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10 August 2005, 01:05 pm
RAILEY Extends Her Lead
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Laser Radial European Championship 2005
Split, Croatia

Changeable and weak winds meant racing was abandoned on day two of the ISAF Grade C1 Laser Radial European Championship in Split, Croatia, but yesterday excellent sailing conditions saw three races in the women's event. Paige RAILEY (USA) continued her dominant form with another two bullets and a second place putting her top of the leaderboard on a perfect four points.
In the qualifying series the 82 competitors are racing in two fleets before the gold fleet is formed to contest the four race final series which begins tomorrow.

After two bullets on the opening day, Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion RAILEY had made herself an early favourite. In the other qualifying fleet Finland's Sari MULTALA also got off to a flying start in only her second ISAF Graded event in the Radial, with a second place and a bullet. However in yesterday's opening races in 13-16 knots of wind, it was the French pair of Solenne BRAIN and 2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion Sarah STEYAERT who claimed victories. However RAILEY and MULTALA instantly responded with two bullets in race four.

RAILEY continued her assault in race five with another bullet to leave her top on four points. She is making the most of the absence of the other dominant sailor on the Laser Radial circuit this year, ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française and ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta winner Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA), who broke her left foot just a few days before the Championship began.

In the other fleet Poland's Katarzyna SZOTYNSKA claimed the bullet whilst MULTALA came in third, leaving the Finn three points behind RAILEY in second place. SZOTYNSKA's second bullet puts her third, tied on points with BRAIN, with STEYAERT a further three points back in fifth. Britain Lizzie VICKERS had a good day with finishes of 6,2,2 leaving her two points outside of the top five in fifth.

Further down the fleet defending champion Krystal WEIR (AUS) started the day well with a third place before finishes of 11 and 21 saw her fall back to 24th overall. It is also proving a difficult Championship for Olympic bronze medallist in the Europe Signe LIVBJERG (DEN), who is lying down in 33rd, with just one top ten finish to her name.

In the men's event, Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO) has edged ahead in his battle with fellow Croatian Tonko KUZMANIC after a second place and a bullet yesterday. Ivan TARITAS (CRO) has moved clear on the men's youth leaderboard, whilst Vanessa LE BOUTEILLER (FRA) has taken charge in the women's youth event after three straight second places.

Top Ten After Five Races

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1 USA Paige RAILEY 1 1 (2) 1 1 4
2 FIN Sari MULTALA 2 1 (7) 1 3 7
3 POL Katarzyna SZOTYNSKA 1 4 (5) 4 1 10
4 FRA Solenne BRAIN (14) 2 1 3 4 10
5 FRA Sarah STEYAERT (10) 2 1 2 8 13
6 GBR Lizzie VICKERS (8) 5 6 2 2 15
7 NED Merel WITTEVEEN 3 6 (10) 7 3 19
8 SWE Karin SODERSTROM 7 3 7 4 (19) 21
9 GER Hanne JANSCH 6 7 (22) 6 4 23
10 BLR Tatiana DROZDOVSKAYA 4 (13) 9 10 2 25
ISAF. Image:© David Kuzmanic/Natasa Seric
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