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4 April 2007, 07:10 pm
Pressure On In The Gold Fleets
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Princess Sofia Trophy 2007
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The competition intensified on day four of the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy - Mapfre, as the top crews across the Olympic Classes went up against each other in the gold fleets. The eleven top spots continue to be held by eleven different nations, with a mixture of big names and some surprise faces leading the way.
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Wednesday brought more excellent racing conditions to Palma, albeit a little lighter than the day before, with the forecasted southwesterly of 8-12 knots allowing the Race Committee to complete two or three races in each class.

The move into the gold fleets meant racing was even tighter on Wednesday and the gaps at the top are very close. Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) in the Star, Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) in the Women's 470 and Julio ALSOGARAY (ARG) in the Laser are the only leaders to hold an advantage in double figures, although the level of competition so far this week in Palma has proven that these gaps can disappear in one false tack.

Just one more day of racing remains before the top ten in each class moves forward to the Medal Races. With Olympic medallists, World and European Champions and world #1s all challenging for honours, it promises to be a cracking penultimate day in Palma.

SCHEIDT Leads The Way

In the Star class SCHEIDT and PRADA have built the biggest lead across all the Olympic Classes and are looking like formidable opponents. Their third and fourth consecutive bullets give them a 14 point advantage over Marc PICKEL and Ingo BORKOWSKI (GER), with world #1 Hamish PEPPER and crew Brad NICHOL (NZL) remaining in third after a 6,9 day.

DE KONING and BERKHOUT added another bullet to their scorecard in the Wednesday's first race, but saw their lead pegged back to 11 points after a 17th in race 7. Whilst the Dutch team were struggling, a bullet for Lenka SMIDOVA and Veronika FENCLOVA (CZE) brings them back up to second overall, just ahead of Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX (FRA).

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The Finns at the start
© Ruben Ballester/

ALSOGARAY built on his Laser lead for the second day running, moving 11 points clear of Andrew MURDOCH (NZL) despite a black flag in the day's second race. A bullet in the same race pushes world #1 Paul GOODISON (GBR) up to third, although he is a massive 27 points off the lead.

Aussies Hold On To Tornado Lead

In the ISAF Grade C1 Tornado European Championship, two scores in the teens saw the overall lead of world #1 crew Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) shrink to just three points. A second place in the day's second race helped Iordanis PASHALIDES and Konstantinos TRIGONIS (GRE) jump up to second overall, two points ahead of Billy BESSON and Arnaud JARLEGAN (FRA).

Amongst the Yngling fleet, Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Debbie CAPOZZI (USA) held onto their lead after 3,10,11 scores. World #1 crew Ulrike SCHUEMANN, Julia BLECK and Ute HOEPFNER (GER) move up a place to second, whilst contrasting fortunes for the British teams saw Shirley ROBERTSON, Annie LUSH and Lucy MCGREGOR (GBR) fall from second to eighth and Sarah AYTON, Pippa WILSON and Sarah WEBB (GBR) climb up to third.

It remains incredibly tight in the 49ers, after Peter HANSEN and Soren HANSEN (DEN) surrendered their lead with two scores in the high teens. European Champions Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR) take over the lead, just one point ahead of Federico ALONSO and Arturo ALONSO (ESP) and two ahead of team mates Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES and Mark ASQUITH (GBR).

Windsurfing Action

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World Champions Darren
lead in the Tornado
© Ruben Ballester/

In Men's RS:X, Miami and North Americans winner Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL) found his top form with bullets in both of the day's races. He moves five points clear at the top, with Tom ASHLEY (NZL) second and European Champion Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) in third. World Champion Casper BOUMAN's (NED) hopes of victory were seriously dented when he posted his second high score of the regatta in race 6, relegating him to tenth overall.

In the women's fleet, Barbara KENDALL (NZL) held onto her lead, although she is now tied on 14 points with Charline PICON (FRA). With 1,4 scores World Champion Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) was the star of the day and moves up to third overall.

Just three points separate the top three in the Men's 470 fleet, with Pierre LEBOUCHER and Vincent GAROS (FRA) currently holding the lead. Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES (POR) drop to second overall, whilst a great day for Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI (ITA) moves them up to third.

All Change In The Radial

There has been a major shift at the top of the Laser Radial Rankings, with European Champion and world #1 Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) taking the overall leader with 2,4 scores. Gintare VOLUNGEVICIUTE (LTU) is just two points further back in second place, whilst former overnight leader Petra NIEMANN (GER) dropped to third with a 15th in race 6. A bullet in the same race for World Champion Lijia XU (CHN) moves her up to fourth place.

Marin MISURA (CRO) had a mixed day in the Finn, but held on to his overall lead. Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED) also stays in second, although World Champion and world #1 Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) has fought back from a bad start and now lies just behind the leading pair.

After another two races in the invited Dragon class, Markus WIESER, Sergey PUGACHEV and Thomas AURACHER (UKR) take the overall lead.

The final series continues on Thursday from 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 pressure in mounting in Palma:© Ruben Ballester/
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