Outteridge and Jensen hit the front at 49er World Championship

Australian sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have taken the lead on day three of the 2012 49er World Championship in Zadar, Croatia.

Outteridge and Jensen went into the final three qualifying races third overall, just three points off the lead, with the pair having their best day of the regatta so far.

The defending World Champions won the opening two races of the day before finishing second in race three to jump into the lead and open up a four point gap on German sailors Tobias Schardewaldt and Hannes Baumann.

“Today was great for us,” said Outteridge. “We were able to execute our plan in every race and had good speed in the light air. The results today clearly show we had the speed when we needed it.

Outteridge said that part of the reason for their improved results on Wednesday was due to getting off the line better in all three races.

“We just had better starts today,” he said. “We were able to get out of the middle of the line in good shape and go on from there.”

Following three days of qualifying races the fleet now splits into gold, silver and bronze groups with Outteridge and Jensen to race against the top 25 crews.

“I think the racing will step up a gear tomorrow,” said Outteridge. “The wind is forecast to be light again so it’s going to be very close racing.”

The finals will be across three days of racing with the 2012 49er World Championship to be decided on Saturday, 12 May.

Fellow Australians Luke Parkinson and Jaspar Warren will race in the silver fleet after finishing the qualifiers 35th overall.

The pair began the day with a 13th, before a 17th in race two and an 11th to finish the opening series.

Full results can be found at http://www.49erworlds.org/index.php/overall-results/.

For more on the Australian Sailing Team visit www.australiansailingteam.com.au and follow the team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AusSailingTeam.