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10 December 2005, 01:13 pm
RAILEY Caps Incredible Year With Worlds Victory
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Laser Radial World Championship 2005
Fortaleza, Brazil

Paige RAILEY (USA) is the new Laser Radial World Champion, cruising to victory in Fortaleza, Brazil with a race to spare. The 18 year old American completes an incredible first year on the ISAF Graded circuit, adding the World title to the European and ISAF Youth Worlds crowns, winning six out of the eight events she entered and topping the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. In the Men's Championship Eduardo COUTO gave the home fans a Brazilian victory to celebrate.
The strongest winds of the series were a fitting finale for the last day of racing in Fortaleza. In winds averaging 18 knots that were gusting to 23 knots all RAILEY and COUTO needed was one good race to take their respective World titles. However RAILEY had already demonstrated a possible weak link when she capsized when leading a race on Thursday, whereas COUTO had already received two yellow flags and a third would put him out of the Championship altogether.

With all the leading women, except Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA), watching each other in the first women's race of the day it was left to Belgium's Evi VAN ACKER to lead Nufar EDELMAN (ISR) and DE TURCKHEIM round the first mark. Back in the teens RAILEY was having a private battle with her nearest rival Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA). VAN ACKER led throughout to finish ahead of Trine ABRAHAMSEN (DEN) with EDELMAN in third and DE TURCKHEIM in fourth. Behind them TUNNICLIFFE and RAILEY crossed 14th and 15th respectively, enough to give RAILEY the Championship title but dropping TUNNICLIFFE to third overall, seven points behind DE TURCKHEIM.

The wind eased a few knots for the last race but that did not affect DE TURCKHEIM's determination to hang on to her second place. Having missed the European Championship because of a broken foot and then been sick for the first two days of this Championship (when she recorded finishes of 7, 11, 29, 14) she was again in contention at the first mark rounding second to Lizzie VICKERS (GBR). By the end of the next lap she had passed VICKERS and then there was no stopping her to the finish. TUNNICLIFFE recovered to seventh which gave her a safe third overall.

In winning the first Laser Radial World title since the class became the Women's One Person Dinghy equipment for Beijing 2008, RAILEY showed a maturity beyond her 18 years of age. After 15th place in race eleven had won her the title she said simply, 'I´m very happy and excited. Sailing in Fortaleza was wonderful.'

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Paige RAILEY, President of Brazilian
Laser Association Philipe
NOTTINGHAM and Eduardo COUTO
© LC Moreira
Despite all her previous successes, the World title really showed the American is the early pacesetter in the class. In a wide variety of testing conditions from six to 25 knots each day there were casualties amongst an experienced fleet. RAILEY never won a race and only scored three top three places. Quite often she fought her way back from lower positions to achieve consistent single results. This was a high scoring Championship with a number of sailors able to hold their own at the front. Even so the rest of the fleet know they will have to raise their game significantly if they are to beat RAILEY next August when the Laser Radial World Championships are held at the California Yacht Club in Los Angeles, USA.

At the first mark in the men's race COUTO was doing enough lying fourth with his closest rival, Brad FUNK (USA), right behind him. By the end of the downwind leg he had overtaken race leader Alp ALPAGUT (TUR) with FUNK only gaining one more place to fourth. That was enough for the young Brazilian who went on to win the race and secure the World title in style. The delighted Brazilian explained, 'Wining the Worlds had always been my dream. And to do that on my own country is just overwhelming.' COUTO is a 20 year old engineer undergraduate that, after his victory has set himself another challenge - to represent his nation at the Olympics. 'That is now my goal,' he explained, 'It will demand a lot of practice for the next two years.' With Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) currently aiming to campaign a Star for Beijing, COUTO could well be another Brazilian sailing star in the making.

As COUTO headed for the shore FUNK was living dangerously with an aggressive start to the last race. His closest rival, Blair MCLAY (NZL) led him round the first mark and the two then played cat and mouse throughout the race with FUNK winning the downwind legs and MCLAY coming back on the upwind. Race honours went to the MCLAY after FUNK was disqualified for breaking the start line which left FUNK in second place with a point advantage over the New Zealander.

On Monday the Laser Radial Youth Worlds for under 18s will showcase a future generation of Laser stars. 100 sailors from every continent will be in Fortaleza to dispute the titles with racing continuing until 17 December..

The Laser Worlds 2005 includes four World Championships: Senior, Master, Radial Men and Women and Radial Youth. The events are organized by the International Laser Class Association, Brazilian Laser Class Association, Ceara State Sailing Federation, Brazilian Sailing Federation and Yacht Club of Fortaleza. The sponsors are: Ceara State Government, thru the Sports and Youth Bureau, Marina Park Hotel and Hamburg Süd. The event also has the support of the brazilian navy, Banco do Nordeste do Brasil, Mayor of Fortaleza, Unilink, Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club and Pirata Bar.

Women's Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 Pts
1 USA Paige RAILEY 4 4 (18) 3 6 2 8 8 5 3 15 (DNF) 58
2 FRA Sophie DE TURCKHEIM 7 11 (29) (14) 4 1 7 14 7 4 4 1 60
3 USA Anna TUNNICLIFFE 3 10 10 (18) 3 8 3 9 6 (14) 14 7 73
4 GER Petra NIEMANN (15) 2 2 11 5 2 10 (19) 10 18 10 15 85
5 AUS Krystal WEIR 3 14 8 18 (22) 5 4 1 17 9 13 (19) 92
6 GER Hanne JANSCH 14 13 (37) 11 4 4 14 3 (25) 7 7 17 94
7 DEN Trine Julie ABRAHAMSEN 15 4 (30) 15 (19) 13 16 16 1 5 2 8 95
8 FRA Solenne BRAIN (21) 8 13 4 18 12 2 (21) 16 2 8 16 99
9 FRA Sarah STEYAERT 1 3 (27) 5 22 (BFD) 21 25 8 1 11 3 100
10 GBR Lizzie VICKERS (34) 16 19 20 16 6 (31) 6 2 10 5 2 102

Open Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 Pts
1 BRA Eduardo C. de Magalhães COUTO 3 1 6 9 (DNF) 1 3 2 2 1 1 (DNF) 29
2 USA Brad FUNK 13 3 (15) 11 1 3 2 3 3 3 2 (BFD) 44
3 NZL Blair MCLAY 5 (15) 8 4 (13) 8 1 5 4 2 7 1 45
4 ARG Martin JENKINS 13 4 (19) 5 2 (19) 8 1 6 8 4 2 53
5 BRA Andreas Reinisch PERDICARIS 1 8 (9) 8 5 5 6 (20) 5 6 10 7 61
6 RUS Timofey ZHBANKOV 7 7 10 5 (19) 4 9 9 1 (21) 3 13 68
7 BRA Daniel JAKOBSSON 2 4 13 (21) 3 1 (15) 13 11 5 8 9 69
8 RUS Igor LISOVENKO 1 (11) 2 3 8 3 (DSQ) 10 16 9 22 5 79
9 TUR Alp ALPAGUT 16 (18) (21) 16 9 7 4 11 9 4 5 4 85
10 BRA Tiago Côrtes RoDrigues 4 5 (12) 2 2 10 13 6 14 (30) 11 14 95

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

Jeffrey Martin (As Amended By ISAF). Image, World Champion Paige RAILEY:© LC Moreira
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