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8 December 2005, 09:14 am
RAILEY Extends Her Lead
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Laser Radial World Championship 2005
Fortaleza, Brazil

Paige RAILEY (USA) has stretched her lead after the first day of racing in the gold fleet at the ISAF Grade W Laser Radial World Championship in Fortaleza, Brazil. Although the young American yesterday posted far from her best finishes of the Championship, her consistency in the increasing winds has seen her pull out an eleven point lead at the top.
The wind is gradually becoming stronger day by day as the Championship moves into it's final stages with the competition also increasing now the fleets are split into gold and silver. Getting to the first mark in first position is only the first step in getting a good finishing place as Jo ALEH from New Zealand found out in the first women's race of the day. In open sea conditions and a 15 knot wind the positions at the first mark were reversed by the end of the race. ALEH dropped to ninth at the finish whilst Sarah BLANCK (AUS) worked her way through to win from Solenne BRAIN (FRA) and Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA). RAILEY picked up an eighth place, two ahead of her nearest challenger overnight Petra NIEMANN (GER).

In the second race of the day there were new faces at the front. ISAF Grade 1 Kieler Wochewinner Gintarė VOLUNGEVIČIŪTĖ from Lithuania made up for a poor first race by leading Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) and Lisa WESTERHOF (NED) at the first mark. VAN ACKER, held her position to the finish whilst others around swapped places in the exciting racing. Defending champion, Krystal WEIR (AUS) also had her best day of the Championship. She made places on the reaches to score a win which, added to her fourth in the previous race, has fast tracked her up the leaderboard from 16th to fifth overall. She remarked, 'The stronger winds and waves were good for me. It was just like Brisbane [the venue where she won her title].'

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Anna TUNNICLIFFE had a
great day to move into second
place overall
© LC Moreira
Only four other sailors scored less than 20 points across the first two of six 'finals' races. Two of these were the USA pair, RAILEY and TUNNICLIFFE, who finished eighth and ninth respectively in the second race and who now hold the top two places.

'This Championship is a full surprise, because on every race that is a different group of girls sailing ahead. I never thought I could be first based on a better average,' admitted RAILEY, who has not won any of the eight races so far. Reflecting on Wednesday's racing she looked back ruefully on mistakes downwind which cost her places.

In the Men's fleet Brad FUNK (USA) is also in the express elevator up the leaderboard moving from seventh to second overall after matching the new leader Eduardo COUTO (BRA), with both scoring a second and third place. Victories went to Blair MCLAY (NZL) and Martin JENKINS (ARG), who led the seventh and eighth races from start to finish.

COUTO and FUNK were up with the leaders in the first race of the day but both had to do a lot more to get through the fleet in the second race. ''The wind is stronger than in the first days, so the rivals are different now,' commented new leader COUTO. 'I'm in a delicate situation because of two yellow flags. From now on I have to sail carefully to avoid being punished again. I cannot afford the risk of being knocked out of the Championship race.''

Women's Top Ten After Eight Races

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 USA Paige RAILEY 4 4 (18) 3 6 2 8 8 35
2 USA Anna TUNNICLIFFE 3 10 10 (18) 3 8 3 9 46
3 GER Petra NIEMANN 15 2 2 11 5 2 10 (19) 47
4 AUS Sarah BLANCK 1 6 1 10 13 16 1 (17) 48
5 AUS Krystal WEIR 3 14 8 18 (22) 5 4 1 53
6 FRA Sophie DE TURCKHEIM 7 11 (29) 14 4 1 7 14 58
7 GER Hanne JANSCH 14 13 (37) 11 4 4 14 3 63
8 LTU Gintare VOLUNGEVICIUTE 9 20 15 7 2 6 (26) 5 64
9 MEX Tania ELIAS CALLES 12 14 7 13 3 14 (17) 4 67
10 GBR Laura BALDWIN 11 15 (26) 2 14 11 5 13 71

Open Top Ten After Eight Races

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 BRA Eduardo C. de Magalhães COUTO 3 1 6 9 (DNF) 1 3 2 25
2 USA Brad FUNK 13 3 (15) 11 1 3 2 3 36
3 RUS Igor LISOVENKO 1 11 2 3 8 3 (DSQ) 10 38
4 BRA Tiago Côrtes RODRIGUES 4 5 12 2 2 10 (13) 6 41
5 BRA Andreas Reinisch PERDICARIS 1 8 9 8 5 5 6 (20) 42
6 NZL Blair MCLAY 5 (15) 8 4 13 8 1 5 44
7 GBR Ben PATON 8 10 5 (14) 4 2 14 8 51
8 RUS Timofey ZHBANKOV 7 7 10 5 (19) 4 9 9 51
9 BRA Daniel JAKOBSSON 2 4 13 (21) 3 1 15 13 51
10 ARG Martin JENKINS 13 4 (19) 5 2 19 8 1 52

For a complete list of all the news about the Laser Radial World Championship CLICK HERE.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Krystal WEIR (left) put in the performance of the day to climb into the top five:© LC Moreira
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