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23 March 2005, 10:05 am
Ups And Downs
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Princess Sofia Trophy 2005
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

After a weather affected first day the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy got into it's stride yesterday with racing in all the classes. The spectators in Palma de Mallorca have seen some interesting results with the favourites dominating some classes, whilst in others they languish in the mid-reaches of the leaderboard.
The Embat, the typical wind of the Bay of Palma, with an intensity of 8-15 knots blew yesterday allowing all classes to sail at least two races in excellent conditions. In the afternoon, the wind began to drop in the CN Arenal and Ca'n Pastilla area and the Race Committee abandoned the last races of the day. In Palma, where the Yngling and Dragon events are being held, three races were sailed and Calanova, hosting the Laser and Laser Radial, managed to sail four.

In the 8-15 knot breezes, Laser sailor Paul GOODISON (GBR), currently at number two in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and looking to topple Brazilian legend Robert SCHEIDT from the top spot, has so far made a perfect start, taking five bullets out of five. However, the Laser is split into two groups for the start of the week so GOODISON leads by just two points from the 2003 ISAF World Champion Gustavo LIMA (POR). LIMA has taken three victories from five races in the second group with the other two bullets going to another Brit, Mark HOWARD who lies third overall. These three are certain to produce some exciting racing when the groups combine later in the week.

Paige RAILEY (USA) looks impressive again in the Laser Radial. The 2003 ISAF World Youth Champion is still only nineteen year old and has three firsts from five and leads from Germany's Wieke SCHRÖDER and Sweden's Karin SÖDERSTRÖM.

After an unsuccessful day on Monday waiting for the wind, the 470 classes managed three races today and team GBR sailors Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS were quick off the mark in the Men's fleet. Scoring two fifth places and then winning the final race sees the young pairing take an early lead in the class by two points from French sailors Pallu DE LA BARRIERE and Chappellier AYMERIC.

In the 470 Women Spain's Olympic silver medallist, Natalia VIA-DUFRESNE with her new crew Laia TUTZÓ has made a slightly disappointing start and languishes in third. The home crowd will be expectant of success after the pair's recent win in the Barcelona Olympic Sailing Week. Also off to an unsuccessful start was Olympic Champion in the Europe, Siren SUNDBY (NOR). SUNDBY has teamed up with Karianne UNDRUM (NOR) and switched to the Double-Handed event with the aim of competing in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. However her first ranked event in the unfamiliar equipment has so far proved a tough one with two 17ths and a 15th leaving SUNDBY way down the field in an unfamiliar 16th place. Germany's Stefanie ROTHWEILER and Vivien KUSSATZ, three places below VIA-DUFRESNE in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings at number nine, have been the outstanding boat so far with two bullets sandwiching a third place in race two.

In the high performance 49er class Marcin CZAJKOWSKI and Krzysztof KIERKOWSKI (POL) won the last two races to put them on equal points with Britain's Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES, training partners to Olympic bronze medallists Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR).

Olympic gold medallist Sarah AYTON (GBR), who is finding her feet at the back of the boat helming her first regatta in the Yngling, found form in the final race of the day to score her first race win with team mates Annie LUSH and Lisa MacDONALD (GBR). This result, added to the seventh and tenth that they scored, places them sixth overall just behind team mates Lizzie EDWARDS, Rachel HOWE and Lucy BURN. Spain's Monica AZÓN, Graciela PISONERO and Sandra AZON started at a blistering pace with bullets in the first two races but faded in races three and four to leave the Russian team of Ekaterina SKUDINA, Diana KRUTSKIKH and Tatiana LARSTEVA leading the class overnight on nine points.

In the Finn, World Number One and Olympic silver medallist, Rafa TRUJILLO (ESP) lies in fourth place five points behind the leader Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE).

The Tornado fleet is lead by Yann GUICHARD and Alexandre GUYADER (FRA), Russians Vadim SLATSENKO, Andry LITSYNSKYY and Petr ZAHAROV head the Dragon leaderboard, Sebastian ÖSTLING (SWE) leads by a point in the Open Europe fleet whilst Ivan PASTOR (ESP) is the only Spaniard leading a class with a seven point lead after three races in the Mistral.

Racing continues through until Friday 25 March.

ISAF. Image, Action From Day Two:© Nico MARTINEZ
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