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Kirklands riding high after top finish in Frisco

Zander and Jesse Kirkland continued their preparations for next summer’s Olympics with a promising third place in the 49er North American Championships in San Francisco over the weekend.

Competing against eight boats from six countries, the brothers finished no lower than fifth in any of the seven races and were encouraged with their overall performance.

“Third place at the 49er North American Championships is big deal for us and is a testament to the hard work we have been putting in the boat in the last 15 months since we went full-time in an effort to qualify for next summer’s Olympics,” said Zander.

“The regatta was actually won by the Finnish team, while the top American team was second, so we were excited to be near these guys and beat the top Canadian boats.

“The fleet was only eight boats but of a high quality that included the top Mexican team, top Finnish team, top Americans, top Canadian teams, and the top US Virgin Island team.”

The Kirklands will now stay on the west coast and continue their training for the next three weeks before they return home to do some fundraising for their Olympic campaign.

Also on the cards is another “Round de Rock” sailing adventure around Bermuda, with the goal being getting under the three-hour mark.

“We have three more weeks out here, training in the same conditions with the same high calibre group before we head back to Bermuda for a break and to do some more fund-raising and work,” Zander said.

“We are also tentatively planning on doing another “Round de Rock” record attempt as well we want to get below the three hour mark if we can get the conditions to cooperate.”

n Boats representing the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club came in a close second at the Islands International Challenge Cup held in Long Island, New York last week.

Two teams, Paula Lewin-Crews, Peta Lewin-White, Leatrice Roman in team one and the second team of Caspar Young, Jennifer Ayers-Young, Tobin Young took part in the team event to produce a memorable day.

With each race consisting of four boats, two boats on each team, it was something new to the crews of the Bermuda boats, as was evident in their performances on the opening day.

The team ended day one with three wins and five losses, but quickly grew accustomed to the format and finished day two with six wins and two losses while ending the racing with an undefeated record (4-0) on day three.

Lewin-Crews said: “It took us some time getting used to the team aspect of the race but once we got used to it after day one we were much comfortable on the water and performed very well in the competition.”

St Maarten won the competition whilst the local team out Long Island rounded out the top three.

Zander and Jesse Kirkland placed third at the 49er North American Championships in San Franciso.

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Published September 27, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 27, 2011 at 9:21 am)

Kirklands riding high after top finish in Frisco

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