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27 May 2007, 12:12 pm
Decision Day
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Breitling Regatta 2007
Medemblik, Netherlands

The conditions were perfect on day four of the ISAF Grade 1 Breitling Regatta with 15 knots blowing across the race courses in Medemblik, Netherlands. The first of the Medal Race were held on Saturday evening with victory going to Great Britian in the Yngling and Italy in the Men's 470.
After Friday's racing the gold and silver fleets were formed and on Saturday the top ten crews for the Medal Races were decided - and for the Yngling and the Men's 470 the Medal Races were sailed. The change of the wind conditions meant that there were a lot of OCS and Black Flag disqualifications, which made the racing nerve-racking right up to the finish.

Yngling Gold For Britain

Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON (GBR) into the Yngling Medal Race in pole position in spite of picking up a Black Flag amongst their three race results earlier in the day. In the final ten-boat showdown they were first to the first windward mark, but had two Dutch boats ahead of them by the time they reached the windward mark for the second time.

Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Laser Radial
Men's 470
Women's 470

Some good downwind pace pulled them back one place, and AYTON finished the Medal Race in second place, which handed them the gold medal with a 16 point margin over Mandy MULDER, Brechtje VD WERF and Marije KAMPEN (NED), who crossed first ahead of the Brits in the final. Renee GROENEVELD, Marije FABER and Floortje HENDRIKSEN (NED) took the bronze medal

AYTON was delighted with the win, especially given the challengingly conditions, 'It proved to be a tricky week - the first half of the regatta was under five knots and this is an area we've been weak in in the past, and is something we've been working hard on,' she said. 'Our speed and our tactics have improved in these conditions and we're really gelling as a team.'

The win is a great boost for AYTON and her team just a month ahead of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. 'Our next challenge is Cascais - we're really looking forward to it as a team, we're ready and prepared. We've been training there quite a bit and I think the conditions are going to suit us. It's going to be a regatta where you need an all round set-up and need to be solid tactically as a team.'

ZANDONA And TRANI Untouchable

For the 470 fleets a lot of teams were caught out over the starting line early. However, that did not change the leading position of Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI (ITA) and with a lead of 29 points they had already secured their gold medal position before the Men's 470 Medal Racegot underway. Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES (POR) tumbled out of the Medal Race when they had to pull out of the day's racing with NUNES unwell. Benjamin BONNAUD and Romain BONNAUD (FRA) seized the opportunity to sail to silver in the Medal Race, with team mates Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET (FRA) taking the bronze.

In the Women's 470 fleet it is very close, with only four points difference across the leading four crews. Vesna DEKLEVA and Klara MAUCEC (SLO) held on to their lead ahead of Wakako TABATA and Naomi KURITA (JPN) Third and fourth place are the two Italian teams of Elisabetta SACCHEGGIANI and Elisa CECCONI and Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL.

Italy are also looking good at the top of the 49er fleet with Petro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) leading Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Ben AUSTIN (AUS), who moved up to second after a 15,11,1 day. Olympic Champions Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier FERNANDEZ had a good day to move up to third place overall.

In the Laser Radial fleet overnight leader Laura BALDWIN (GBR) was not on form. She started with a Black Flag and finished the day with a 34, dropping her to sixth overall. Leading after 12 races is world #1 Evi VAN ACKER (BEL), followed by Petra NIEMANN (GER) and Penny CLARK (GBR).

SCHEIDT Into The Medal Race

The big winners today in the Star class were Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) with two bullets. This puts them in ninth position and in for the Medal Race. Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL) are first after they moved ahead of overnight leaders Eivind MELLEBYand Pedersen Petter MORL (NOR).

For the Finn class it is close going into the Medal Race. After eight races with one discard Christopher COOK (CAN) is leading, five points ahead of Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED). New Zealand's Dan SLATER lies third but is also within close range of the gold medal position.

In the Women's Windsurfer RS:X class Jannicke STALSTROM (NOR) had another strong day with 3,4,6 scores to maintain her overall lead. Jessica CRISP (AUS) posted two bullets and a third place to close the gap at the top to seven points, with Faustine MERRET (FRA) third.

A terrific day from Ricardo SANTOS (BRA) put the Brazilian top of the Men's RS:X fleet after 2,1,4 scores. Overnight leader Chi Ho HO (HKG) dropped to second with Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) holding on to third.


Two-time winner Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) is still leading in the Laser fleet and with two bullets on Saturday and a tenth he is now 26 points ahead of second place Gustavo LIMA (POR), securing him the gold medal. Michael LEIGH (CAN) is third overall, just two points behind LIMA.

The Tornado class finished their last race of the day late on. After 12 races and one discard Xavier REVIL and Christophe ESPAGNON (FRA) are leading from Johannes POLGAR and Florian SPALTEHOLZ (GER) and Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS).

For a complete list of all the news from the Breitling Regatta 2007 CLICK HERE.

The Breitling Regatta will be included in the first running of the ISAF Sailing World Cup© series for the Olympic Classes. For more on the ISAF Sailing World Cup© CLICK HERE.

Fanny Van Leeuwen/Lindsey Bell (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON lead the way at the start of the Yngling Medal Race:© Thom Touw
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