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Murdoch hits the lead at SOF Hyeres

Murdoch hits the lead at SOF Hyeres
Date Released: 24 April 2008
From: Jodie Bakewell-White

Murdoch hits the lead at SOF Hyeres
Racing continued in Hyeres overnight at French Olympic Sailing Week and kiwi Andrew Murdoch has taken the lead in the 156 boat Laser fleet. Racing continues for all fleets tonight following which the top ten placed boats will have earned their spot in the medal race on Friday

Jo Aleh in the Laser Radial and Carl Evans and Peter Burling in the 470 Men's are both currently within the top seven in their respective fleets and looking comfortable to make the top ten medal race. Dan Slater slipped to 11th overnight and will be looking for a good performance tonight to give him a start in the Finn medal race.

It was a shifty and unpredictable day in Hyeres with a light sea breeze filling in during the afternoon and mixed results for some of the top contenders reflected the change in conditions.

This worked in favour of Andrew Murdoch in the Laser fleet who has moved into the top spot after lying 3rd overall at the outset of racing. Murdoch leap-frogged Canadian Michael Leigh and Great Britain's Nick Thompson on the leader board after they both had their worst performances of the regatta.

In racing last night Murdoch was 2nd and then 13th but he discards the 13th as it is his poorest race. His other race results add up to give him a total of 14 points and a leading margin of seven points of Leigh of Canada

Jo Aleh continued her climb up the ranks in the Laser Radial fleet assisted by the discard race coming into play. Lying 26th at the start of the day Aleh has climbed up into 6th place overall and is back in the mix with her usual rivals. The 21 year old who will sail in Qingdao, China in August had a win in race six sailed last night.

The Finn fleet sailed three races overnight though for kiwi Dan Slater the shifty winds proved challenging and he came in 18th, 11th and 14th. He is now lying 11th overall and needs a good day on the water to earn a place in the medal race.

"In race seven I had a game plan to start on the pin and work the left hand side unfortunately there was a bit of a pile up on the pin start boat, which didn't do much for my marginal lane off the start," reports Slater after racing.

"So once again I was forced to tack clear. I rounded the first mark in 10th but chose the wrong side down the first run and lost six boats, then on the second beat I gained a few back and finished 14th."

"Not my best day out but plenty learned and tomorrow will try and nail a few good starts to make my day a little easier."

470 MEN'S
17 years olds Carl Evans and Peter Burling retain 7th place overall in the 75 boat Men's 470 fleet. They were 21st and 9th in the two races sailed last night.

Aaron McIntosh and Mark Kennedy had a disappointing day in the 21 boat Tornado fleet and are lying 16th going into the penultimate day. In last night's three races they placed 19th, 15th and 19th.

Racing resumes again tonight in Hyeres for what is the penultimate day of this ISAF grade one regatta. For full results visit the regatta website.

French Olympic Sailing Week (Semaine Olympique Francaise)
New Zealand's current standings

Finn (55 boats)
Dan Slater - 11th

Laser (149 boats)
Andrew Murdoch - 1st

470 Men (73 boats)
Carl Evans & Peter Burling - 7th

Laser Radial (78 boats)
Jo Aleh - 6th

Tornado (21 boats)
Aaron McIntosh & Mark Kennedy - 16th

RS:X Women (59 boards)
Kate Ellingham - 27th
Steffanie Williams - 29th

RS:X Men (92 boards)
Mike Kilduff - 72nd

[ Regatta website ]


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