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Skipper Watson jumps up the standings

Mark Watson made a surge up the leader board at the Etchells World Championship 2012 in Sydney, Australia yesterday.

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) skipper thrived in yesterday’s light air conditions on Manly Circle, posting impressive finishes of 21st and 41st in the two races sailed to climb 12 places in the standings from 54th to 42nd after six races and one throw out.

Also on the move Down Under yesterday was Tim Patton who climbed five places from 40th to 35th after finishing 14th and 56th in the fifth and sixth races of the nine race series.

Patton and crew could not have asked for a better start to yesterday’s racing as they produced their best finish (14th) so far Down Under this week.

The evergreen skipper, who is currently seventh among the overseas sailors competing in Sydney, capitalised on a flawless start and held his own the rest of the way.

“We had a good first race hanging with the big boys,” Patton said. “We had a good start and hung on to the really fast guys up the first leg and we seemed to be very fast downwind.”

However, the Bermuda Sailing Association (BSA) president’s fortunes took a drastic turn for the worse right from the start in yesterday’s second race.

“Second race we were slow off the start because we thought the breeze was going to build more than it did,” he said. “So we tuned the boat for this and it was a big mistake.

“We ended up in a traffic jam at the back of the fleet. It was ugly.”

Patton, 58, is making his 24th appearance at the Etchells World Championships this year.

He achieved is best overall finish (fourth) to date in this regatta in Perth, Australia in 1988.

With three races remaining in Sydney, both Watson and Patton will be looking to finish the week off on a solid note.

Aussie trio Tom King, Jud Smith and Graeme Taylor currently occupy the top three spots on the leader board.

Past Americas Cup winning skipper and Etchells world champion John Bertand remains fourth in the 74-boat fleet.

Last year’s Etchells World Championship winner Bill Hardesty opted not to defend his crown this year.

The Etchells World Championship 2012 is being hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

RBYC skipper Mark Watson (left) in action at the Etchells World Championship 2012 in Sydney, Australia this week. Photo supplied by Ingrid Abery Photography

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Published February 24, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 24, 2012 at 7:47 am)

Skipper Watson jumps up the standings

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