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23 February 2007, 02:39 pm
Yo!, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi And Blitzem Clinch Trophy
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Maktoum Sailing Trophy 2007
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The 2007 Maktoum Sailing Trophy Championship closed with a predictable emergence of the winners. The Emirates Airlines, Marine Pool and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina sponsored event spread over five days, with two races per day, delivered amazing results.
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Toby O'CONNELL in his lucky shirt and team in Yo! clinched the Trophy in the first division with his eighth straight first of the series. An ecstatic O'CONNELL said, 'It was a brilliant race today and we are happy that the pressure is over. Light winds helped us a great deal and we look forward to participating again next year. This has been the best ever regatta organized ever since I settled in and participated in the UAE. The race and organizing committee have done a great job.'

Mattafix skippered by David ROSTANT (UAE) and his crew sailed home second. A happy ROSTANT praised the efforts of his team mates and said they did their best and hence deserved to win. 'This has been a great regatta and I am grateful to my crew who made it up for me.'

Kristian TZANOV (BUL) and his crew put a great fight till the end and cruised home third. 'We tried our best but with a big boat we deserved some more wind. Yo! has been spectacular during the series and in the spirit of the sport we are humbled to get the third place. This gives us the impetus to try harder next year,' TZANOV added.


In the second division, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi - Kenavo, skippered by Alexander MERCIER (FRA), were the proud recipients of the trophy. Yousef BIN LAHEJ (UAE) and Christophe VANEK (UAE) in Duboats Racing sailed home to victory in second place followed by Jo GILLESPIE (GBR) and his crew in Spirit of Juniper.

At the end of the eighth race in the third division, it was clear who would emerge as the winners. Eureka Group Sailing Team skippered by Giancarlo SIMEOLI (ITA) sailed home having had seven straight firsts. Eureka Group Director, Francesco ROOCO (ITA) was short of words to describe their victory. 'I am greatly appreciative of the efforts of Saeed HAREB in promoting the Maktoum Sailing Trophy. This is the first time that we have introduced an all women team and have our plans set till 2011. Our performance at the Maktoum Sailing Trophy has gained for us four orders of the 24 footer and one order for the 33 footer both of which will be built in the UAE.'

After the race the Trophies were presented to the winners by Saeed HAREB, Managing Director, DIMC. HAREB described the event saying, 'The weather was good and the skippers and crew put their best skills and tactics to use. I am extremely happy with the event and thank my staff at DIMC, the hotel, jury, race officials and the teams for a successful event. I promise that year after year this event will be one of the much coveted events in the UAE and the region.'

The official prize giving ceremony will be held tomorrow evening at a gala dinner at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

Patrick Francis (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The 2007 winners:© Jacques Vapillon/DIMC
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