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7 July 2007, 06:00 pm
Day 4: Fast And Furious
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ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

The windsurfers and the 49ers launched into action in Cascais today on day four of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. Out on the courses further offshore it was a day of big contrasts and several upsets.
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Cascais Photo Galleries

Friday began as another sunny day in Cascais, but this time with an almost dead calm on the water. The Nortada wind built steadily throughout the day and was again much stronger on the outer courses. It was generally a day of very difficult, shifty conditions, with good luck as well as good judgement proving a key factor in success.

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

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

The changable weather and the different nature of all five race courses has meant it has been difficult for anyone to establish and hold onto a significant lead. Key to mastering the Cascais conditions is reading the shifty wind - often a seemingly wise choice can often turn out to be the wrong one. 'It really flattens the field to decisions and more than just a speed race to a corner,' commented Ben BARGER (USA) from the RS:X fleet.

Laser Radial
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X

Polish Perfection

The first two races in the two RS:X fleets (racing in three fleets for the men, two for the women) brought four bullets for Poland. Four-time ISAF Youth World Champion Zofia KLEPACKA (POL) made a perfect start in the women's fleet as did European Champion Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL) in the men's. Defending women's World Champion Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) also posted a faultless 1,1 score.

© Photo : Guilain GRENIER / FFV

MIARCZYNSKI's win in the second race perfectly illustrated just how cruel the Cascais conditions can be. Capser BOUMAN (NED) and Tom ASHLEY (NZL), gold and silver medallists at the 2006 World Championship, had established a massive lead and headed out left on the second upwind. MIARCZYNSKI and his team mate Piotr MYSZKA (POL) went right and benefited from a good shift, whilst BOUMAN and ASHLEY found themselves stranded in a massive hole. The Polish pair planed past their pumping rivals to take first and second place.

Two bullets were also the order of the day for Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) and Tania ELIAS CALLES (MEX) in the Laser fleets. SLINGSBY goes from sixth overall to holding a 13-point lead in first, whilst ELIAS CALLES moves into a tie for the Laser Radial lead with Lijia XU (CHN).

Hard And Smart

Although she admitted she was initially a little bit nervous heading out to the wind and waves on race area 5, ELIAS CALLES ended the day with a big smile on her face. The Mexican skipper transferred from the Europe to the Laser Radial after it became Olympic equipment for Beijing and has so far been one of the stars of the class, winning bronze at the Worlds last year. She said her approach to the Cascais conditions was a combination of sailing hard and sailing smart, 'Just keeping your head out of the boat and taking the shifts and going to the more pressure and hiking really, really hard and just going as fast as you could. Especially when you got to the downwinds where the wind was a lot higher. And it was about having fun - surfing those waves was a lot of fun.'

The British battle continued in the Yngling fleet, but today it was Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON (GBR) who came out on top with 5,2 scores putting them first overall. Defending World Champion Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) moved top in the Finn fleet, whose second race was abandoned after a massive wind shift.

Three of the four 49er fleets got their racing underway before rough weather brought an end to their day's racing. Peter HANSEN and Soren HANSEN (DEN), Morgan LARSON and Peter SPAULDING (USA) and Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR) scored early bullets, with MORRISON and RHODES following that win up with a second place.

Stevie MORRISON and a balletic Ben RHODES
© Steve Arkley -
'With the wind conditions out there on the course, it was clear that only the right hand track was the only way to go, both upwind and down," explained RHODES. "There were some pretty big gusts out there, but we held on and are pretty pleased with our first day."

Despite a great start, MORRISON was not getting carried away, "World Championships aren't won on the first day alone," he said, "so the results don't really count for a great deal at this stage. We're just pleased to have made no silly mistakes out there today!"

Tomorrow the Lasers take a break, the Star and Tornado return to action and the 470 fleets get their series underway.

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:© PTVela2007/JFF
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