Big winds provides exciting racing for SIR competitors

The opening races of the 2005 Sydney International Regatta (SIRs) on Sydney Harbour yesterday started with a fresh westerly. As the morning fleets headed out to the course the 20 knot breeze provided some spectacular sailing for the 49er and 29er fleets. Later under a spectacular summer sky the breeze became multi directional and varied in strength with fleets experiencing very shifty conditions during their races.

Mathew Belcher and Nick Behrens continue to lead the 470 men’s class from New Zealanders Geoff Woolley and Mark Overington by two points after the first five races of the regatta and Lauren Jefferies and Rike Ziegelmayer lead the women’s fleet.

Athens Olympian Nicky Bethwaite with her crew of Karyn Gronjnich and Helen Impey lead the Yngling class from Hamish Jarrett and his crew of Trent Goldsak and Sara Phillips with Royal Prince Alfred match racer Nicky Souter and her crew of Angela Farrell and Sarah Wilmot in third.

Overnight leaders in the Tornado’s Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby have maintained their lead over world number 2 ranked Leigh McMillan and William Howden from the UK and the Greek pair of Iordanis Paschilidis and Trigonis Koscancinos held onto third place.

Victorian Moth foiler Rohan Veal has a four point lead over Scott Babbage with five first places over the last two days of racing. Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin sailed well with two firsts and a second which has moved them into the lead of the 49er fleet with Emmett Lazich and Phil Manning slipping into second and overnight leaders Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page slipping back to third place.

America’s Cup sailor and dual Olympian Anthony ‘Nocka’ Nossiter leads the Finn class by three points from British sailor Ed Wright with New Zealand’s Nik Burfoot in third.

Hungarian board sailor Aron Gadorfalvi continues to hold onto the lead in the RSX boards with up and coming board sailor Corey Plant sailing well today to move into second ahead of Gadorfalvi’s Hungarian team mate Gabor Varga. Australia’s Number one ranked board sailor Jonathan Bonnitcha is in fourth.

Sarah Blanck leads the Laser Radial fleet from Zac Skulander with Swiss sailor Nathalie Brugger moving up the ranks to third one point behind Skulander. New Zealander Miranda Powrie has slipped back to sixth after starting the day in third place.

After five races in the Laser fleet Gosford sailor Tom Slingsby has moved in to first place after finishing in fourth the previous night. Slingsby has taken over the lead from Brendan Casey who is now in third behind New Zealand’s Andrew Murdoch.

SIRs fleets continue racing for the next two days on Sydney Harbour.