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31 January 2005, 09:27 am
Onvlee Reigns Supreme in Lasers as Alkstedt Clinches Optimist Crown
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Dubai International Junior Regatta
Dubai, UAE

South Africa's Justin ONVLEE and Sweden's Karin ALKSTEDT confirmed their status as two of the world's best young sailing talents with title victories in the Dubai Junior Regatta today (Sunday) while the cool Swedes captured the team trophy.

The firm favourite long before he won last Wednesday's opening race, reigning world junior champion Onvlee clinched his second consecutive Laser 4.7 title in the Emirates Airline-sponsored event with another brilliant display on the final day of racing.

Onvlee won both races to underline his mastery of the class, completing a comprehensive overall victory from South African team-mate Rudy McNEILL and Holland's Giljs PELT who finished in third position.

Two disappointing finishes in tenth and twelfth places on the day denied the UAE's top competitor, Adel KHALID, a podium finish in the Lasers. But while he slipped from third overnight to take fourth spot overall for the second year in a row, Khalid has shown over the last five days that he can take on the best in the world.

The Swede's were dominant from start to finish in the Optimists, and Alkstedt came through to win from team-mate Carl STROMBECK and Denmark's Jes Lyhne BONDE on her final Dubai Junior Regatta in the class.

Celebrating at Dubai International Marine Club, Onvlee said: 'It was a great way to finish. I felt confident, but I knew that if I had a disqualification today I could loose the regatta and I was a bit worried about that. So I took it easy at the start and didn't push the line too hard.'

'It was a lot tougher to win than last year when there were 35 boats. This time there were 54 and there was a lot more competition. Adel really surprised me. He has improved a lot since last year and he was just unlucky today.'

Onvlee now plans to return to Dubai next year in different class as he moves towards his goal of sailing for Olympic gold. 'I know they're planning to introduce match racing here and South Africa want to enter a team, so I hope to be part of that,' he said.

A jubilant Alkstedt said: 'I've been second so many times in the past and I'm very happy to take the No.1 spot.' She now has to choose between entering the Europe or Laser class at the end of this year. No ALT tag specified

Swedish team coach Ulf JOHANSSON said: 'We had a good feeling right from the start that this would go our way and everyone performed consistently well throughout the week. The team prize is the most prestigious of all and we're delighted to be taking it home.'

With light and shifting winds delaying the start of action on the final day and forcing the cancellation of one of the three scheduled races, Onvlee was quickly into his rhythm once the first Laser race got under way.

He eventually won it from Ireland's Will ATKINSON, South African team-mate Aaron LARKENS and Italy's reigning world junior ladies champion, Anita Di LASIO. He was followed home in race two by Holland's Giljs PELT, McNEILL and another Dutch challenger, Maarten-Max MOERMAN.

Malta's squad in Dubai had been limited to one competitor in each of the classes when headmasters allowed only the top two ranked sailors on the island to take time off school. While Matthew Fleri SOLER did well to make the top 15 in his first big regatta in the Lasers, Karl CREMONA was consistently among the leading pack in the Optimists.

He eventually finished sixth overall helped by victory in today's first race ahead of the Swedish quartet of Adam JOHANSSON, Jacob LUNDQVIST, Alkstedt and Carl STROMBECK. Strombeck won race two from Denmark's Jes Lyhne BONDE and Jacob LUNDQVIST.

On the previous evening some of the world's leading junior sailing talent had the chance to listen and learn from Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean BARKER and team coach Rod DAVIS who are in Dubai to develop a training programme for the UAE sailing team.

Barker and Davis answered questions from regatta competitors, members of the UAE sailing community and journalists at a packed press conference at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

And Barker's main message to the youngsters was 'enjoy yourselves', a reminder that sailing should be fun as well as competitive, a combination which certainly applies to the one of the world's largest junior sailing festival.

Saeed HAREB managing director of Dubai International Marine Club and the regatta's chief executive, said: 'We are grateful for Emirates'continued support of sailing. The Dubai Junior Regatta has showcased plenty of local sailing talent, and we now look forward to working with Dean and Rod to develop a training programme for the UAE sailing team.'

Top Ten Final Results
Optimist

Pos Nat Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 Points
1 SWE Karin ALKSTEDT 4 27 7 3 4 2 5 1 1 8 4 4 43
2 SWE Carl STROMBECK 3 1 4 22 5 3 18 2 5 1 5 1 48
3 DEN Jes Lyhne BONDE 7 8 5 9 6 8 3 7 2 2 10 2 59
4 SWE Adam JOHANSSON 17 2 2 1 2 6 23 20 4 3 2 8 67
5 SWE Jacob LUNDQVIST 1 3 BFD 7 11 9 20 4 3 7 3 3 71
6 MLT Karl CREMONA 8 5 6 6 10 1 2 OCS 13 15 1 13 80
7 SWE Oscar LUNDQVIST 5 19 3 11 12 5 4 5 8 DSQ 8 14 94
8 SWE Emma OLJELUND 11 18 1 10 9 4 14 8 19 17 11 15 118
9 SUI Adrian GREMAUD 12 15 11 12 3 11 17 15 26 4 27 9 135
10 QAT Hassan Al TAMIMI 16 6 15 8 18 21 19 24 6 5 21 5 140

Laser 4.7

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 Points
1 RSA Justin ONVLEE 1 2 1 OCS 2 2 1 3 2 5 1 1 21
2 RSA Rudy McNEILL 4 3 22 2 6 10 2 1 3 9 6 3 49
3 NED Giljs PELT 5 4 8 4 4 4 12 4 10 4 DSQ 2 61
4 UAE Adel KHALID 2 7 5 9 8 9 OCS 2 1 2 10 11 66
5 ITA Anita Di LASIO 3 8 10 12 9 1 4 5 8 8 4 7 67
6 RSA Sean HEUDEMRUCH 13 6 2 3 3 5 7 8 5 16 11 8 71
7 NED Rolph OUDSHOORN 8 22 3 1 1 13 5 24 11 1 8 10 83
8 RSA Aaron LARKENS 6 1 11 11 25 6 3 7 18 7 3 21 94
9 IRL Will ATKINSON 10 5 9 13 5 3 13 6 16 13 2 18 95
10 BEL Maarten-Max MOERMAN 17 23 12 34 10 21 6 13 9 12 5 4 132

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF), Image: © Event Media
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