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28 May 2005, 10:54 am
Tight At The Top
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Holland Regatta 2005
Medemblik, Netherlands

Due to changing winds it was a hard third day for the sailors in the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta in Medemblik. Across most of the fleets the battle for the top spots has increased with the final two days looking like they will provide a dramatic conclusion to the regatta.
Last year's champion, Joeri VAN DIJK (NED) is leading the Mistral fleet by a single point from HO Chi Ho (HKG), with CHENG Kwok Fai (HKG) just one point further back. VAN DIJK is confident of success today, 'If the weather predictions are right, I will have a good chance of winning,' said the home sailor. CHAN Wai Kei (HKG) scored a bullet in the only race in the Mistral women fleet to keep her number one spot. Behind her, team mate CHAN Wai Man (HKG), finished second to remain second overall, whilst Germany's Wiebke SRADNICK is third.

In the Tornado, Darren BUNDOCK and Edoardo BIANCHI (AUS) have taken over the top spot on the leaderboard thanks to a bullet in race seven. Mitch BOOTH and Herbert DERCKSEN (NED) lie second whilst Leigh MCMILLAN and Will HOWDEN (GBR) have moved up into third. The Tornado fleet, as well as the 470 men and women and the 49ers are due to sail three normal races this morning and then the top six in the overall classification will go on to the semi finals. Tomorrow the finals for these four fleets will be sailed close to the shore giving the fans in Medemblik a close up of the decisive action.

The top four teams in the Yngling fleet are all extremely tight with just two points separating them. Janneke HIN's (NED) team continue to hold the lead, but the teams of Ruslana TARAN (UKR), Ekatarina SKUDINA (RUS) and Sarah AYTON (GBR) will all fancy their chances in today's races.

In the Finn, Olympic gold medallist, Ben AINSLIE (GBR) continues to dominate the fleet and is now 14 points clear at the top of the leaderboard. Gasper VINCEC (SLO) remains second whilst Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE) has moved into third place.

Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER (NED) have also maintained their lead in the 470, although the gap between them and second place Mathew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS (AUS) is just four points. The Australians moved ahead of Gideon KLIGER and Ehud GAL (ISR) thanks to their more consistent finishing.

Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadège DOUROUX (FRA) continue to look untouchable in the 470 women fleet. Two more bullets and a second place mean they are now 15 points ahead of Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) and Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS), who are tied on points in second.

Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR) had another great day in the 49er, bar their one slip up in the competition so far in race nine. Behind them, Luka RODION and George LEONCHUK (UKR) had a good day with three top three finishes lifting them into second place. A first bullet of the competition for Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR) in race nine moves them to third overall.

Fredrik LÖÖF and Anders EKSTRÖM (SWE) remain on top in the Star. A bullet and a fifth place moves 1996 Olympic gold medallist in the Finn, Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ, and his new crew Dominik ZYCKI (POL), into second, ahead of Andy BEADSWORTH and David CARR (GBR).

Three races in the Laser saw a couple of imposing names moving back up the leaderboard. Two bullets and a second saw ISAF World Sailing Rankings' leader, Paul GOODISON (GBR) move into third, tied on points with Olympic gold medallist, Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), who also scored a first place yesterday. Tied at the top five points ahead of them are Olympic bronze medallist, Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO) and ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française winner, Tom SLINGSBY (AUS).

Another winner in Hyères, Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA), has moved to the top of the Laser Radial leaderboard. Three top three finishes and a poor set of results for former leader Sari MULTALA (FIN) sees DE TURCKHEIM five points clear in the number one spot. In second Britain's Charlotte DOBSON (GBR) had a consistent, if unspectacular, day. A 1,DNC,2 record for the day saw Paige RAILEY (USA) move into fourth.

Today the first races were due to start of 1000 hours local time. Three races are planned for the fleet with the Tornados, 470 men and women and 49ers due to start their semi finals later in the afternoon.

ISAF. Image, The 470 fleet will be racing semi finals this afternoon:© Mark Cole
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