomorrow was meant to be a reserve day for the Lasers, but as we are two races behind schedule we are sailing anyway. So hopefully we will have some good wind and maybe a bit less tide.”

Tom Ashley lies in 2nd place in the Men’s RS:X repeating his performance from Thursday and placing 3rd and then 2nd in the two races sailed Saturday. With four races now on the board, Ashley has not finished outside the top three. It was local sailor, Zhou of China that won both races in front of the home crowd and slipped ahead of the kiwi sailor to take the lead. Just one point separates the two with Bontemps of France 11 points adrift in third place.

Just one race was sailed in the Star class in which Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams placed 2nd. It was enough to improve their overall standing from 5th place up to 3rd in the 17 boat fleet. Points are close at the top of the board and the kiwi pair is just three points behind leaders Marazzi and Christen (SUI).

In the single-handed men’s class, the Laser, Andrew Murdoch improved his placing from 13th place after the first day of racing climbing to now lie in 4th place overall. In Saturday’s racing he placed 2nd and 4th rocketing him up the leader board despite still carrying a poor first race score of 21st. Paul Goodison of Great Britain leads the Laser fleet.

Mixed results from Carl Evans and Peter Burling in the Men’s 470 meant their overall placing in 5th didn’t change. The young pair was 16th in the first race on Saturday and then came in 3rd in the second race of the day.

Racing continues in china today.

Qingdao International Regatta 2007
New Zealand’s Current Standings
(Individual Race Results in brackets)

Tom Ashley – Men’s RS:X – 2nd (3, 2, 3, 2)
Barbara Kendall – Women’s RS:X – 9th (7, 6, 12, 13)
Hamish Pepper & Carl Williams – Star – 3rd (4, 6, 2)
Dan Slater – Finn – 18th (7, 17, 19, 22)
Andrew Murdoch – Laser – 4th (20, 7, 2, 4)
Jo Aleh – Laser Radial – 1st (9, 1, 3, 1)
Carl Evans & Peter Burling – 5th (6, 9, 16, 3)

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