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2001 Australian Youth Championship The Winners aren't always at the Front

by Jacqueline Ellis on 13 Jan 2001
Sarah Marshall & Megan Grigg from South Australia, sailing their 420 'Funky Monks' were the winners today -
not because they crossed the line first but because they showed their tenacity and character. Race 7 of the
Australian Youth Championship was sailed in a strong 20 knot wind on the Derwent River in Hobart, with
persistent gusts of 25 knots throwing a challenge at the young fleet. Sarah & Megan had sailed all but the final
leg of the 60 minute course when they capsized with their spinnaker flying. When the girls righted their boat
their blue spinnaker was basically all but shredded and was wrapped around the stays and spreaders of their
mast. With no ability to reach the spinnaker to pull it down, the girls decided to battle on up the last leg of the
course with the kite flapping and ripping further as they struggled across the finish line.

'I think it was a great display of guts and determination! After sailing a tough and tiring race in the strong winds
the girls really did a great job to finish.' commented Phil Jones, Principal Race Officer for the Championship
and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Yachting Federation.

At the front end of the Girls Double Handed Dinghy fleet, Melissa Bryant & Martha Leonard (WA) continue their
winning form with another two wins in today's two races. That now puts them ahead by seven points and very
close to an unbeatable lead. Second and third places are close between two Queensland crews. Anna
Patterson & Emma Poulsen are just ahead on 13 points with Lydia Allen & Eva Joyce in third on 15 points.

In the Boys Double Handed Dinghy event, Gavin Fee & Tom Berger (QLD), the current Volvo Youth Sailing
World Championship Bronze Medallists, are starting to pull away from the rest of the fleet. With two solid race
wins again today, they now sit on six points ahead of Matthew Chew & James Seymour (QLD) in second on 12
points and James Garnaut & Tim Slatter (WA) in third on 22 points.

The strong and gusty winds today proved a bit difficult for some of the younger and lighter sailboarders, but the
more experienced boys had a great time blasting past their dinghy counterparts. James Grunfelder (NSW)
holds the lead, with Chris Lowbridge (NSW) second and John Paget (NSW) lying third. Jacqueline Bonnitcha
(NSW) won her first race, but did not start in the second due to the heavy breeze.

Miranda Powrie from New Zealand still has a convincing lead in the Girls Single Handed Dinghy event, however
there has been a change of 'first Australian'. Riana Haldane from the Port Lincoln Yacht Club in South
Australia has sailed past Katherine Wade from NSW. The points between these two Aussie girls are close
and with the Australian Youth Champion title at stake there should be some close racing tomorrow. Sarah
Cubit from Tasmania who is new to the Laser Radial class struggled at the start of the regatta, but now seems
to have found her 'sea-legs' as she placed fourth in both of today's races. With another couple of good races
tomorrow she could easily move up the leader board.

The three Laser boys sponsored by Nelson Bay Laser Sales continue to have good racing. Ben Lamb is still
well ahead on nine points despite his third and second in today's races. Joel Skelton who is currently in second
scored a second and a win today and the third 'Nelson Bay Laser Sales ' boy, Tom Slingsby is on equal points
with Joel after a win and a third in today's races. But these boys are by no means having it their own way!
Michael Bullot and David Weaver, two more of our New Zealand visitors, are close on their heels and sit only
one and two points behind respectively.

Racing is scheduled to start at 10.00am tomorrow with the last two races of the Championship to be
completed. The final results of this Championship will contribute towards the selection of the members of the
2001 Volvo Australian Youth Team. The selected sailors will represent Australia at the Volvo Youth Sailing
ISAF World Championship to be held in France in July 2001.

Full results are available from the AYF Website -

Further details: Jacqueline Ellis 0417 665 283 or

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