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RS:X windsurfing - Quingdao, four Kiwi’s in Top Two

New Zealand is leading the Star and Laser Radial fleets at the Pre-Olympics Regatta in Qingdao, China and holding 2nd in the Laser and Men’s RS:X.

The wind was light, taking a long time to settle at around 5 knots which delayed the start on Monday until after 3pm. Many fleets sailed just one race, while the RS:X board-sailors suffered yet another day of cancelled racing.

Jo Aleh continues to lead the Laser Radial fleet, while those behind her on the leader-board shuffled positions with two races sailed in tricky conditions yesterday and a discard now affecting the overall standings. Aleh placed 7th and then 4th in the two races sailed yesterday in China, with her leading margin narrowing to two points.

Anna Tunnicliffe of the USA climbed up into 2nd place after placing 6th and 1st, and discarding a poor race score from the first day. Croatia’s Tina Mihelic sailed well on Monday placing 3rd and 1st; she now holds 3rd place overall.

The Star fleet sailed just one race yesterday, which New Zealand’s Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams won, shooting them up the leader-board to take the lead after lying 3rd. Four races have now been sailed by the Stars. Rohart and Rambeau of France hold onto 2nd place just two points behind the kiwi pair.

Andrew Murdoch also improved his standing after yesterday’s single race in the Laser class. Murdoch, who started the day in 4th place on the leader board, was 3rd in yesterdays race and has moved up into 2nd place overall, helped by the discard coming into play.

Murdoch is just one point behind Paul Goodison of Great Britain, and six points ahead of Sweden’s Rasmus Myrgren in 3rd.

Tom Ashley is the fourth kiwi sailor within the top two in his fleet, his overall position in 2nd place unchanged due to cancelled racing in the board sailing.

“Yet another day without wind in Qingdao!” says Ashley. “Today was the fourth day off racing in the Pre-Olympics. We are now six races behind schedule, having completed only four of a possible ten races, and will probably only get two more before the medal race.”

“At this stage it looks like we will sail two races today (wind permitting!!!) and then sail the medal race on the 22nd. If we can't race on the 22nd there is one more reserve day scheduled on the 23rd.”

“There has been plenty of time spent reading and chatting onshore here. Fortunately Yachting NZ has organised an air conditioned container, which makes life much more comfortable and much less tiring in the hot, humid Qingdao weather.”

The Finn class sailed one race, Dan Slater making it his best of the regatta placing 3rd. He is now in 12th place overall. While Carl Evans and Peter Burling didn’t have such a good day in the Men’s 470, coming in 14th and 11th in the two races sailed yesterday. The young kiwi pair slipped to 9th place. No racing in the Women’s RS:X meant that Barbara Kendall remains in 9th place.

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 – 1st (4, 6, 2, 1)
Dan Slater – Finn – 12th (7, 17, 19, (22), 3)
Andrew Murdoch – Laser – 2nd ((21), 7, 2, 4, 3)
Jo Aleh – Laser Radial – 1st ((9), 1, 3, 1, 7, 4)
Carl Evans & Peter Burling – 9th (6, 9, (16), 3, 14, 11)

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