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20 May 2006, 07:15 am
Laser Radial Medal Race
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ISAF World Sailing Games 2006
Lake Neusiedl, Austria

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Results in bold on the table to the right indicate Medal Race completion. Meanwhile the table on the left will link to in depth reviews of each Medal Race as they happen through the day.

The Laser Radial Medal Race brought the ISAF World Sailing Games to a fitting close. World Championship gold and silver medallists, Paige RAILEY (USA) and Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA) lined up just three points apart, with World Champion and World number one RAILEY holding the advantage over the defending World Sailing Games Champion DE TURCKHEIM. It was a familiar situation for the pair, who had gone into the Medal Race at Hyères in an almost identical position, with DE TURCKHEIM needing to beat RAILEY and put at least one competitor between her and the American to take the title.

The race began at 1445, in a twelve to 15 knot breeze from the southwest. In the pre-start RAILEY did not let DE TURCKHEIM out of her sight and the two lined up together towards the centre of the start line - the match race for the title was on. Starting on a starboard tack, it was not long before DE TURCKHEIM gybed right and made the first of a whole series of moves to shake off RAILEY. However, moments later the American was right by her, and this set the trend for the whole of the first upwind. DE TURCKHEIM though seized the initiative when Jo ALEH (NZL) gybed back from the right of the course, passing fractions behind her and forcing RAILEY on her port side to gybe left and giving her some clean air to work in.

Results
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Laser
Laser Radial
Men's 470
Women's 470
49er
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 16
Team Racing
Medal Races In Depth
Results As They Happen
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Laser
Laser Radial
Men's 470
Women's 470
49er
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 16
Team Racing
Live streaming on Sail.TV

The contest was slowing the pair down, but DE TURCKHEIM rounded the top mark around five seconds ahead of RAILEY, with the pair occupying the final two places. It was now though that RAILEY made her move, and showed the speed downwind which has made her the most formidable competitor on the Laser Radial circuit and has given her an incredible ten wins from 14 ISAF Graded events. She closed in on her French rival, continually forcing her to the right of the course and eventually passing her by the time they had reached the gate.

Meanwhile at the head of the fleet Sari MULTALA (FIN) was making a bid for the bronze medal, heading way right from the gate on the second upwind to round the top mark in the lead. However Sarah BLANCK (AUS) was not going to give the bronze medal up easily. If she could finish third it would guarantee her the final podium spot, and despite MULTALA's best efforts, BLANCK was sailing a solid race, starting well, sailing smoothly on the downwind and sticking to safe lines, she rounded the top mark third and behind Sarah STEYAERT (FRA), with these three holding a big lead over the rest of the fleet.

Meanwhile the battle between RAILEY and DE TURCKHEIM continued, although now the American looked more in control and DE TURCKHEIM's moves seemed to trouble her less. RAILEY later reveal that during their Medal Race in Hyères she felt she had made a lot of mistakes when tracking the Frenchwomen, and was determined this time to learn from her experience. As the race progressed, RAILEY looked more and more in control, cruising away on the downwind, whilst DE TURCKHEIM struggled to find a way back into contention.

At the front, across the line went MULTALA, but BLANCK followed a comfortable third to wrap up bronze, and shortly after RAILEY crossed in seventh to secure the title, whilst DE TURCKHEIM took silver with a ninth place.

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Laser Radial Medalists
l-r: France, USA, Australia
© ISAF GEIGER

Laser Radial Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 MR Pts
1 USA Paige RAILEY 1 4 5 (17) 12 4 2 6 14 48
2 FRA Sophie DE TURCKHEIM 3 6 10 3 (37) OCS 2 6 7 18 55
3 AUS Sarah BLANCK 2 16 1 9 22 1 5 (23) 6 62
4 FIN Sari MULTALA 14 3 14 (19) 7 11 1 12 2 64
5 LTU Gintare VOLUNGEVICIUTE 11 15 9 (22) 1 10 11 2 8 67
6 FRA Sarah STEYAERT 4 1 16 (29) 16 7 3 20 4 71
7 USA Anna TUNNICLIFFE 23 (30) 4 8 5 13 16 1 10 80
8 GRE Eftycia MANTZARAKI 6 11 2 12 18 (30) 4 22 12 87
9 NZL Jo ALEH 16 7 11 1 9 12 (21) 15 20 91
10 CRO Mateja PETRONIJEVIC 5 10 18 11 10 17 13 (27) 16 100

For all the news on the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image, Sophie DE TURCKHEIM just could not shake off the attentions of Paige RAILEY and ended the day with the silver medal:© Guilain GRENIER
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