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13 August 2005, 11:34 am
RAILEY Scores Her Fifth Win Of The Year Whilst STEYAERT Claims European Crown
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Laser Radial European Championship 2005
Split, Croatia

The last two Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champions, Paige RAILEY (USA) and Sarah STEYAERT (FRA) took the honours at the ISAF Grade C1 Laser Radial European Championship in Split, Croatia. RAILEY sailed to a dominant series victory of 14 points, whilst STEYAERT came good in the final series to take the European crown in second place overall.
A lack of wind meant racing could only be completed on one out of the final three race days in Split. With the final day of the qualifying series abandoned, the top sailors raced against each other in the gold fleet on Thursday, in three races which were to prove decisive, after the final day of racing yesterday was called off.

With a perfect four points after the qualifying series, number one in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and reigning Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion, RAILEY entered the final races with a three point lead over Sari MULTALA (FIN), with Katarzyna SZOTYNSKA (POL) and Solenne BRAIN (FRA) a further three points back and STEYAERT another three points behind them. RAILEY instantly pressed home her advantage finishing second in the opening gold fleet raced whilst MULTALA dropped to 14th. Meanwhile STEYAERT scored her second bullet of the Championship to move closer to the podium positions, whilst Tatiana DROZDOVSKAYA (BLR) came in third.

The tables turned in the next race, with MULTALA claiming first place and RAILEY falling to twelfth. However thanks to RAILEY's consistently high finishes in the qualifying series she was instantly able to discard the result and remained clear at the top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile Russia's Natalia IVANOVA came in second with STEYAERT moving up the leaderboard again after finishing third.

ISAF Grade 1 Kieler Woche winner Gintarė VOLUNGEVIČIŪTĖ (LTU) claimed the final bullet of the Championship in race eight with New Zealand's Jo ALEH second. DROZDOVSKAYA came in third to move up to fifth overall whilst RAILEY followed her in fourth to claim the title. STEYAERT could only manage ninth in the final race but hung on to second place after MULTALA crossed the line in 19th to finish third overall. SZOTYNSKA also finished low down the fleet in 25th but stayed fourth overall and third European.

With racing on the final day abandoned, RAILEY claimed her fifth title of the year to secure her top spot in the Rankings, whilst as top European in second place, STEYAERT takes the title European Champion with by far the best result of her senior career to date.

Croatia dominated in the other fleets with Tonko KUZMANIC (CRO) taking victory in the men's fleet, Ivan TARITAS (CRO) winning in the youth men's and Tina MIHELIC (CRO) scoring bullets in the final two races to win in the youth women's.

Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 USA Paige RAILEY 1 1 2 1 1 2 (12) 4 12
2 FRA Sarah STEYAERT (10) 2 1 2 8 1 3 9 26
3 FIN Sari MULTALA 2 1 7 1 3 14 1 (19) 29
4 POL Katarzyna SZOTYNSKA 1 4 5 4 1 24 4 (25) 43
5 BLR Tatiana DROZDOVSKAYA 4 13 9 10 2 3 (14) 3 44
6 FRA Solenne BRAIN 14 2 1 3 4 15 9 (34) 48
7 LTU Gintare VOLUNGEVICIUTE (17) 9 11 11 7 5 8 1 52
8 USA Anna TUNNICLIFFE 3 7 10 8 16 4 (21) 5 53
9 NZL Jo ALEH 8 9 4 8 14 10 (16) 2 55
10 SWE Karin SODERSTROM 7 3 7 4 19 (33) 11 6 57
ISAF. Image, Paige RAILEY claims another victory in 2005:© Natasa Seric
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