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Sailing - 02. August 2011.

Tough first day at the office for GBR Match Race Girls

Day one of the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta saw a tough start for the match racing trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor - the only British boat to race on the first day of competition at this official 2012 test event.

The Skandia Team GBR trio embarked on their opening round robin matches on Tuesday (2 August), with a win against the Spanish trio of Tamara Echegoyen, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega.

But after promising starts in their subsequent races, the Brits were forced to concede against the Finnish crew, helmed by Silja Lehtinen, Mandy Mulder's Dutch trio, and Ekaterina Skudina's Russian team with a 1-3 record to end their opening day.

"Today was probably not the start you would plan, if you could," admitted the 30-year-old Lush.

"Our actual [race] starts were great today - we were really dominating the pre-start and had our plan, and won all four starts clearly and cleanly.  We made a few mistakes around the track and had a bit of bad luck as well at times and unfortunately ended up with three zeros and just one win, so we have a little bit to work on tomorrow to make sure they stay as ones and don't turn to zeros."

Although not the start to the regatta they were hoping for, Lush maintains that they are sailing well, and points out that there are plenty of matches still to go over the next two days before the top eight boats advance to the quarter-finals.

"It's just about getting a few more ones than zeros tomorrow, and then it starts all over again when you focus on the knockouts," she explained.

"If you'd had microphones on board today, it felt like we were saying all the right things, the atmosphere was great in the boat, especially in the pre-start it was all going to plan.  Unfortunately just the races seemed to slip away from us around the track a bit.

"There are things to look out for tomorrow, we made a couple of mistakes, but other than that it felt like we were sailing well, starting well and confident in the boat."

Macgregor, Lush and Macgregor will race four more of their remaining seven round robin matches on Wednesday (3 August), with their next opponents set to be from Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and Australia.

The 12-nation women's match racing event, raced in regatta-supplied Elliot 6m boats, continues with its round robin matches until Thursday 4 August, with the quarter-finals scheduled to start on Saturday 6 August.

All ten Olympic sailing classes will race at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta.  The RS:X men's and women's windsurfing events start their regatta on Thursday 4 August, with the addition of the 470 men, 470 women, Laser and Laser Radial events on Friday 5 August, and the Finn, Star and 49er classes getting underway on Saturday 6 August.  The medal races will run from 11-13 August inclusive.

Skandia Team GBR squad for the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta:
Laser - Paul Goodison
Laser Radial - Charlotte Dobson
Finn - Ben Ainslie
RS:X Men - Nick Dempsey
RS:X Women - Bryony Shaw
470 Men - Nick Rogers & Chris Grube
470 Women - Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark
49er - Stevie Morrison & Ben Rhodes
Star - Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson
Women's Match Racing - Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush & Kate Macgregor
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