Strong results for Australian women in Kiel

The wind finally arrived on day four of racing at round six of the ISAF Sailing World Cup with plenty of racing off the Olympic Harbour in Kiel marking a great day on the water for Australia's women.

The highlight for the Australian Sailing Development Squad was the performances of the Women's Match Racing crews. Australia's two quarter-final teams skippered by Katie Spithill and Nicky Souter finished the day ranked first and second respectively.

Spithill and Souter both finished the seven races of the quarter-finals with five wins, with Spithill ranked first as she beat Souter in their race. The crews head into the semi-finals in a strong position, with Spithill able to choose her opponent, likely to be either the French or Dutch crews, to maximize the chance of an all Australian final.

Australia's Women's Match Racing coach Dayne Sharp was impressed with the way the girls raced, sailing consistently well throughout the day.

“It was really good match racing conditions today and the Australian crews showed a better technique and match racing ability to win their starts which led them to win their races,” said Sharp.

“Both crews are coming to peak form for tomorrow's finals, but it's a new day and we all start with a clean sheet. The girls will need to carry the momentum with the aim for an all-Australian final,” he said.

Medal races will be held tomorrow for all classes, with Australia's 470 women's crew of Stacey Omay & Chelsea Hall the only Australians competing in the medal races, after a good day's racing resulted in a fifth, sixth and seventh placing, leaving them sixth overall.

While a medal will be extremely tough, Omay and Hall are hoping to move up a few places with a solid performance in the final and continue their preparations for the 470 World Championships in Denmark in August.

In the 49er class, Victorian brothers, Will & Sam Phillips were the best placed Australians, finishing 13th after the eight qualifying races and missing out the medal race by just seven points. Euan McNicol and Sam Newton finished the regatta in 26th after a strong final day saw them record a second and third placing.

David O'Connor and Robert Bell finished just behind McNicol and Newton in 28th, ahead of Robert Gibbs and James Garnaut in 37th.

Australia's up and coming 470 men's crew of Sam Kivell & Will Ryan were disappointed to miss the medal race, finishing in 14th place. The pair was happy with their top 15 placing in only their third regatta together.

Shane Hughes and Felix Paterson finished in 21st position, with Alexander and Patrick Conway in 44th.

Two time Laser Radial ISAF Youth World Champion, Gabrielle King, saw her hopes of racing in the medal race disappear with a tough day on the water. King slipped from fifth to 14th overall after the day's three races.

Sydney's Ashley Brunning had a great day to move into 17th place overall, the highlight of the day being his third placing in the final race. Brunning was the top placed Australian in the laser fleet.

Tim Castles from Western Australia had a tough first regatta in the Finn class. Competing against Olympians and World Champions Castles finished in 51st place, but took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the top sailors and work with Australian coaching legend Mike Fletcher for the week. Castles will now move onto Denmark for the Finn Gold Cup in July.

In the star class, the two Australian crews had tough final days, with Andrew Landenberger and Simon Reffold and Paul McKenzie and Philip Toth finishing the four races in 23rd & 29th respectively.

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