Perfect sailing day for Sydney International Regatta competitors

Over 275 elite sailors from 12 countries took to Sydney Harbour yesterday in the 2004 Sydney International Regatta (SIRs).

196 entries in the Finn, 49er, 420, 470, Mistral, 29er, Laser, Tornado, 505, Laser Radial and 4.7 classes, raced in a building Nor ‘East breeze on Sydney Harbour.

Finnish sailor Roope Suomalainen won the first race of the series in the 62 boat Laser fleet and leads the point score after two races on day one. Australian’s Tom Slingsby and Brendan Casey hold onto the remaining two podium positions in the Lasers after day one, with Casey winning race two.

Joining Australia’s Athens Olympic Finn representative and America’s Cup sailor Anthony ‘Nocka’ Nossiter in the SIRs Finn fleet is Alinghi America’s Cup grinder Will McCarthy. Nocka won both races today with Western Australian sailor Josh Beaver taking second in both races. Another America’s Cup grinder Jim Turner from the UK is racing alongside McCarthy and Nossiter.

Current Laser Radial world champion Krystal Weir scored a 4th and 2nd to be third overall in the 33 boat Laser Radial fleet. ‘We enjoyed the tricky conditions on Sydney Harbour today’ commented Weir after racing.

Tornado supremo Darren Bundock sailing with Aaron Worrall is in the lead position of the Tornado fleet after two races closely followed by Robbie Lovig and Glen Douglas.

Leading the 470 fleet is Western Australian sailors Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson with Queenslander Mathew Belcher and crew Nick Behrens, winning the first two race of the regatta before scoring an OCS which has dropped them back to third overall. Victorian Tom Chisholm and Jon Newman are currently placed in second.

49er family member Julian Bethwaite who has Tai Elliott as crew finished second in all three races today with Emmett Lazich and crew Jukka Piirainen dominating to win all three races.

Sydney International Regatta racing continues today and wraps up on Monday. A number of the fleet then race in State and National Championships or head onto the Victorian stop in the Sail Down Under Series at Sail Melbourne.