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Most racing abandoned

Sail Melbourne - Most racing abandoned
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-(19-1-2007) In conditions reminiscent of the tropics rather than Southern Australia, most racing was abandoned today at Sandringham Yacht Club, host of the Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta, with hardly a breath of air to be had.

No racing in the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn or the RS:X boards, but the other Olympic and Paralympic classes took to the water for just one race at 2.00pm as a light northerly of just 8 knots picked up.

With many Olympic class competitors battling to secure a position in the all important Medal Race, restricted to the top 10 in each class, racing got underway on day five, but only one race was completed in the 470, 49er, 29er, Skud 18 and 2.4mR classes.

The Swiss pairing of Tobias Etter/Felix Steiger scored another first place keeping them sitting at the top of the Combined 470 board with 12 points, and should Melbourneís weather be kind tomorrow, they look set to easily take the series.

Yuan Zhen Xu/Terence Koh (SIN) finished second today, giving them a current overall score of 25 points for second place on count back from Russians Dmitry Berezkin/Alexander Zybin.

Liying Toh and Deborah Ong (SIN) continue to lead the Womenís 470 fleet on 10 points from Catherine Carroll and Rita Yau (HKG) on 14.

Ame Barnbrook/ Leigh Dunstan (AUS) are narrowing Paul Borg/Morgan Staleyís (AUS) lead in the Skud 18 class. Barnbrook scored another first today, leaving Borg a three point lead going into the final day tomorrow.

The 2.4mR class completed Race 9, and although Michael Leydon (AUS) came home sixth, he maintains a two point lead over Peter Russell (AUS) who took first place in what must have been a painfully slow day for the sailors.

David Chapman and Dean Curtis (AUS) continue to lead the 29er class with a three point margin from James Sly and Shane Voyer (AUS) in second on 10 points.

In the 49erís Bojan Vrascj and Nikola Topic (CRO) scored a DNC as they didnít sign on before going on the water, so now sit in third place on 29 points.† A lesson for all to learn here!† Will Philips/Jon Newman (AUS) have taken an unassailable lead on 11 points from Lachlan Pearman/Aaron Gavin (AUS) in second on 25.

Sail Melbourne comes to a close with the Medal Races tomorrow, when sailors will be hoping for a return to the usual weather conditions Melbourne experiences at this time of year.

The Laser fleet can breath a little easier - as World Ranked No. 8 Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) is unable to sail, booked on a flight out of Australia tomorrow, leaving the way free for either Kristian Ruth (NOR) and early series leader Brett Beyer (AUS).

Event Wide Sponsors: State Government of Victoria, Collex, Parks Victoria. Associate Sponsors: Bayside City Council and Menereís BMW Brighton. Support Sponsors: Singapore Airlines, Ronstan International, Schenker Australia, City of Kingston, Yachting Australia, Yachting Victoria.

Source: Di Pearson/Jane Moffat

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