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9 March 2006, 02:00 pm
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Maktoum Sailing Trophy 2006
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Kristian TZANOV (BUL) made a smooth transition from the Powerboat world to the sailing one today as he enjoyed a winning start to the 2006 Maktoum Sailing Trophy.
TZANOV, better known as the Bulgarian born throttleman in Class 1 challenger Ceramiche Flamina, took the newly launched Pal Zileri Sailing Team to victory in the first of the opening round's two short course races off Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.

It was an impressive start to the four round race series for the team's 44.7 Beneteau which beat defending champions Horizon FCB, skippered by Frenchmen Christophe VANEK and Alain FÉDENSIEU, into second place.

David ROSTANT (UAE) skippered Switchblade to third place, his overall position in the first edition of the Maktoum Sailing Trophy, with Paul DILWORTH (GBR) claiming fourth spot in Goodrich Serdal, the newly named runner up from last year's Maktoum series.

TZANOV Shows His Versatility

Victory in the opening race underlined TZANOV's versatility and competitive spirit. He is a former motocross rider who competed at World Championship level in the 125cc and 250cc classes. In 1999 he swapped bike sport for powerboat racing by making his Class 1 debut, and has also raced in Class 2 and Class 3 in the Middle East Championship.

The opening round of the Maktoum Trophy, which is organized by Dubai International Marine Club, attracted an entry of 16 Class 1 and Class 2 boats, and racing got underway with a north westerly onshore breeze of around ten knots.

After dominating the series last year, Horizon FCB started as the strong favourites to retain their title. Their crew has been strengthened by three other experienced Frenchmen, Nicolas MAGNAN, Philippe NAUDIN and Tanguy LIVET, as well as three Italians, among them Mauro PIANI, an Azzura team mate of VANEK in the 1983 and 1987 America's Cup.

Pal Zileri Quick Off The Mark

But Pal Zileri quickly took the initiative in the day's opening race to suggest that they could be the most serious challengers to Horizon's hopes of a repeat win this year.

In the first edition of the Maktoum Sailing Trophy, John ROSE (GBR) in Insatiable had been even more dominant than Horizon on his way to a convincing overall success in Class 2.

But ROSE had to settle for second place in the first race of the 2006 series behind Gill SMITH in Blitzem. John ATHERTON and Lyndon THOMAS took Al Awal to third place ahead of Binker skippered by Ben TRENOUTH.

TZANOV Takes Pal Zileri To Second Successive Race Victory

Kristian TZANOV made it two wins out of two for the Pal Zileri Sailing Team on today's opening leg of the 2006 Maktoum Sailing Trophy. As in the day's first race the 44.7 Beneteau beat Horizon FCB into second place, and again it was ROSTANT in Switchblade taking third place.

For a complete list of all the news from the Maktoum Sailing Trophy 2006 CLICK HERE.

Tony LEWIS (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Pal Zileri in action in the opening race:© Tony LEWIS
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