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27 March 2012, 08:51 am
Finals Series Underway At RS:X Worlds
Ballistic winds in Cadiz
Ballistic conditions in Cadiz

RS:X World Championship
Cadiz, Spain

The first day of the finals series at the RS:X World Championship got underway yesterday in Cadiz, Spain. The defending champions lead the way in both fleets and the battle for Olympic qualification heats up.
Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) was the most consistent in the men's gold fleet posting 1-2-5 to move up the rankings to take over sixth spot overall.

Defending champion Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) leads overall with Julien Bontemps (FRA) in second and Byron Kokalanis (GRE) in third. These three excelled in the ballistic winds on the Bay of Cadiz.. Gusting into the mid 30s, racing was a test of will power and determination not to mention supreme sailing skills in the tight slalom end section of the course before the finish.

Alessandra Sensini (ITA) reveled in the conditions with a 2-3-1 almost matching Lee Korzits (ISR) who is the clear leader with a 1-1-2. But, there was an incident on the last downwind leg of the last race of the day as they fought side by side for the lead. We wait on the jury's decision. Meanwhile Zofia Klepacka (POL) is well placed in second.

The battle for the remaining Olympic qualification places is heating up. Some are already guaranteed after the fleets split into gold and silver. In the women's fleet where there are seven places up for grabs, Lilian de Geus (NED) and Farrah Hall (USA) both qualified for the women's gold fleet so their places are secure. They cannot fall back into the silver fleet now so they can focus on each other.

In the silver fleet 14 countries are fighting for the five remaining places. Jazmin Lopez (ARG), Tatiana Bazyuk (RUS), Ingrid Puusta (EST), Tansai Napali (THA) look fairly safe with Tansai having a 14 point lead over Carolina Mendelblatt (POR). She is threatened by Anastasiya Valkevich (BLR) and Demita Vega de Lille (MEX) who could yet upset her Olympic dreams

Over in the men's fleet, there are five qualifying countries who are 'safe' in the gold fleet. They are Belarus, Bulgaria, Thailand, Colombia and the Czech Republic. There is another group at the top of the silver fleet including Venezuela, Estonia, Denmark and Chinese Taipei who currently occupy qualification places but they are far from safe. Patrik Pollak (SVK) is one point off the back of this group with Oka Sulaksana (INA) within striking distance too. He won a race at the Sydney Olympics and is nurturing a new generation of Indonesian windsurfers by developing a fleet of young sailors on the Techno 293.

Men Top 5
1. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberge 18.0
2. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 19.0
3. GRE8 Byron Kokalanis 20.0
4. GBR1 Nick Dempsey 20.0
5. NZL151 JP Tobin 23.0

Women Top 5
1. ISR1111 Lee Korzits 8.0
2. POL8 Zofia Klepacka 12.0
3. ITA 25 Alessandra Sensini 24.0
4. POL7 Maja Dziarnowska 26.0
5. ESP1 Blanca Manchon Dominguez 32.0

Rory Ramsden (As Amended by ISAF)
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