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New Zealand Yachties Doing Well in Sydney

Date Released: 20 December 2004
From: Jodie Perkins

KIWI SAILOR LEADS LASER FLEET IN SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL REGATTA 2004

New Zealand Laser Sailor, Michael Bullot leads the fleet after Day 2 of the three day Sydney International Regatta 2004. Scott Kennedy and Chris Kitchen, currently in 3rd are the best placed kiwis in the 49er fleet. Final results will be determined in racing today.

Six kiwis are racing in the Laser division against 58 international sailors in this ISAF Grade One Regatta on Sydney Harbour. While 20 year-old Michael Bullot leads the fleet, the second best-placed New Zealander is David Weaver currently in 4th position.

Yachting New Zealand's High Performance Manager, Peter Lester is impressed with the performances of the kiwi Laser sailors who are now half way through the eight races scheduled.

"This regatta provides a stage on which these young guys can strut their stuff. Michael has shown exciting potential in his formative years, he's done his apprenticeship and he is now reaching an age where it would be great to see some consistently good results," says Lester. "With some big name sailors taking a break in the wake of an Olympic year, this regatta is a great opportunity to line up against our Australian counterparts in the lead-up to Sail Melbourne."

Scott Kennedy and Chris Kitchen are the top placed New Zealanders in the 15 strong 49er fleet. They are currently in 3rd place trailing the Australian crew skippered by Emmett Lazich who has won all five races so far. Julian Bethwaite, designer of the 49er and also Australian is lying 2nd.

"This is great for these young guys as well," Lester says, "it's fantastic to see them sailing strongly, it would be nice to see them continue their form for the final day of the regatta."

For both the Laser's and the 49er's competition concludes today.

New Zealand's Results after Day-2:

Laser

Michael Bullot 1st
David Weaver 4th
Blair McLay 14th
Aaron Hume-Merry 17th
Andrew Mowlem 24th
Matt Coutts 27th

49er

Scott Kennedy & Chris Kitchen 3rd
Peter Graham & Alex Kafka 5th
Jake Bartrom & Craig Prentice 6th

NEW ZEALAND LEADS ROLEX CHALLENGE 2004
The New Zealand team of Konica Minolta and Yendys lead the Rolex Challenge 2004 after solid racing in Sydney over the weekend.

In the Rolex Challenge Teams Event Wellington Yacht, Konica Minolta and Yendys have joined forces and are currently in the lead for New Zealand. The outcome of the Sydney to Hobart Race will determine the winner of the Rolex Challenge for 2004.

Konica Minolta designer, Brett Bakewell-White is in Sydney with the boat and is happy to be out in front. "We have a big points lead now, so it looks like a great team result for New Zealand, depending on what happens in the Hobart race," he said.

Their closest rivals in the National/State Series are Targé and Brindabella representing New South Wales followed by Ragamuffin and Ichi Ban who represent Australia.

Konica Minolta came close to taking out the IRC division of the Rolex Trophy 2004 in Sydney over the weekend. Targé, Steven David's Reichel/Pugh 60 beat the Bakewell-White designed Konica Minolta by one point.

The Rolex Trophy series is a lead-up event to the World renowned Sydney to Hobart race due to start on Boxing Day. Konica Minolta is considered one of the strongest contenders for line honours in this years post Christmas Event.

Did you know?

More than 2/3rds of New Zealander's say they are interested in yachting (source: NBR Compaq poll)

Yachting New Zealand is the National body for competitive and recreational sailing in New Zealand. We represent the needs and interests of over 160 member clubs and class associations throughout New Zealand as we work toward our goal of ensuring Yachting remains a lifelong activity of choice for New Zealanders, and one of the leading international sports, on and off the water.

For more information on Yachting New Zealand visit our website: www.yachtingnz.org.nz where you can sign up for a range of free newsletters to keep you informed.

ENDS

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