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7 July 2007, 07:45 pm
Day 5: Action Packed
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ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

A jam-packed day in Cascais brought more contrasting conditions with gusts up to 35 knots making for a spectacular day on the Finn course. Meanwhile the Stars struggled in very flukey conditions further inshore, the 470s completed their first races, whilst the 49ers launched into action at 10:00.
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After getting blown off the course before completing their races yesterday, the race committee sent the 49ers out early this morning to catch up with the schedule. It was another day of extreme contrasts in the conditions, with more photographer-friendly racing out on course area 5, whilst the Stars laboured around course area 3 further inshore. The 470s completed their opening race, whilst it looks set to be a late finish for the other classes.

Read our fleet by fleet reports by clicking on the links below:

Finn - Tornado - Yngling - Star - 49er - 470s - Lasers - RS:Xs

Watching some of the racing in Cascais today were Skip LISSIMAN (AUS), port trimmer on the 1983 America's Cup-winning Australia II and four-time ISAF Match Racing World Champion and Alinghi coach Peter GILMOUR (AUS). The Aussie pair are part of the Western Australia delegation preparing a bid to host the ISAF Worlds in 2011, with all the bidders invited to Cascais to learn about the event and its organization.

LISSIMAN has so been impressed by what he has seen, 'There's no doubt that having all of the classes together in the one central location is the way for the future,' he said, adding, 'I think they've done a fantastic job getting it together here.'

Results
49er
Men's 470
Women's 470
Finn
Laser
Laser Radial
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Star
Tornado
Yngling

Survival Conditions

The highlight reel of the day again came predominantly from course area 5, where the Finns raced in survival conditions for the first race, with the fleet on the outer loop experienced gusts up to 35 knots. Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED) clearly relished the waves and the wind, posting two bullets to move up the leaderboard to second overall, just one point off leader Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE). Defending World Champion and overnight leader Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) capsized in the first race and falls back to sixth overall.

John DANE and Austin SPERRY lead Hamish PEPPER and
Carl WILLIAMS in today's Star race
© FRIED ELLIOTT - www.friedbits.com
The top of the Finn leaderboard is incredibly close, with just six points covering the top six sailors. With the gold fleet decided, POSTMA said he would now be taking a less conservative attitude on the race course, 'For the last few days I didn't take too many risks and the more we approach the end the more risks you take, the more you push the limit.'

For the fleet leader PAPATHANASIOU, the strategy is subtly different, 'Sometimes, when I see it's possible to push the limit, I do. But everything by control.'

Stars

In contrast to the Finns, the Stars struggled to complete their first race in the gold fleet on course area 3. After getting four legs into their opening race it was abandoned because of the flukey conditions. In the restart, John DANE and Austin SPERRY (USA) got a perfect leeward end start to get ahead of the fleet and managed to hold off World Champions Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL) to post their first bullet of the series, moving them up to tenth place overall.

DANE and SPERRY are the leading US crew in the regatta, but say they are fully focussed on qualifying the nation for the Beijing Olympics and leaving the battle within the team to a later date. 'We're actually hoping our competitors do well to get our country qualified and then we can worry about fighting with them at the [US] Olympic Trials,' explained DANE.

Overall leaders Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) had their first bad race of the series in the shifty conditions, coming in 30th but holding onto their lead by virtue of the exclude.

The 470s were the last of the eleven events to get underway in Cascais, completing their opening two races today, with the men spilt into three fleets and the women two. Matias BUHLER and Marcos LAMAS (ARG) lead after 1,2 scores, with double World Champions Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) second after a bullet and a sixth place. In the women's fleets the favourites dominated the early exchanges, with Australians Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON tying reigning World Champions Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) for the lead. Japan's Ai KONDO and Kamata NAOKO also got off to a good start with a bullet and a sixth place.

British Leaders

Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON lead in the 470s
© David Bell

After four races across the three in the 49er fleets, European Champions Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR) lead after adding two bullets to their 1,2 scores yesterday.

"It was just crazy out there," MORRISON explained. "It was so shifty and the wind was so up and down - at one stage we were tacking without moving the tiller!"

World #1 crew Jan-Peter PECKOLT and Hannes PECKHOLT (GER) lie second overall, six points behind the Brits and two ahead of third place Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK (UKR).

Britain also holds the lead in the Yngling, where Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON (GBR) held on to the top spot with 3,13 scores. Meanwhile their closest rivals also struggled, although Shirley ROBERTSON, Lucy MACGREGOR and Annie LUSH (GBR) stay second overall despite 10,20 scores. 2005 World Champs Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Debbie CAPOZZI (USA) are third, two point behind ROBERTSON and 13 off the lead.

A late start meant the RS:X fleets could only squeeze in one race. Amongst the men, Piotr MYSZKA (POL) and Ricardo SANTOS (BRA) both scored bullets to move into first and second place overall respectively. In the women's fleet Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) has edged ahead of Zofia KLEPACKA (POL) in the overall standings, with today's bullets going to Jian YIN (CHN) and Bryony SHAW (GBR), placed third and fourth overall respectively.

The Tornados started race 7 at 19:52, but it was and racing canned for the day.

About The 2007 ISAF Worlds

Over 1,300 sailors from 76 nations are competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.

Watch the Medal Races live on Sail.TV

For all the news on the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007 CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image, A hard day in the Finn fleet:© Robert Deaves, IFA
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