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23 March 2006, 02:00 pm
Pal Zileri Stay On Victory Trail
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Maktoum Sailing Trophy 2006
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Pal Zileri Sailing Team continued their winning start to the Maktoum sailing Trophy today with another impressive display in the second round of the prestigious fleet racing series.
In testing conditions off Jebel Ali Sailing Club, former moto cross rider and Class 1 powerboat throttleman Kristian TZANOV took his crew to victory in the first of two races to reinforce their challenge for the Maktoum Trophy.

As in the opening round earlier this month, Pal Zileri outperformed defending champion Horizon FCB, and again it was Switchblade, this time withoug regular skipper and pilot David Rostant who was on flying duty, taking third place.

Completing the top six were Southern Cross skippered by Patrick CAHILL, Paul DILWORTH'S Goodrich Serdal and the evergreen Twister, whose joint owners, Karen and husband Glwyn ROWLANDS, have a double birthday celebration this weekend.

As in Class 1, there was a familiar ending to race one in Class 2, with Gil SMITH'S Blitzem winning from defending champion John ROSE'S Insatiable as he did in all five races in the first round.

The month of March traditionally delivers a wide range of sailing conditions in Dubai, from flat calm seas and whispering winds to the kind of angry storm that tested the great Russell COUTTS in his match race challenge with Danish star Jes GRAM-HANSEN a week ago.

On this occasion the weather's mood was much more favourable, with a north westerly onshore breeze of around 15 knots laying the platform for some testing, at times spectacular fleet racing, in which boat handling skills were at a premium.

Maktoum Trophy 2

They are the kind of tantalising sailing conditions which can only reinforce the efforts of Dubai International Marine Club, organisers of the Maktoum Sailing Trophy, to attract a strong line-up of overseas challengers next year.

DIMC Managing Director Saeed HAREB has already announced that the series will be converted from a four-round affair spread over three months this year to a ten-day event in 2007, and interest from abroad is already building.

The start of race two in round two brought an early retirement for three boats, Vacheron Constantin Team Racing skippered by Mark DEVITT, Toby O'CONNELL'S Yo! and Twister, who were all black-flagged after false starting.

It meant there was little for Twister's skipper, Karen ROWLANDS, to celebrate on her birthday, and with husband Glwyn blowing out his own candles on Saturday they will be hoping for better fortunes on the second day of action at Jebel Ali Sailing Club.

Tony LEWIS (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Yo! skippered byToby O'Connell battles it out with series leader Pal Zileri.© Total Communications
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