Breezy conditions have again tested the sailors at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, with Australia’s Women’s Match Racing and 49er crews have strong days.
After narrowly missing out on a place in the semi-finals, Australia’s Women’s Match Racing crew of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty took on Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor in the first round of the fifth to eighth sail off.
The Australians started exceptionally well against their higher ranked opponents and quickly raced out to a two-nil lead, with the first team to get to three wins progressing to the fifth and sixth sail off. The Brits fought back well, winning the next two and forcing a fifth and final race. Price and crew found themselves on the back foot in the fifth race but stormed home to take the win and a well deserved spot in the sail off against Mandy Mulder of the Netherlands.
The first race in the match up against the Dutch took place in the early evening on Monday with Price, Curtis and Whitty again forced to come from behind, taking the win on the final downwind to lead one-nil.
The final races will be sailed on Wednesday. “Today was tough, with really tricky conditions,” said Price. “The breeze was shifty all over the place, with the pressure being up and down but we had a good day, we came up against the British team and won the first two, lost the next two but came back well to take the overall win. “To us today felt like a semi-final,” she said. “We were racing against really tough competition and we’re happy to get in such good racing in a great venue like this,” she said.
Crew member Nina Curtis said that the trio pushed hard in the final race of the day to get the one-nil lead over their Dutch opponents. “We came from behind on that last downwind which was really good for us,” said Curtis. “We were strong downwind which is a massive leap forward for us compared to the other day and we’re continuing to learn all the time and are loving the racing here.”
For more information on the Australian Sailing Team visit www.australiansailingteam.com.au and follow the team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AusSailingTeam.