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4 April 2011, 09:39 pm
Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE Begins In Testing Conditions
Trofeo Princess Sofia MAPFRE
Giles Scott Had Two Race Wins On The Opening Day

Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE
Palma, Spain

The third regatta of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE started today in Palma with gruelling conditions, sun and clear blue sky.
On thousand sailors took to the start and filled the bay of Palma with sails. And the breeze lovers made the most of the day with many teams winning both of their races.

Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JPN) took a convincing lead in the 470 women's fleet with two victories. Gil Cohen and Bouskila Vered (ISR) and the British team of Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes placed second and third overall.

"It is good to have a bit of breeze," said Cohen. "It was good fun. We are having a good start in the regatta so let's see how we go."

Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) took a clean sweep in the men's RS:X fleet with two bullets, leaving his closest rivals, 2009 World Champion Nick Dempsey (GBR) and German Toni Wilhelm, in second and third with a six point margin.

The Dutchman continues his good form after claiming victory at the Rolex Miami OCR.

Giles Scott (GBR) also enjoyed the strong wind in Palma and won both races in his Finn group. In the other group, race wins went to Finnish sailor Tapio Nirkko and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). They are second and third behind Scott.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders (NZL) won both of their races in the men's 470. The youngsters won Sail Auckland in February and continue their fine form. Trailing them are British sailors Nick Rogers and Chris Grube and Nic Asher and Elliot Willis.

The Laser class is split into three groups in Palma but it is Tom Slingsby (AUS) who has taken an early lead by claiming double bullets. In the Laser Radial Evi Van Acker (BEL) claimed the day but she only leads Annalise Murphy (IRL) by one point after the Irish sailor finished 2-1 in the other Laser Radial fleet.

After a postponement, the Star fleet completed the two scheduled races in challenging conditions. Current World Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson made a successful comeback to competition after a long break with two bullets claimed in a fleet packed full of medallists and world champions.

Last on the water today was the 49ers who waited for the wind to decrease before heading to sea. Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) took the honours with two bullets in the blue group. In the yellow group Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) placed 2-1 to trail the Brits by one point.

Alessandra Sensini (ITA) has started strong in the women's RS:X finishing first and second in the opening races to lead the fleet. She said, "I have a lot at stake here and I will give my maximum." Second overall is Lee el Korsiz (ISR) followed by Chan Wai Kei (HKG) in third.

In the women's match racing, 24 teams are divided into three groups. So far Claire Leroy (FRA), Silja Lehtinen (FIN), Nicky Souter (AUS), Renee Groeneveld (NED), Sally Barkow (USA), Silke Hahlbrock (GER), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Anne-Claire Le berre (FRA) are all undefeated.

Stage one will continue tomorrow with the top two teams from each group moving into the Gold Group with the next two moving into the Repechage Group.

Thierry Schmitter (NED) enjoyed the strong winds to win both races in the 2.4mR to lead German Heiko Kroger and Megan Pascoe (GBR).

Racing will continue tomorrow at 10:00 local time for the women's match racing and 11:00 local time for all the other fleets.

Images from the opening day can be found here.

Click here for video highlights.

Corinne McKenzie (As Amended by ISAF)
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