Morrison/Rhodes take it to the wire at 49er Worlds

49er World Championships start. Sail Melbourne 2008

Britain's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes are tied in the lead with Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin at the 49er World Championships in Melbourne. With just one series race and the Medal race to go, the British pair pulled up from sixth to tie the lead today. Outteridge and Austin also pulled out everything to move from third to first.

With one day of racing remaining, reigning world champions Morrison and Rhodes turned in a champions performance to tie the lead with Outteridge and Austin. Leaders going into racing today, Athens silver medallists Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk (UKR) are now in third place, but only one point off the lead in what has turned into a nail biting series, with only one day of racing remaining.

Next best placed, 11 points behind the leaders, are brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello from Italy. Athens gold medallists, Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) dropped back to sixth place overall after a shocking day with 22, 10, 19, 14th results. They are now 25 points off the lead in an almost unrecoverable situation.

Racing was conducted in shifty and fluky breezes which peaked at 15 knots and averaged 10 knots, 'but it was all over the place and up and down,' according to race officials.

'It was really, really hard today,' said Nathan Outteridge. 'Iker (Martinez) was with us a couple of times, but he fell away – we made our way back to ninth in the first race today. The breeze was so shifty. In two races we got it right and in two races we got it really wrong. We came from last in Race 1, to get back to ninth – that was the important race for us in terms of overall results.'

'We were a whole leg behind in the third race; we just got the shifts wrong and rounded last around the top mark. But it was too close to shore and moored boats – it made it a lottery. The mark should have been further out, then it wouldn’t have been a problem. Have a look at the results – it was one of those days,' Outteridge said.

Race Officials sent the 49ers off on four races today, leaving a one race to be sailed tomorrow, then the top ten from the 25 crews in the gold fleet series will then sail off for the Championship in the Medal Race, worth double points, scheduled for 3.00pm tomorrow afternoon. The Medal Race cannot be used as a drop.

More to worry about in the Silver fleet, as the two top nations which have not yet qualified for the Games, will do so following their two final races.

Results are provisional pending protests.

1OUTTERIDGE, NathanAUSTIN, BenFearlessAUS3AUS2131175131131592221 58
2MORRISON, Stevie RHODES, BenGBR1GBR214851631223810375 58
3LUKA, RodionLEONCHUK, GeorgeVoroninUKR14UKR3135231232146336146 59
4SIBELLO, PieroSIBELLO, GianfrancoITA4ITA1927311116614754107 69
5WADLOW, TimRAST, ChrisSecoraUSA13USA6882335571051191313 78
6MARTINEZ, IkerFERNANDEZ, XabierESP10ESP44942617181222101914 83
7PECKOLT, Jan PeterPECKOLT, Hannes11GER14625324415241852023 89
8WARRER, JonasKIRKETERP, MartinHempel Dong EnergyDEN 8DEN914113444964726DSQ161324 96
9CAMPBELL-JAMES, PaulASQUITH, Mark`EITSGBR21GBR35211492428DNF121519148123 104
10DELLE KARTH, Nico Luca MarcRESCH, Nikolaus LeopoldMary Jane, HOBAS Tiroler Wasserkraft 1A Inst.AUT2AUT6353641261332320191115 111
11FONSECA, AndreDUARTE, RodrigoVaca VoadoraBRA29BRA7761841228DNF8241214171162 115
12LIMA, JorgeANDRADE, FranciscoLusodietePOR18POR35128527839956242322 115
13COOK, Gordon REMOCKER, BenSamsonCAN19CAN928OCS74214108319116131189 115
14HANSEN, PeterHANSEN, SorenHempel/Dong EnergyDEN12DEN1215142134426DSQ1712241498 116
15EMMANUEL, DyenYANN, RochierieuxFRA16FRA29161771146211424721412 116
16EVANS, DaveHOPSON, AlexMyfanwyGBR22GBR751012102378181094171811 121
17GUNDERSEN, ChristopherBOVIM, FrodeNOR20NOR1188675994519172312119 129
18PHILLIPS, WilliamNEWMAN, JonAUS27AUS561334111151132122197324 131
19FEDERICO, AlonsoARTURO, AlonsoESP6ESP102518125197161125161725 133
20MORGAN, LagraviereSTÉPHANE, ChristidisRougail RiverFRA 7FRA5617611012816201815152110 133
21KRÃœGER ANDERSEN, PeterDENGSØ ANDERSEN, DennisDEN15DEN631410283728DSQ208162122521 144
22BAUR, MarcusBAUMANN, HannesFritzIIGER26GER8186418386171718101118620 150
23PINK, JohnWHEELER, SimonSkandia Team GBRGBR28GBR532528BFD1811352325202231516 151
24ANGILELLA, GiuseppeZUCCHETTI, PietroITA30ITA4222865857212413826OCS2418 153
25LINDBERG, JonasTORLÉN, KalleAplicatorSWE42SWE106991014491322222112202517 184

Xabier FERNANDEZ and Iker MARTINEZ (ESP) 49er World Championships - 2008 Sail Melbourne