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29 January 2004, 10:29 am
Onvlee Maintains Grip On Laser 4.7
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Dubai International Sailing Week
Dubai International Marine Club

South African Justin ONVLEE kept his grip in the Laser 4.7, while the Italian sailors sought to wrest complete control in the Optimist Class at the end of the third day of racing in Dubai yesterday.
The 15-year-old Onvlee showed he's the sailor to beat during this competition in the Laser 4.7 as he dished out yet another warm performance on a comparatively cold day on the waters.

But the South African lad still remained modest on his chances for the top honours. "I've got to consolidate my place in the standings," he said.

Explaining his success in the competition so far - Onvlee has the envious record of finishing first in all but one of the nine races held so far - the South African said: "The idea is to get as much speed as possible right at the start line."

The only smear on Onvlee's record came in the opening race yesterday, which saw him settling for second behind the UAE's Adel KHALID.

Assisting Onvlee were the strong cross winds blowing across the Mina Seyahi waters. "I do prefer the stronger conditions to the lighter winds," Onvlee smiled.

Each sailor is allowed to discard one result at the end of the 13 races concluding tomorrow. "There are another four races left and I don't want to speculate anything," Onvlee said when asked of his chances for the overall position.

Finishing in second place with 27 points due to his steady finishes of two fourths, one second and one fifth, was Bahrain's Charlie HILL. Following Hill in third was the UAE's Adel KHALID with 34 points, while South African Aaron LARKENS slipped further to stay in fourth place.

It was near total domination from the Italians in the Optimist Class despite a stiff resistance from the Dutch trio of overall leader Gijs PELT, Rolph OUDSHOORN and Pieter VAN NOTTEN. In the four races held yesterday, Pelt started badly drawing on an OCS in the opening race, only to make amends in the next three with a fifth, fourth and second to take his tally to 34 points.

But it was Italian Filippo ROCCHINI who was unfortunate to be second overall as he took a disappointing 13th in the seventh race and left the ninth incomplete to nullify his win in the sixth. Rocchini is now in overall second with 40 points.

Another Italian impressing was Beatrice DE REGIS as she continued her reign as the best sailor among girls and ninth overall.

Her closest opponent is Egypt's Rania RAMADAN with 159 points. Among the juniors, it is another Egyptian - Zeyab ESSAM EL BOKL - who is at the top with 182 points and 23rd overall.

Close on the heels of the Egyptian leader, and in 30th overall, is the UAE's Frederic JACOBS with 231 points.

Results

Laser 4.7 Class
1. Justin Onvlee/8 pts/ South Africa;
2. Charlie Hill/27 pts/Bahrain;
3. Adel Khalid/34 pts/UAE;
4. Aaron Larkens/34 pts/South Africa;
5. Yousuf Khalid/47 pts/UAE;
6. Seezer Moritz/49 pts/Italy;
7. Abdullah Janahi/55 pts/Bahrain.

Optimist Class
1. Gijs Pelt/34 pts/Holland;
2. Filippo Rocchini/40 pts/Italy;
3. Sergio Racco/44 pts/Italy;
4. Rolph Oudshoorn/52 pts/Holland;
5. Federico Maccari/53 pts/Italy;
6. Pieter Van Notten/59 pts/Holland;
7. Jacub Lundqvist/66 pts/Sweden.
Alaric Gomes, Gulf News Reporter - www.gulfnews.com (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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