by Craig Heydon
Olympic Womens Match Racing Class - Australian sailors Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Katie Spithill have won Bronze on the final day of the Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell and Nicky Souter after winning Bronze in Sheboygan - Photo Maciej Zieminski
Souter, Eastwell and Spithill, competing in their first regatta together, took on the French crew lead by Julie Bossard in the best of three petit-final.
The Australians had defeated the French during the opening round robin, one of 15 straight wins on their way to the finals, with Souter and crew taking the Bronze medal with a two-nil victory.
'We finished a solid third position today after winning both of our races by a comfortable margin over Julie Bossard from France,' said Souter. 'Overall, myself, Jess and Katie sailed what we thought was quite well in a variety of conditions.
'In the last few regattas we’ve had some small issues getting off the start line but this week we seemed to nail the majority of our starts,' she said. 'Our crew work was great especially seeing as Katie has just joined our team on the bow.
'We had a great time here in America and are having a week off before heading to New Zealand for some training then back to Sydney for our final preparations before the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December,' she said.
Fellow Australians Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty finished the regatta sixth overall after being defeated two-nil by American Genny Tulloch in the fifth and sixth playoff.
The two Australian Women’s Match Racing Team crews had some great race wins in Sheboygan with Souter and crew going through the round robin undefeated while Price and crew won 13 out of their 15 races.