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420 Worlds at Mornington Yacht Club Overall

by Di Pearson 11 Jan 2004 10:39 GMT

Wilmot and Page victorious at 420 World Championship

Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page (AUS) today clearly won the 420 World Championship 2004 hosted by Mornington Yacht Club as part of the Sail Melbourne Regatta.

Their win was not unexpected; the Sydney pair are ranked No. 1 in the World in the 470 class and will arrive in Sandringham tonight to prepare for the final Australian team selection series to represent at the Olympic Games in Athens, the Sail Melbourne Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta that starts tomorrow from Sandringham Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay.

Although Page had his first foray into 420 sailing at the Sail Melbourne 420 National Championships last week, in which the pair finished third, Wilmot is experienced in the class, having made the leap from it to the 470 to contest the Olympics some years back.

A former World 420 champion, Mathew Belcher (AUS), with girlfriend Rike Ziegelmayer as crew, finished second on 39 points - 22 points behind Wilmot/Page.

Belcher, who comes from Queensland, had earlier with his brother Dan, seriously contemplated an Olympic campaign in the 470 class, and will most likely try again after the Athens Olympic Games are over. Dan last year stepped down to complete a law degree. He will team up tomorrow with sometime crew, Nick Behrens, to take on the others in the 470 class at the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta.

Nathan Outteridge and Ayden Menzies, both from Lake Macquarie on the NSW north coast, are the current 420 Youth World champions and won the last race of this Championship to finish third overall, just three points behind Belcher/Ziegelmayer.

Last week, Outteridge, with Iain Jensen as crew, won both the Youth and Australian 420 Championship, beating both Wilmot and Belcher, so was a little disappointed with third place today.

'We aimed at top three, but I really hoped to win, as we've beaten the other two before. We had a bit of bad luck at this regatta, picking some windshifts wrong, some of the light days were really difficult, it was so fluky, then we were also leading one race which was abandoned.

We knew the American's (Michael Anderson-mit and Graham Biehl) would be quicker on the lighter days, but we managed to overcome them. Actually, all those that beat us were the ones we thought could do it, so we got that right, at least,' the 17 year-old said.

Outteridge leaves Mornington tonight to contest the Australian Youth Championship, which is also a selection event for the next Youth Worlds, with Iain Jensen as crew, at McCrae Yacht Club.

Ayden Menzies, who at 18, will be too old to sail at the next Youth Worlds, will come to Sandringham Yacht Club tonight, ready to crew on a 470 with South Australian Dylan Clarke, who just finished 8th at the Fireball Worlds in Adelaide.

They will tomorrow contest the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta, one of many Sail Melbourne events on Port Phillip Bay this month, and the only Australian ISAF Grade 1 event.

Today's 420 races were sailed in shifting 13-16 knot winds.

For full information, results and photos go to the official site: www.sailmelbourne.com.au

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