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ISAF Youth Worlds: McLay holds 5th in the Laser

ISAF Youth Worlds Day Three
Date Released: 19 July 2005
From: Jodie Perkins

McLay holds 5th in the Laser

The Yachting New Zealand 2005 Youth Team is now over halfway through racing at the ISAF Youth World Champs in Korea. Blair McLay remains the strongest placed kiwi, sitting 5th in the Lasers.

Conditions were pleasant with 6-13 knots of breeze from the south and a warm 28 degrees. With seven races under their belts, a further five races will determine the winners late on Friday.

Yachting New Zealand 2005 Youth Team
Day Three Standings

Laser - Blair McLay - Torbay Sailing Club - 5th (38 pts)
Laser Radial - Olivia Powrie - Kohimarama Yacht Club - 11th (62 pts)
420 Boys - Peter Burling & Bruce Kennedy - Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club - 13th (78 pts)
420 Girls - Georgina Hill & Michelle Kennedy - Kohimarama Yacht Club - 18th (90 pts)
Mistral Board Boys - Antonio Cozzolino - Kohimarama Yacht Club - 17th (94 pts)
Mistral Board Girls - Steffanie Williams - Kohimarama Yacht Club - 11th (62 pts)
Hobie 16 - Rory & Kelly Godman - Burkes St Leonard Yacht Club, Dunedin - 10th (54 pts)

At the conclusion of day three the first discard is in affect and the regatta is over halfway giving a strong indication of who the medal contenders are. 18 year old Blair McLay of Torbay Sailing Club dropped one place overnight though his coach is confident with McLay’s potential to return after today’s lay day and finish the regatta strongly.

“McLay had two poor starts today and both he and I see this as an issue that can be fixed immediately,” says his coach Ian Neely. “He managed to sail back through the fleet in both cases to finish with a 5th and 6th. McLay is now feeling confident having shown outstanding speed both upwind and downwind. I’m very happy with his current position as he is well in the game and when racing starts tomorrow he will be well rested to go and dominate the rest of the fleet as he has demonstrated he can do.”

Ahead of McLay van Schaardenburg of the Netherlands is leading on equal points with Giles Scott of Britain who had a great day with a win and a 2nd. McLay is seven points off 3rd place and thirteen points behind the lead.

Olivia Powrie picked up four spots to now sit 11th overall in the Radial fleet. New to the Radial this year, New Zealand’s Powire is sailing to her potential according to coach Ian Neely.

“Powrie sailed a very smart day scoring two consistent races in trying conditions,” says Neely. “I’m happy with her performance on day three - she sailed to her potential.”

Paige Railey leads the Radials with the biggest margin over 2nd place in the entire regatta.

The 420 fleets had great conditions on their course with a nice moderate breeze and flat water. The Tauranga pair of Peter Burling and Bruce Kennedy go into the lay day in 13th position on the leader board recording two 11th places in yesterday’s racing.

“Burling and Kennedy are a little frustrated with the way they are starting in the competitive fleet,” reports Coach Andrew Brown. “Burling commented though that they were happy with the come back they produced in the 2nd race of the day after returning to the start line they came off the line last to fight back up and finish 11th.”

Teo and Koh of Singapore have a narrow lead in the 420 Boys over Saito and Yoshinaga of Japan. While in the 420 Girls, Frech pair Lumeau and Bossard dominate and have a fifteen point lead over their nearest rivals. They’ve clocked up five wins to date.

Kiwi’s Georgina Hill and Michelle Kennedy are in 18th position towards the tail end of the fleet. They too are frustrated with their performance on the start line.

Staffanie Williams had a better day and improved her overall standing in the Girls Mistral fleet by two moving up into 11th. Antonio Cozzolino remains in 18th in the Boys Mistral.

Board sailing coach, Paul Page describes the caliber of the fleet. “Both the boys and girls fleets in these conditions with these sailors are extremely close with the standard the highest ever in the history of the event.”

Linares of Italy is in the lead of the girls with the trailing three very close behind her. Poland’s Grodzicki is reportedly a stand-out performer having close to a clean sweep of wins in the Boys Mistral.

Rory and Kelly Godman had their best day yet recording a 7th and an 8th and moving up into 10th place in the small Hobie fleet. Kelly, at 13 years old is the youngest competitor at the entire event. Sailors representing France and Australia are tied on 16 points at the top end of the fleet.

Today the sailors are enjoying a break from sailing and have the opportunity to look around the host city of Busan. Racing resumes on Wednesday when two races are scheduled.


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