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3 April 2007, 07:15 pm
Diversity Reigns As Wind Blows For Day Three
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Princess Sofia Trophy 2007
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Finally the wind blew in Palma on day three of the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy - Mapfre, leading to some major changes at the top of the leaderboard. A record-breaking entry in Spain means competition is tougher than ever and nobody seems able to dominate, as crews from eleven different nations lead across the Olympic Classes.
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A southwest-westerly breeze of 14-18 knots provided ideally conditions are two days of very light and shifty breeze. The Race Committee took full advantage, with three races completely across most of the classes and consequently some major changes at the top of the leaderboards.

In the ISAF Grade C1 Tornado European Championship, held in Club Nàutic S'Arenal, Sydney and Athens Olympic gold medallists and reigning European Champions Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) were OCS in two of the day's three races. World #1 crew and World Champions Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) took full advantage, winning the opening race, then posting a seventh and fighting back from a poor start in the final race, to move into a ten point overall lead. Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) had moved up into second place, but subsequently fell back down to ninth after being disqualified from race 2. Instead second now lies with Roland GAEBLER and Gunnar STRUCKMANN (GER), two points ahead of Iordanis PASHALIDES and Konstantinos TRIGONIS (GRE).

HANSEN Brothers Edge Into 49er Lead

The top three places in the 49er see little change with Peter HANSEN and Soren HANSEN (DEN) edging ahead of Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA), who were OCS in the day's opening race. In third place overall Federico ALONSO and Arturo ALONSO (ESP) continue to outshine their Olympic gold medal winning team mates Iker MARTINEZ and Xabi FERNANDEZ (ESP), who are currently way down the fleet in 23rd.

Marin MISURA (CRO), bronze medallist at the 2006 Europeans, was the main star of the Finn fleet on Tuesday, winning all three races sailed. MISURA leads the standings with a nine point advantage over second place Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED). Brendan CASEY (AUS) continues his rapid improvement after his switch from the Laser class late last year, with the Australian moving up to third place overall after 2,3,15 scores.

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The 49er start
© Ruben Ballester/
www.nicomartinez.com
The 41-boat Star fleet completed another two races. Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) bounced back strongly from a disappointing day two with two bullets to move up to second place. The overall lead goes to Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Tomasz HOLC (POL), who came in behind the Brazilians in both races,. Two double-figure scores, the result of turning up late at the start in the first race and then hitting the pin-end boat in the second, sees world #1 Hamish PEPPER and crew Brad NICHOL (NZL) fall back to third.

MARINHO Moves Clear

In Men's 470, Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES (POR) moved into a nine point lead over Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL (ISR), with a DSQ in the opening race saw Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER (NED) tumble down the leaderboard. Johan MOLUND and Niels FLOHR (SWE) moved into third overall, but the standings remain extremely tight, with the consistent Benjamin BONNAUD and Romain BONNAUD (FRA) looking particularly dangerous in fourth place.

Spectacular changes were seen in the Women's 470 as double World Champions Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) demonstrated their skill in the breeze with three straight bullets. The Dutch team surge into a seven point lead, with Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX (FRA) and Ruslana TARAN and Elena PAKHOLCHYK (UKR) tied for second place.

Three races were also sailed in the Yngling class, based at Real Club Náutico de Palma. Anna BASALKINA, Vladislava UKRAINTSEVA and Ekaterina MAXIMOV (RUS) had a very mixed day and fell back from first to sixth, with Miami winners and last year's champions Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Debbie CAPOZZI (USA) taking over at the top. Athens gold medallists Shirley ROBERTSON and crew Annie LUSH and Lucy MCGREGOR (GBR) move up to second place, a point ahead of world #1s Ulrike SCHUEMANN, Julia BLECK and Ute HOEPFNER (GER). It was also a great day for another Athens gold medallist in the Yngling fleet, as Siren SUNDBY and her Norwegian team of Lise Birgitte FREDRIKSEN and Alexandra KOEFOED climbed up to fourth overall with 10,3,6 scores.

Great Day On The RS:X

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The Laser round the mark on
a windy day three
© Ruben Ballester/
www.nicomartinez.com

Tuesday's wind had the RS:X fleets flying on the waters near Escuela Nacional de Vela Calanova. Both men's and women's fleets sailed three races, with a tie between the top three men's sailors on 19 points. Maksym OBEREMKO (UKR), Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) and world #1 Ivan PASTOR (ESP) share the top spot, with Nick DEMPSEY (GBR), last year's overall winner in Palma, just one point back.

Windsurfing legend Barbara KENDALL (NZL) leads the women's standings, winning two of the day's three races. KENDALL, three-time Olympic medallist and also three-time World Champion, took advantage of the mistakes of her closest rivals to hold a four-point advantage at the top. Charline PICON (FRA) lies second, with Athens silver medallist Jian YIN (CHN) in third.

The 91 boats of the Laser Radial fleet, based at Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, sailed two races. With a bullet and a third place, World Championship silver medallist Petra NIEMANN (GER) leads from bronze medallist Tania ELIAS CALLES (MEX). After a second place and a win Jo ALEH (NZL) jumps up to third, just ahead of Gintare VOLUNGEVICIUTE (LTU). Another good day for World Champion Lijia XU (CHN) saw her climb the leaderboard again up to sixth place, whilst world #1 Evi VAN ACKER (BEL), scored a DSQ in race 3 to drop back to 16th.

Following another three races in the Laser fleet, some of the big names began to move back up to the top of the standings. However, Julio ALSOGARAY (ARG) extended his lead in first overall to ten points, with 1,5,5 scores. Two bullets helped Mike BULLOT (NZL) up into second place, one point ahead of team mate Andrew MURDOCH (NZL). A little further back, world #1 Paul GOODISON (GBR) moved up to eighth and world #2 Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) up to ninth, although it was not such a great day for reigning World Champion Michael BLACKBURN (AUS), who lies 39 points off the lead down in 22nd.

The German team of Thomas MUELLER, Vincent HOESCH and Max SCHEIBM continued to lead in the invited Dragon class, after another three races sailed in Real Club Náutico de Palma.

At the start of Wednesday's racing the competition will intensify, with the top sailors moving through to the gold fleets. The first warning signals are scheduled for 12:00.

The 38 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia - Mapfre is sponsored for second consecutive year by Mapfre and is organized by the Federación Balear de Vela, Real Federación Española de Vela, Real Club Náutico de Palma, Club Nàutic S'Arenal, Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa and Escuela Nacional de Vela Calanova. The collaborators are Govern de les Illes Balears, Palma City Council, Llucmajor City Council, s'Institut de Serveis Socials i Esportius de Mallorca, Trasmediterránea Acciona and Ultramar.

The Princess Sofia Trophy will be included in the first running of the ISAF World Cup© series for the Olympic Classes. For more on the ISAF World Cup© CLICK HERE.

For a complete list of all the news from the Princess Sofia Trophy 2007 CLICK HERE.

Neus Jordi (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The wind returned for day three in Palma:© Ruben Ballester/www.nicomartinez.com
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