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24 June 2005, 11:00 am
Light Winds Strike
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Kiel Week 2005
Kiel, Germany

Light winds in Kiel, Germany yesterday proved a tough test for the fleets who did get out on the water in the ISAF Grade 1 Kieler Woche. 2003 ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion, 18 year old Paige RAILEY (USA) seized control of the Laser Radial leaderboard, whilst in the Laser Paul GOODISON (GBR) has edged ahead in his battle with Robert SCHEIDT (BRA).
Racing in all the classes was postponed until the afternoon. The Finn, Star, Tornado and 470 fleets did not race yesterday, but the other Olympic classes did manage to get away in approximately seven knots of winds.

The 49ers were the first fleet to be sent out and managed three races in the light breeze. Since winning the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition in Athens, the leading team in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR), have made a couple of appearances in match racing events, before returning from their 49er sabbatical at the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta in Medemblik last month. They finished fifth, being upstaged by their British team mates Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES, who won the event. In Kiel though DRAPER and HISCOCKS look to be back to their best. Two more bullets yesterday made it four wins from six races and puts them top of the leaderboard. Only in the last race did the British pair stumble, dropping to eighth place. Five points behind them, last year's Kieler Woche winners Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) are tied on points with Austria's Nico DELLE-KARTH and Niko RESCH. Alberto PADRON and Javier DE LA PLAZA (ESP) lie just a point further back in a tightly contested fleet.

The 2.4 Metre Paralympic class went out at the same time as the 49ers. Heiko KRÖGER (GER) seized sole leadership of the fleet with a bullet in the day's final race, race six. 2004 Paralympic bronze medallist, Thierry SCHMITTER (NED) had an excellent day with two bullets pushing him into second place above Hyères winner, Helena LUCAS (GBR). These three sailors seem to be establishing a mini competition of their own at the front, having made a virtual monopoly of the top three places in each race.

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The Russian teams have taken
control of the Yngling
The Laser and Laser Radial fleets were the next out on the water and both managed a further two races. The four way battle in the Laser fleet, yesterday became a straight shoot up between number one sailor in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, GOODISON and current Olympic Champion SCHEIDT. Racing in two different fleets means that both competitors' results are littered with bullets. GOODISON had the best of the two races yesterday, winning both of them to put him a point clear of SCHEIDT who could only manage a win and a second place. 2004 Olympic silver medallist, Andreas GERITZER (AUT) has dropped slightly further back with a fourth and a third putting him four points behind SCHEIDT. For Australia's on form, Tom SLINGSBY, yesterday was a day to forget. The winner in the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères and in Medemblik, is the only sailor with a chance to compete a clean sweep of all three ISAF Grade 1 European Olympic classes regattas. However yesterday he finished 19 in race five and then received a 20% penalty in the following race and drops from four to 13 on the leaderboard.

Overnight leader of the Laser Radial, Tatiana DROZDOVSKAYA (BLR) also had a horrible day yesterday with finishes of 15 and 27 dropping last year's winner in the Europe to fourth overall. America's young star, RAILEY has taken control of the leaderboard with a bullet and a fourth place. The 18 year old will be appearing at her fourth ISAF Youth Worlds this year in Busan, Korea and could well go to that event as the number one sailor in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings if she can continue her current form here in Kiel. Current Rankings' leader Keamia RASA (CAN) is having a tougher time and lies 31 overall, one place behind 2004 ISAF Youth Worlds winner, Sarah STEYAERT (FRA). Back at the top of the leaderboard, Karin SÖDERSTRÖM (SWE) remains in second place after a solid performance. Russia's Natalia IVANOVA had the best day of anyone, with a second and a bullet lifting her to third place overall.

Two more races in the Mistral fleets have failed to shift the two leaders from Hong Kong. 1999 ISAF Youth Worlds winner HO Chi Ho (HKG) scored two third places yesterday and is three points ahead of Poland's Maksymilian WOJCIK and Lukas GRODZICKI. CHENG Kwok Fai (HKG) scored a bullet in the last race to move into fourth, just four points behind his team mate in the number one spot.

CHAN Wai Kei (HKG) also recorded a bullet in race six to secure her number one place on the women's Mistral leaderboard. Agata BRYGOLA (POL) moves into second place after a bullet and a second place, whilst CHAN Wai Man (HKG) remains third.

After two races yesterday, Ekaterina SKUDINA, Tatiana LARTSEVA and Diana KRUTSKINA (RUS) have traded places with Vlada ILIENKO, Natalia GAPONOVICH and Ekaterina KOVALENKO (RUS) to claim the lead in the Yngling fleet. A bullet in the day's final race moves Anna BASALKINA, Vladislava UKRAINTSEVA and Calina LUKASHOVA (RUS) into third and competes a Russian top three. In fourth place, the Medemblik winning team of Sarah AYTON, Annie LUSH and Lisa MCDONALD (GBR) are their nearest challengers, just a point off the top three.

ISAF. Image, The 49ers were first out on the water yesterday:©
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