Some exciting racing took place on the final day of the Sail Melbourne Regatta

2002 on Port Phillip Bay from the 14th-19th January, with titles hanging in

the balance in several classes, there was everything to sail for.

For the British sailboard competitors it was win one, lose one. RYA team GBR

sailor, Natasha Surges won the final race and the series to claim the Mistral

Oceanic Championship at the Sail Melbourne Regatta. Sturges, won the first three

races and sailed consistently throughout the series, which helped her clinch

the series. "It was a bonus to win this regatta but most importantly

I was using Sail Melbourne to try out a few different things. This will be great

preparation for the major European regatta's this summer," commented

Sturges. Jessica Crisp, Australia's entry for the Sydney Olympics, finished

2nd behind Sturges, after the two had swapped the lead throughout the series.

Sturges finished with 12 points, two points in front of Crisp, winning four

races in total to Crisp's three wins. While Sturges and Crisp fought it out

for the top place, New Zealand's Julie Worth also had a good series, winning

race 8 and sailing herself into top five places to finish 3rd with 24 points.

In the Men's event RYA team GBR sailor Nick Dempsey finished third in the final

race to finish just three points behind the overall winner, Jon Paul Tobin of

New Zealand. Tobin had five wins, a second and a number of third places to outclass

the opposition, of which there was plenty, at Sandringham Yacht Club. He finished

the Championships with 13 points, three points ahead of Dempsey, who also sailed

consistently well with a number of top placings. Fellow Brit and GBR teammate,

Dom Tidey, finished the Championships in third place with 21 points, also staying

at the top end of the scoreboard for all but two races, one in which he started

prematurely and was therefore disqualified, which cost him dearly.

RYA Windsurfing Competition Coach, Barry Edgington commented, "these

are great results from the team but more importantly the down under regattas

has given them an opportunity to test speed and processes before the start of

the season proper. Working with Tash's brother and part time squad coach, Nick

Sturges has added a new focus to the groups winter program. I am confident that

this the pre-season preparation will be the best so far."

Final results

Women Mistral

(10 races, 2 discards)

1, Natasha Sturges GBR (1,1,1,2,(3),2,(3),2,2,1) 12 pts

2, Jessica Crisp AUS (2,2,2,(3),1,1,1,(3),3,2) 14 pts

3, Julia Worth NZL ((5),4,3,5,2,3,2,1,4,(7)) 24 pts

Other team GBR

5, Bryony Shaw (4,(5),5,4,5,5,(8),5,5,4) 37 pts

Men Mistral

(10 races, 2 discards)

1, Jon Paul Tobin NZL ((3),3,1,1,1,1,3,1,2,(8)) 13 pts

2, Nick Dempsey GBR (2,2,2,2,2,(3),1,2,(9),3) 16 pts

3, Dom Tidey GBR (1,1,3,(7),(28),2,2,4,4,4) 21 pts

Other team GBR

8, Leo Mccallin (6,8,8,6,9,7,(11),8,5,(11)) 57 pts

14, P. Hugh Sims Williams (13,13,14,14,(17),13,(15),13,13,15) 108 pts