Strong winds keep most of fleet ashore at Weymouth

Heavy winds have once again dictated play on day three of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth, England, with just the 49er and RS:X fleets completing any races.

Gusts above 35 knots kept the sailors on shore all morning with the 49er and RS:X races held in Portland Harbour late in the afternoon.

Out on the water the Australian Sailing Team crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen continued their impressive run, with a first, second and 17th stretching their lead out to 11 points after six races.

“We're doing pretty well so far,” said Outteridge. “The 49ers have only had two days of racing so far but we've sailed pretty well so far, we had one race this afternoon where we had a capsize which hopefully we'll be able to drop at the end but to get a one and a two today, we're really happy with that.”

“It was pretty windy and shifty out there, we were racing inside the harbour today so at the top it was really shifting and flat water and by the time we got to the bottom there was some big waves standing up and a lot of the guys where capsizing out there,” he said.

Fellow 49er sailors, Australian Sailing Development Squad crew Euan McNicol and Robert Bell are continuing to develop as a team in just their first regatta together and are in 28th.

Jessica Crisp had a mixed day in the RS:X women's fleet with a 12th and a fourth and is currently in eighth position after six races.

“Today was still windy, though not as strong as we had in the Worlds last week but it was still pretty full on,” said Crisp. “In the first race I caused a bit of an accident and had to do a 360 so that put me out of contention but in the second race I hung in there for a fourth.”

“The fourth place was quite good for me as I've been having a few issues with speed in this wind but I'm getting there slowly and with five races still to go a lot can and will happen,” she said.

Elsewhere in the regatta Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page continue to lead the 470 men's fleet, while dual Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby is in control with four wins from four races.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games Gold medallists Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson are in 21st in the 470 women's fleet and the ASDS Women's Match Racing crews helmed by Katie Spithill and Lucinda Whitty are continuing their fight for a finals berth.

South Australian James Patterson is 33rd in the Finn fleet with James Burman and Sean Bly in 39th and 86th respectively.

In the Sonar fleet the AST crew of Colin Harrison, Barry Astwood and Russell Boaden are in eighth while in the 2.4m Rachael Cox is in 13th and Duncan MacGregor is 14th.

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