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19 September 2009, 01:50 pm
First World Cup Winners Decided At Weymouth
Great Britain's Finn sailor Ed Wright
Great Britain's Ed Wright secured the World Cup title in the Finn

Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta 2009
Weymouth & Portland, Great Britain

ISAF Sailing World Cup titles went to France, Great Britain, Portugal and Spain as the first medals were awarded in the Olympic events at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth and Portland.
The wind deserted the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this morning, and following a postponement of two hours and the racing schedule rapidly backing up, the Race Committee cancelled today's Medal Races for the Finn, Star and Men's and Women's RS:X fleets. Final positions in each of the four fleets were decided based upon the series scores, giving gold to Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic in the Finn, Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star, Brazilian Ricardo Santos in the Men's RS:X and Spanish star Blanca Manchon in the women's.

Following on from World Cup events in Australia, the USA, Spain, France, The Netherlands and Germany, Weymouth is the final stop of the 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup series and today is the last chance for crews to impact their World Cup Standing. Following the day's cancellations, the final World Cup Standings in the Finn, Star, Men's and Women's RS:X event have been decided.

Britain's Ed Wright secured the Finn World Cup title by over 20 points after a fantastic season during which he has won two gold and three silver medals at World Cup events. After missing out on selection to Beijing 2008 to eventual gold medallist Ben Ainslie, Wright has again set down a tough marker for his team mate and made an early impression in his bid to gain the British slot for the London 2012 Games.

"It's been great to have a consistent year and to come out on top so I'm really happy about that," Wright said, adding on his week in Weymouth, "This week was really good, but I was a bit disappointed with day two in my bread and butter conditions and I messed up two results around 10th. I got a new boat and things are a little different and I capsized a little too much.

"It's a reasonably big event for me, but perhaps I just needed to test things a bit more. I didn't get delivery until a couple of weeks ago, so I didn't get the chance to race with it before this."

He concluded, "It's a shame not to win this last event. I really wanted to get the gold here on Weymouth Bay. But it's still good in the end to get silver. Ivan sailed well really well yesterday to clinch it so it's just a shame we didn't get any wind today so I could maybe fight for it back."

Croatia's Kljakovic Gaspic was pleased with his victory in the Finn class, which also secured him second place overall in the World Cup. "This has been a great week for me," he said. "I'm a lot lighter than the other guys, so it wasn't easy for me the conditions we had earlier in the week.

"I was struggling, it was quite hard," he added. "But I really did a great job and I'm so happy to be in top spot."

Home favourites and Beijing gold medallists Percy and Simpson were popular winners in the Star class. "It's great to win, but it's all about what happens at 2012. We didn't sail brilliantly this week, but we sailed on average better than the rest," said Simpson.

"We've had difficult conditions this week. It's been north easterly all week, which is rare this time of year," he added.
Percy said: "I wouldn't have missed competing here for the world. We've really enjoyed ourselves.

"We all wanted to get out there and race, but we wouldn't want to ruin a great week of racing with a bit of a charade," he added. "It's a shame we didn't sail today, but it's the right decision."

The Dutch crew of Fredrik Loof and Johan Tillander took silver, with Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De maria (SUI) winning bronze. A fifth place finish in Weymouth was good enough for the French team of Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot to secure the Star World Cup title ahead of the Greek team of Emilios Papathanasiou and Pachos Papastefanou, with Marazzi and De Maria in third.

Spain's Blanca Manchon celebrated a double victory - winning the Women's RS:X class at both the regatta and in the World Cup series. She won four of the 10 races this week, a dominant finish to what has been a dominant year in the World Cup for the young Spanish windsurfer; gold at Weymouth was her fourth World Cup win and sixth World Cup medal of the year.

"It's been a long, long year for me," Manchon reflected. "I've done a lot of travelling for competitions and for training, but now I've won the World Cup, so I'm really happy."

Britain's Bryony Shaw, bronze medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games, had to settle for runners-up spot this week and seventh overall in the World Cup Standings. "It would have been nice to have a little battle out there today, but I'm happy with second. The Spanish girl has sailed really well this week.

"Getting confidence from the result is really important from me. Missing out of the medals at the World Championships was a big disappointment for me, but this week has shown I can bounce back from that in what was an equally competitive field.

"I can now focus on the winter season and I know I can go into next season in good shape. Things are really moving forward for me."

Italy's Flavia Tartaglini took bronze in the regatta to finish in third place overall in the World Cup, behind team mate Laura Linares (ITA).

Ricardo Santos (BRA) and João Rodrigues (POR) - two great friends, shared the honours in the Men's RS:X. Santos won the class in the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, with Rodrigues taking second. That result sealed victory in the overall World Cup series for the Portuguese windsurfer, with Santos coming second. France's Julien Bontemps finished third in both the regatta and the series.

Santos said: "I'm very, very happy. It's been hard work, but I survived. It was really nice to be on the podium with by best friend, Joao."

The wind remains light in Weymouth but has picked up sufficiently for the Medal Races to be scheduled for the remaining classes.

ISAF Sailing World Cup

The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:

16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-28 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain

Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including the World Cup Standings, more on the seven events, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.

Matchtight (As Amended By ISAF)
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