Sail Sydney – Light winds for day one

It is good to be in Sydney!
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Sail Sydney is one of the premier sailing events in Australia and this year is being held over two regattas. The Olympic class event is on now, with the 16-18 December regatta being open to all classes and entries building fast.

The day started off grey at the Sail Sydney November regatta.
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The first day of the November regatta was greeted with rain and clouds as the competitors gathered in the briefing room at Woollahra Sailing Club. Race Director David Edwards from Yachting New South Wales let the competitors know that the weather forecast pointed to relatively light winds, but some good news that the sunshine would be breaking through later in the day.

Competitors from all over the world had joined the fleet to experience all that Sydney has to offer including sailing against the magnificent iconic backdrop of the city and surrounds.

Laser Radials round the brightest mark on the harbour.
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Racing started first off for the RS:X boards and the Laser Radials. The board competitors were sent off by PRO Jenni Bonnitcha for three races around the windward leeward course just off Shark Island, with the Radials completing two races.

The wind was light and the board competitors were pumping hard to keep the momentum as Sebastian Wang-Hansen from Norway led the way around the course to win in all three races. The first and third race saw local James Levy come through in second though the middle race had him pushed down the board by another international, Robert Willis from USA’s Columbia Yacht Club.

The only female board rider, Norwegian Jannike Stalstrom, placed third in the third race after a fourth and a fifth and will be putting the pressure on in the remaining days. Marco Baglione from Italy was also keeping the locals honest though he seemed a bit chilly as he did some of his sailing with his ‘hoody’ up and on!

In the Laser Radial class the two Malaysians went head to head with local sailor Alex South and Beth Lygoe from the Caribbean island of St Lucia. The Malaysian team took a one-two in the first race but South had a stunning finish to take first in the second race of the day.

Lasers off the start line.
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Coming out to compete in the afternoon were the Lasers and Finns. After the first race the PRO moved the course up to Watson’s Bay though with the wind dying the final two races for the Lasers were shortened. Dealing with jetboats and ferries, the Lasers got three races away with James Burman claiming three wins.

After two general recalls in the second race the start saw the fleet split into three on the beat towards the beckoning pub in Watson’s Bay. Kiwi sailor Josh Junior stayed in the top three for all races whilst the locals and sailors from Poland, Malaysia the US and the UK made the event an international battle.

Finn action at Sail Sydney.
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The Finns got two races away with the top three being different each time. In the first race Andrew Gavenlock took the gun followed by RPAYC sailors Rob and Joseph McMillan taking second and third to keep it in the family.

The next race for the Finns saw frustration as the wind eased away. Race two had Rob McMillan taking first nudging Gavenlock back to second with Ian McKillop also from RPAYC rounding off the top three.

Sail Sydney in December will see more of this close racing as well as providing a full entertainment programme for local and visiting sailors.

The sun came out and the wind picked up.
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