While RYA Team GBR’s Elite Soling crew were knocked out of the Soling match racing regatta on day seven on the IBM Sydney Harbour Regatta, World Class Performance International sailors Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield moved up to fourth place overall in the 470 men’s fleet, just five points off the Bronze medal.

In patchy conditions of no more than ten knots, 1996 Olympian and three time RYA National Match Racing Champion Andy Beadsworth (Titchfield in Hampshire), Barry Parkin (Windlesham in Surrey) and Richard Sydenham (Hamble in Hampshire), who were looking like medal contenders after winning most of their matches in the first two round robins , were only able to win one of their five matches, against Italy, in the third match racing round robin and now exit the Soling match racing regatta.

Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and the USA now progress to the semi finals to decide the medals.

Three of the eleven Gold Medals (Europe, Tornado and Mistral women) have now been decided with four more classes (Laser, Europe, Mistral men and women) reaching their climax tomorrow, with World Class Performance Elite sailors, 1996 Olympic Silver Medallist Ben Ainslie (Lymington in Hampshire) and Shirley Robertson (Hill Head in Hampshire) both vying for medal positions.

Great Britain’s other remaining medal hopes, 1996 Olympic Silver Medallist Ian Walker (Kensington in London) and crew Mark Covell (Emsworth in Hampshire) in the Star class, Finn representative Iain Percy (Winchester in Hampshire) and Nick Rogers (Lymington in Hampshire) and Joe Glanfield (Exmouth in Devon) in the 470 class will have to wait until Sunday for their chance at winning a medal.

While 1998 world champions Darren Bundock and John Forbes (Australia) secured the Tornado class Gold medal with a day to spare, Rob Wilson and Will Howden (both from Southampton in Hampshire) added a pleasing fourth place finish in the light South to South Easterly breeze off Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach to their score card.

“We had a bad start but managed to refocus and fight our way through the fleet with some awesome downwind speed” explained Rob. They are now nine points in front of Kiwi America’s Cup star Chris Dickson and fifteen points away from the Bronze medal.

470 men representatives, Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfied, continued their impressive showing, fighting their way back from ninth at the second mark to third at the finish, which puts them within five points of the Bronze medal. They will have to displace the American crew of Paul Forrester (1992 Olympic Silver Medallist in the Flying Dutchman class) and Bob Merrick, who won the Hyere Olympic Classes Regatta earlier this season with a day to spare. “It’s still all to play for in the last race on Sunday to decide the medals” commented Nick.

Nick Dempsey (Cambridgeshire) is virtually assured of twelfth place overall in the thirty six strong Mistral men fleet – a superb performance from the former Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships Bronze Medallists – who is still in his first season in Senior Olympic racing.

Although he didn’t post the result he was looking for in today’s race, he remains optimistic for the final day, saying: “I didn’t have such a good day. I had good speed but went the wrong way. I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow in the last race”.

Only series leader Lars Kleppich (Australia) has won more individual races than Nick, winning four against Nick’s two, while Kiwi multiple world champion Aaron Mcintosh won the opening race, but none since.

AUSTRALIA: IBM Sydney Harbour pre-Olympic Regatta ’99 (after day 7) 470 men (after 10 races, 2 discards)
1, Alvaro Marinho & Miguel Nunes (Por) 13,5,1,2,1,3,3,5,2,2 – 19pts
2, Gildas Philippe & Tanguy Cariou (Fra) 4,17,4,6,2,2,7,2,1,17 – 28pts
3, Paul Forester & Bob Merrick (USA) 1,2,18,7,22,10,4,1,13,1 – 39pts
British Placing:
4, Nick Rogers & Joe Glanfield – 16,4,3,OCS,4,6,13,7,4,3 – 44pts