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20 March 2008, 09:32 am
Little Wind And Little Change In Palma
Action from day four
More light winds on day four in Palma

HRH Princess Sofia Trophy 2008
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The light winds continues on day four at the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, with the leaders consolidating their positions at the top.
The light conditions that have prevailed since the start of the event were present again on day four of racing. The strong breeze expected for Thursday could finally see some upsets in the rankings and some different faces moving into the top ten and a last chance to qualify for the Medal Race.

Team Skandia GBR sailors, Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and Paul GOODISON (GBR) increased their lead in the Finn and Laser classes. They both have a proven record in Palma. AINSLIE's victory in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia dates from 2004 while GOODISON has collected three second places and two titles in 2001 and 2002. They are both on the right path to add another "Trofeo" to their impressive achievements. It is then not surprising that they both admit enjoying racing in Palma.

"I love the conditions we had here these last days. My goal is to win," declared GOODISON.

AINSLIE is using this regatta to further his equipment and technical training with the British team. "Sailing in Palma is both enjoyable and also very useful for my training as the conditions are quite similar with the Olympic venue in China," said the double Olympic gold medallist.

Both sailors have excelled in the last two Olympic Test Events in Qingdao and their current results in the bay of Palma is an extra proof that they have already mastered these tricky conditions. AINSLIE increased his lead to 28 points from second placed Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC (CRO).

The top four places are unchanged in the Laser, 49er and 470 Men. Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI (ITA) have dominated the fleet with a third in the first race today and a third victory in the second. It was not a day to remember for Sydney bronze medallists, Javier CONTE and Juan DE LA FUENTE (ARG) who lose two places after collecting 49 points over two races.

The top three keep their standing in the Laser Radial. However overall leader Petra NIEMANN (GER) did finally concede a victory to Ascension TOGORES (ESP), with the Spaniard consequently climbing to fourth overall.

In the Men's RS:X fleet, Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) who posted a couple of high scores on Wednesday is being threatened by Italian Fabien HEIDEGGER, who is now on equal points with the British world #3. Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) is only one point behind in third position.

In the Tornado class, the tight fight continues between Xavier REVIL and Christophe ESPAGNON (FRA) and Johannes POLGAR and Florian SPALTEHOLZ (GER).

The leaderboard top spots in the Women's RS:X, Women's 470 and Yngling have been claimed back by early the leaders. Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) enjoys a seven-point lead over Marina ALABAU (ESP) in the RS:X. Athens windsurfing gold medallist Faustine MERRET (FRA) progressed to third position after a fourth place and her first victory in the event. She is on equal points with ALABAU.

The Russian teams have once again swapped their place in the overall ranking in the Yngling regatta, whilst further back on the leaderboard disqualifications at the start have made an impact. The American boat of Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Debbie CAPOZZI dropped from third to fifth overall. The second race of the day has been cancelled by lack of wind and three races are scheduled for the last day of the finals.

Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL (ITA) have recovered from an average day on Tuesday (broken tiller before the start) to claim back the top of the rankings in the Women's 470. The world #1 crew are just one point from Natalia VIA-DUFRESNE and Laia TUTZO (ESP) in second place. Wednesday's most improved teams were the Brits Christina BASSADONE and Saskia CLARK, who gain five places to fifth overall, and Camille LECOINTRE and Gwendolyn LEMAITRE from France, who reached the ninth position after brilliantly winning both races. A second disqualification sent the German team of Stefanie ROTHWEILER and Vivien KUSSATZ from second to 11th overall. While the Germans are only a point away from the Medal Race top ten target, their chance for a podium is jeopardised.

Thursday's final races will decide the Medal Race contenders.

Results - click here
Princess Sofia Trophy - www.trofeoprincesasofia.org

Corinne Rolland-Mckenzie (As Amended By ISAF)
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