The Australian Sailing Team's Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson are holding down third position in the women's fleet at the 470 World Championship in Rungsted, Denmark, after three days of racing.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Gold medalists finished third in the day's only race to be tied on points with reigning European champions Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol of Italy and just seven points behind the Dutch pairing of Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout.
“The first three days have gone pretty well,” said Rechichi. “We were off to a bit of a shaky start, but have had two solid days since, which is nice.”
“We are really just happy to be back at our first event since the Games, and getting our feeling back for racing. There's still four days to go, so the event is really just getting started, but we're happy and relaxed at this stage,” she said.
In the men's fleet the Australian Sailing Development Squad crew of Sam Kivell and Will Ryan had another strong day, claiming sixth place in Tuesday's only race to be in fifth overall, leaving both in high spirits.
“We struggled to find clear lanes up the first beat today but managed to climb back into sixth place at the finish,” said Kivell. “We're stoked to be in the gold fleet, let alone fifth place going into the final series.”
Fellow Australian's Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page continued their consistent opening to the regatta and are currently in ninth position, with a fifth placing on Tuesday.
“It was nice to have lighter winds to mix it up but in the end it wasn't really that light,” said Page. “The stable wind has made the racing very predictable, so there's not much of a points difference.”
“We're looking forward to the finals as we haven't raced against much of the front runners yet and we'd like to pace ourselves against them,” he said.
The ASDS crew of Max Taylor and Klade Hauschildt are in 77th, ahead of Alexander and Patrick Conway in 80th.
In the women's fleet Stacey Omay and Chelsea Hall had a fifth placing, after equipment problems troubled them the day before and are currently in 33rd, with Jacqui Bonnitcha and Claudine Olgilvie in 52nd after claiming a regatta best 16th place finish.
On Wednesday the teams will be divided into gold, silver, bronze fleets for the men, gold and silver for the women's class. Weather-wise a cold front is expected to pass across Denmark tonight and with it a shift to the west, an offshore breeze that with the northerly flowing current will make the racing especially challenging.
For more information go to www.australiansailingteam.com.au.
– Craig Heydon