• Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty in Helsinki - Photo Patrick Forsblom.
    Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty in Helsinki - Photo Patrick Forsblom.

The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team crew of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty got racing underway at the 2011 Open European Championships in Helsinki, Finland, overnight with the first eight races of the Women’s Match Racing competition.

The Australian trio, competing in their first international regatta together, ended the day tied for fifth, with four wins and four losses.

Price and crew had wins over the two Dutch entries skippered by Mandi Mulder and Annemiek Bekkering, Denmark’s Lotte Meldegard and Silja Lehtinen of Norway.

“It was a tricky day on the water, with pressure being the main focus to ensure speed in the variable conditions,” said skipper Price. “Our first day of racing together was a great learning curve, with each race teaching us about each other and our racing as a team.

“We ended the day on four wins and four losses, with three more races of the round robin to go before the quarter finals,” she said. “The conditions look to be the same and so we’re ready to put the lessons from today into practice.”

Included in the Australian’s four losses were a number of close races with Price and crew taking valuable experience from each loss against crews who have spent much more time sailing together. 

“Our race with Le Berre of France was a hard fought one,” said Price. “We were over the line early but able to get back in touch with her at the top mark. Gybing and tacking duals were thrown on the downwind but she managed to just stay in front of us at the finish.”

Price, Curtis and Whitty will be back in action on Friday for the remainder of the opening round robin, with the Australians fighting for a position in the quarter-finals.

- Craig Heydon, Yachting Australia

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