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Sailing - 29. January 2010.

Macgregor closes in on Miami semi-finals


 

Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin, British sailing’s top 2012 match racing prospects, are firmly in the driving seat after day four (Thursday 28 January) of the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.

Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin, British sailing’s top 2012 match racing prospects, are firmly in the driving seat after day four (Thursday 28 January) of the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.

 

The Skandia Team GBR trio, vying for honours in the newest Olympic sailing class, have still yet to be beaten in any of their 14 races so far at this second leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series, and have amassed a 2-0 lead in their first-to-three quarter-final against Danish opposition.

 

Macgregor’s team started Thursday’s racing in style, completing the clean sweep in the gold round robin group to enter the knockout quarter-final stage as top seeds.

 

There they took on Denmark’s Lotte Meldgaard, the world number nine, and gained a 2-0 advantage for when the quarter-finals resume on Friday.

 

“It felt really good this morning to finish off with all wins against the rest of the top six boats and then move into the quarters,” admitted crew Annie Lush on their performance so far.

 

“There were really shifty, tricky conditions today.  I think it was all quite calm on the boat and everyone said we looked quite calm but it was hard and there was a lot going on on the racecourse today!

 

The British trio will face tough competition should they advance to the semi-finals, with world number one Claire Leroy (FRA) and USA’s former world champion match racer Sally Barkow locked in battle to meet them in the final four.

 

“Either way it’s going to be a tough semi-final!”  Lush confessed, although she, Macgregor and Martin have already toppled both crews in the round-robin stages.

“We’ve raced Sally twice – she was our closest race probably so far in the round robin but we beat her, and beat her again in the gold fleet and Claire as well, so that feels good and so hopefully we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing, and just keep chipping away”

 

“It’s quite funny for me match racing against Sally,” she continued.  “I’ve match raced with her for about five years and won the Worlds with her twice.  She’s the person I’ve match raced with the most, so it’s funny racing against her but I know her moves, what eggs her on and what makes her calm down so it’s good for us!”

 

Elsewhere in Miami World Cup action, Skandia Team GBR’s Ed Wright and Nick Thompson remain on track to defend their respective Finn and Laser titles.

Thompson pulled back into pole position from his second place overnight, thanks to two race wins from the two Laser races on Thursday.  He now leads the fleet by 26 points over the second-placed Brazilian, Bruno Fontes, but is remaining level-headed with two days of the regatta still left to run.

“It was a tough day, really shifty, like yesterday,” said Thompson, “and you had to get in sync with those shifts. 

 

“When you’re in sync and you know you’re sailing well, sometimes it’s easy to go off your own way and sometimes you’re able to pull well away to extend your lead, but once I got ahead I just decided to be conservative and consolidate, so my leads were not huge.  There are three more races, so this certainly isn’t over!”

 

Ed Wright continues to lead the way in the heavyweight Finn class, extending his lead to 12 points over Skandia Team GBR teammate Giles Scott in second.  Wright picked up another race win – his fourth of the series so far – and a third to cement his place at the top of the leaderboard, even though he and Scott both picked up yellow flag penalties in the opening race.


Friday sees the final day of racing for the three Paralympic classes, with British crews poised for potential podium spots in the three-person Sonar and two person SKUD events.

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas are looking in good form for some silverware in the Sonar event, picking up 2,1 on the racecourse today to sit in second place, three points behind the leading Norwegian boat with a nine point buffer over the French boat in third, while in the SKUD class, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell are currently in third.

In the 2.4mR event, Megan Pascoe is in sixth with Helena Lucas in ninth heading into their final day of racing.

Nic Asher and Elliot Willis remain in the hunt in the 470 men’s event, and are currently placed second overall having recovered from a 16th in the opening race of the day to fifth in the second. 

Laser Radial sailor Alison Young is still on track for her best ever finish in a World Cup regatta, currently in third behind local favourite Paige Railey and Spain’s Alicia Cebrian, while in the RS:X windsurfing events Bryony Shaw is fifth overall, with Nick Dempsey eighth.

 

Dave Evans and Ed Powys, currently in eighth in the 49er event, will need solid day on Friday if they’re to book  their berth in Saturday 10-boat medal race, while in the women’s 470 event, Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark are placed 14th overall.

Racing at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta will continue on Friday (29 January) in all 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes. 

For the latest news and information, visit www.skandiateamgbr.com or follow us on Twitter (@skandiateamgbr) for race updates during the regatta.

 

 

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