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Hunter sailors still in the mix at World Sailing Champs

Sight to sea: Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan managed a win in the single race on a poor sailing day. Photo: Lukas CochThe Australian crews are firmly in the mix at the World Sailing Championships in Denmark, includingCoal Point sailor Will Ryan and his helmsmanMat Belcher.
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A morning forecast of 8-10 knot westerlies, building and swinging southwesterly, failed to materialise, meaning only half the fleets could race on Day Five in the Bay of Aarhus on Monday.

Despite the weak winds, Australians Belcher and Ryan,silver medallists in Rio and gold medallists in London, won the only race of the day in the gold medal fleet of the men’s 470.

They are now just one point behind the Swedish leaders Anton Dahlberg and Frederik Bergstrom, this year’s European Champions.

The championships are a key selection event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Of the seven Australian Nacra class crews, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are still looming as the biggest contenders.

The pair, who took bronze at the last world championships and won silver in Rio, are sitting in sixth place on seven points going into round four of 15.

“I think the same plan as yesterday, just go out there and get through qualifying with some low scores, and hopefully get through to the gold fleet and that’s where it’s really going to get all mixed up,” Waterhouse said earlier on Monday morning.

“We just want to stay in touch and keep the points low as the goal.”

Lake Macquariesiblings Nathan and Haylee Outteridge are also in the mix for the Nacra class, sitting in 10th place overall on 10 points.

CHASING HISTORY: Haylee and Nathan Outteridge.

Meanwhile, there wasn’t enough wind for the women’s kiteboarders to run, with Australians Breiana Whiteheadand Natalie Flintrop-Clarke holding 6th and 7th place, respectively.

The Laser class, where first-placed Kiwi Sam Meech is vying to hold off chasing a Aussie pack including Luke Elliot, Matthew Wearn and Tom Burton, was on a lay day.

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