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Boardsailors on track for Athens at World Champs


Boardsailors on track for Athens at World Champs

Issued By: Julie Worth

Boardsailors Barbara Kendall, Thomas Ashley and Jon-Paul Tobin all put in good performances in the first three days of racing in Turkey at the World Championships, showing that New Zealand's two olympic representatives - Kendall and Ashley are on track for the 2004 Athens Olympics. With cold windy conditions in the build up for this regatta, sailors were treated to 25 degree temperatures and light to moderate winds for the first two days of racing before a strong southerly blew in for the third day. This meant those sailors that could perform across a range of conditions were at the front of the fleet and with 2 races scheduled each day, competitors have now completed 6 of the 12 races in the series.

Tom Ashley is the highest placed New Zealander in the men's fleet currently lying in 6th place only 4 points off second, showing he has been able to score good races in both the light and stronger conditions. JP Tobin lies in 12th but with 2 places outside the top 10, he will need to make sure he performs in the remainder of the series as only 2 drop races are allowed. Tobin usually dominates in the stronger conditions as one of the fastest in the World so he will be hoping the wind from the third day continues to blow for the rest of the regatta.

Barbara Kendall has remained in the top 3 with consistent results in the top 8, however Italian sailor Alessandra Sensini has a jump on the rest of the fleet winning 3 of the 4 races sailed so far and will be tough to beat. It is still early days yet with another 8 races to go results could change dramatically.

Other New Zealanders racing at the regatta are placed as follows:
David Robertson - 45th
Matt McCormick - 46th
Anna Eason - 40th

Sailors will now have a day off before racing resumes on Thursday (Europe time).

For a full set of results go to http://www.mistralworlds.com/

For more information contact Yachting New Zea nd's Coach Paul Page (021) 848 369 who is in Turkey with the Team.
Two races completed at Tornado World Championships Aaron McIntosh and Mark Kennedy are working furiously to gain a place at the Olympic Games later this year by competing at the 2004 Tornado World Championships, sailed from Palma, Spain this week.

There are 4 remaining spots available to countries hoping to send a Tornado representative but 5-6 countries vying for one of these spots. This puts lots of pressure on McIntosh/Kennedy to perform at this World Championships, not only to gain a place for New Zealand at the Olympic Games, but also to satisfy New Zealand's nomination process to be selected. McIntosh is no stranger to pressure, having competed as an international boardsailor for close to 20 years finishing with bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics.

After the first day of racing and 2 races, McIntosh and Kennedy are in 18th place with both races sailed in light to moderate conditions. They currently lie as the 5th country yet to qualify, but with a long way still go to in the regatta, they will be confident about climbing up the leader board.

Results can be found at http://www.cnarenal.com/regata.php

Racing concludes on the 18th April (European Time)

World Championships Racing begins on the 14th April (European time) for New Zealand sailors Adam Beashel/Ed Smyth at the 49er World Championsihps held in Athens, Greece. Like McIntosh and Kennedy, Beashel/Smyth must also qualify New Zealand a place at this regatta as well as gaining selection for themselves to compete at the Athens Olympics.

There are 5 spots available at this World Championships for countries still vying for a spot, but the competition will be tough with 8-10 countries that have the potential to make it to Athens.

With the trouble Beashel and Smyth have had with their boat clearing through customs, this has not been an ideal build up for them in their most important regatta this year so far but they will be looking to come back from this and still perform on the water.

Once racing begins, results can be found at http://www.eio.gr/2004_49er/index.html


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