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Lucy Shephard steps up in Olympic 470 class    
Wed, 6 Mar 2013

Young Hobart yachtswoman Lucy Shephard took another small but significant step up in the Olympic 470 class at the weekend, convincingly winning the NSW women’s state championship.

For 21-year-old Shephard and her Sydney-based crew Aurora Paterson it was a case of literally being the last women’s crew standing as the more fancied rivals, sisters Sasha and Jamie Ryan from Queensland had to withdraw on the second day through crew injury in the wild weather that battered Sydney Harbour.

Shephard and Paterson scored a clean sweep on the first day’s racing, dominating the Queenslanders in every race. On the second day, they were left to chase the men’s crews, with the title going to London Olympic gold medallist Mat Belcher and new crew Ryan.

'We were usually competitive with the boys on the first lap, but as the race continued we just didn’t have the strength to hang on to them in the wild conditions,' Shephard said yesterday.

Shephard and Paterson have been the big improvers since teaming up in June last year. In only their first major regatta they took out the silver medal at Sail Melbourne, beating Beijing Olympic gold medallist Elise Rechici.

They followed up with a fourth at Sail Sydney and had a third two weeks ago at the Australian 470 championship, won by Elise Rechici.

The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania over the weekend conducted the Tasmanian championships for the International Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, 420 and Bic Techno classes on the River Derwent.

Stand-out results came from RYCT Dinghy Group’s Jock Calvert in the Bic Techno sailboard class with seven straight wins, while Jonny Cooper and Aleksandrs Price had seven wins and a third in the 420 class and Rohan Langford took out the Laser Radial championships with seven wins and a second.

In the Bic Techno class, Jock, who later this year will represent Australia at the ISAF World Youth Championships in Cyprus, finished with seven points, second place giing to Morgan Davies on 15 points, third to Dylan van Drunen on 24 points.

Rohan won the Laser Radials with seven points, Dylan Gore finishing second on 14 points, winning race five, with Emma Barton sailing well to finish third on 22 points,

In the 420s, Jonny and Aleksandrs had a net seven points, second place on 13 points going to Sam Tiedemann and Wll Connor, third to Lachlan Hargreaves and Jem Thain.

Laser 4.7 class newcomer Tom Cooper from the Tamar Yacht Club had a closer duel with Kingston Beach Sailing Club’s Gabriel Morrison, winning by three points with an impressive series that included five firsts, two seconds and a fourth place. Gabriel won the first and last races and had five seconds and a third in between. Third overall was Patrick Eberhard, six points back.

by Peter Campbell

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