It was another excellent day on the waters of Portland/Weymouth for the Australian Women's Match Racing team of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty. Twelve months ago there were raised eyebrows when this crew was preferred to former world champion Nicky Souter for the test event at the Olympic venue, but the youngsters have repaid the selectors' faith by accounting for the top match racing women in the world.
Today it was the turn of Anna Kjellberg (SWE) and Renee Groenveld (NED) to attempt what their more fancied rivals had tried and failed. Kjellberg came closer than any but the Americans when she was beaten by just two seconds, but in their second match the Australians crossed a comfortable 19 seconds ahead of Groenveld.
The girls said:
Nina Curtis, on the final downwind against the Swedes: "We rounded the top mark in a nice big hole but managed to get her on the downwind which was good. We caught a couple of lengths with speed but then Lucinda picked a strong good shift on the boat end with a bit of bias and it got us over the line."
Olivia Price, on the race against the Netherlands: "We’ve done quite a bit of training against the Dutch and we knew it was going to be a tough race, we knew we had to keep making decisions. We took each puff as it came and tried to consolidate on what we had. There were a couple of penalties throughout it, one for a port-starboard incident and then one for a windward-leeward incident where she received both and then on the downwind she received another penalty when she was behind for pumping.
In other results today, USA beat New Zealand, Spain beat France, Portugal beat Sweden, New Zealand beat GBR, Finland beat Spain, Netherlands beat Portugal, Russia beat USA, France beat Denmark, Russia beat Great Britain and Finland beat Denmark.
Tomorrow the Australians face Tamara Dominguez of Spain at 14.35pm and Lotte Meldgaard of Denmark an hour later.
Spain is currently in equal second place and should give Price and crew a good battle.