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10 April 2009, 10:38 pm
Perfect Ending For Third ISAF Sailing World Cup Event
John PINK and Rick PEACOCK compete in the 49er
49er team John PINK and Rick PEACOCK were part of the GBR success story in Palma

Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2009
Palma de Majorca, Spain

Great Britain swept to the top of the medal table as the decisive Medal Races brought the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE to a close and decided the crucial points allocations at the end of the third event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
The Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, third event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup, concluded with intense racing in the Medal Race staging the best top ten sailors in each class. The double-points, non-discardable Medal Race scores have been determinant to decide the events winners and added some valuable points to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings. The winner in each class scores 20 points, the second 19 points and so on until the 20th position who gains a single point.

The Brits finished on top of the medal table with two golds, two silvers and four bronze medals across the Olympic and Paralympic events competing in Palma. The Netherlands also won two golds, with the host nation Spain taking third in the medal tally with a gold and three silvers.

Blanca MANCHON (ESP) has made the most of the Spanish event, winning six races in the Women's RS:X, including the Medal Race. She added 20 points to her impressive ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings score now at 58 points! MANCHON will be also awarded the "Absolute Winner" prize tonight by HM Queen Sofia of Spain. This traditional prize recognizes the achievements of the winner with the best results across all classes.

"I've sailed in the same way everyday, looking for clear wind and trying to stay in the leading group", says MANCHON.

"I never imagined winning the Absolute Trophy, and I've won it! I've also won in my class and I've extended my lead in the ISAF Sailing World Cup," she added

World #1 and Rolex Miami OCR winner, Marina ALABAU (ESP) places second overall in front of Flavia TARTAGLINI (ITA).

In the Men's RS:X fleet, Dorian VAN RIJSSELBERGE (NED) wins his second ISAF Sailing World Cup event in a row after taking top marks in Miami at the start of the year, increasing his lead in the World Cup Standings.

Commenting on the Medal Race, VAN RIJSSELBERGE explains, "This is great, it looks maybe easy but you still have to defend your position under pressure. I look calm but we had a long wait onshore and I was bouncing around. Once on the water I had a really bad start. I needed to work very hard not to get swamped by my opponents. I got squeezed. I dropped back a bit but persisted in my strategy to get to the stronger winds first. Then I was second at the top mark and finished third."

Medal Race winner Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) takes bronze behind Brazil's Ricardo SANTOS.

In the Laser class, Nick THOMPSON (GBR) repeats VAN RIJSSELBERGE's double success, winning the second ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Miami, and adding another 20 points to his score to lead the Laser World Cup Standings after winning in Palma today. Michael BULLOT from New Zealand trails the Brit in the results and the Standings after placing second overall in Sail Melbourne and the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE. Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO), who sailed for the first time in Palma, finished in third position in the strong 134-boat fleet.

The racing was intense and very close in the Laser Radial fleet. Early leader Susana ROMERO (ESP) needed to keep Paige RAILEY (USA) within two places to keep the lead. The American raced in the front group while ROMERO could not come back after an average start to the race. A sixth place for RAILEY was enough to give gold to the American, on equal points with ROMERO.

"This gold medal feels amazing because I just started sailing full-time again in January," said RAILEY. "It is the best feeling to come back and put everything I had into this event."

These strong results were not enough to threatened Anna TUNNICLIFFE's (USA) lead in the ISAF World Cup Standings. The World #1 adds another 15 points to her impressive score after winning the two first events.

It will be an all-British podium at the Finn prizegiving ceremony. The British dominated the Medal Race in the Finn taking the top four places, and the top three in the overall standings. Ed WRIGHT (GBR) took the gun to jump up to second overall, however it is 21 Giles SCOTT who stole the show, winning his first Finn event at this level.

"This is one of my most memorable regatta! It was pretty nerve wrecking before the start and I found it hard to fight on the water against my teammates," said SCOTT, who first made his mark winning the Laser title at the 2005 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.

WRIGHT collects 19 points for his second position overall which added to his 20 points scored in the Rolex Miami OCR keeps him in the lead of the Finn World Cup standings.

There was no surprise regarding the winner in the Men's 470 fleet with Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Baptiste MEYER (FRA) securing gold after the final stage. When asked about their key to success the new team has no hesitation: "Trust! We have know each other for over 12 years and worked together this long. This is probably making up for the lack of training together." And after such outstanding results, the French know there is still a lot to learn: "We still have margin for improvement, tuning the boat, strong air racing…but the other teams will surely progress fast and will provide good challenges."

Second place overall goes to Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL from Israel while Anton DAHLBERG and Sebastian ÖSTLING (SWE) finished third overall. The Swedish team, who started the Medal Race in eighth position overall, took the bullet and grabbed the bronze, one point from fourth! The top three enter the World Cup Standings after scoring top points in the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE.

If the winner in the Men's 470 men fleet was expected, it was a different story in the Women's. Early leaders Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadège DOUROUX (FRA) sailed their worse race to place 10 and drop to third overall. "This is the result after a succession of small mistakes. A bad start, the wrong side, which leaded to bad decisions! It is a pity because we only had top eight scores in the fleet races! We sailed well in all type of conditions and were very regular. Even if our objective here was to get back into sailing mode after a long break, it is disappointing to miss the title."

While the French are on equal points with Tara PACHECO and Berta BETANZOS (ESP) who take second overall, the title goes to early leaders Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER from Austria. "We were surprised to win! We knew we had secured a second place but we had not realised that the French were last. We came into the Medal Race with the intention to try to secure a second by keeping a close eye on the Spanish. It was a very competitive regatta." The European champions add 20 points to their score in the lead of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings.

The Austrian 49er team Nico DELLE - KARTH and Nikolaus RESCH, won the Medal Race to place in the top five overall. Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) won their first event after a long break since the Olympic Games. "Finally we had some nice and stable wind for the medal race. We needed to keep close to John PINK and Rick PEACOCK [(GBR)] to protect our lead. Unfortunately we went one way and they went the opposite! So we tried to finish within the top six." PINK and PEACOCK settled for second but take the lead of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings with 38 points.

Star European Champions Robert STANJEK and Markus KOY from Germany won the Star event after a streak of regular top six places in a small but talented fleet including Athens bronze medallist Xavier ROHART from France with new crew Pierre-Alexis PONSOT. Emilios PAPATHANASIOU and Apostolos KARNOUTSOS (GRE) place second overall in their first regatta together. While newly formed team of Diego NEGRI and Luca DEVOTI (ITA) take bronze.

The 40th edition of the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE concludes with the prestigious prizegiving ceremony in presence of the Spanish Royal family, regatta patron.

The event has been highly publicised this year with free TV footage available daily, and tracking system for the Medal Race for four classes.

The sailors will head tonight for Hyères in the south of France, the fourth event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

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 - 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
20-29 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 more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
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