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16 March 2008, 11:54 am
MULTALA And VAN ACKER Early Leaders At Laser Radial Worlds
Sari MULTALA
Sari MULTALA is in a tie for the overall lead after the first day of racing

Laser Radial World Championship 2008
Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand

Sari MULTALA and Evi VAN ACKER have the early lead with a win and a second place apiece on the first day of racing at the Laser Radial Worlds
The 2008 women's Laser Radial World Championship got underway on Sunday, the second day of scheduled racing, on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

It was a warm sunny day on Auckland's North Shore and a 20 knot south westerly greeted sailors for race 1 of the regatta which kicked off on time at 11:00 this morning. Easing slightly for race 2, the fleet enjoyed excellent sailing conditions all day, after the wind failed to show yesterday.

Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) enjoyed being back on the water for some top level competition having spent recent months laying low with a virus. However the Belgian demonstrated today that she's back in top form with a stunning start to the regatta. Despite traditionally being more of a light air specialist VAN ACKER's recent training paid off and she won the first race in the blue fleet.

"I think it's the first time I've won a race in strong winds," she said after racing today. "I'm usually more of a light wind sailor. But last month I've been training, and I've been getting better, and today was just great. I was so fired up because it's been so long since I've done a real regatta.

"The first race I had a good start, good speed and I was far out in front from the start with an easy lead.

"In the second race I had a bad start, in the beginning it didn't work out for me, I was on the wrong tack. But anyway I tried to climb up, I was, I think seventh or eighth at the top mark. I made too many mistakes on the downwind; I think I could have won the race,"
continued VAN ACKER.

"But woah, great day, great result - I was crying after the first race. I'm really happy."

Sari MULTALA of Finland had an equally good start to the regatta placing second in race 1 in the yellow fleet and then following that up with a win in race 2.

Both Sarah BLANCK of Australia and Paige RAILEY of the USA also started strongly and have a share of third place both just two points adrift of the leaders. BLanck had a win and a fourth in racing today while RAILEY was third and second giving them both five points in total and well placed in this world class fleet going into the second day of the five day series.

Behind them is Frances Sarah STEYAERT with a sixth and a win on the water today she has seven points in total and lays fifth overall on the leaderboard.

Jo ALEH is the best placed of the New Zealand contingent and sits in 11th place overall with two sevenths on the water today. The light air specialist suffered with a capsize on the water today still managing a respectable result and is on equal points with Lizzy VICKERS (GBR) in tenth.

Results - click here
Laser Radial World Championship - www.takapunaworlds.org
Jodie Bakewell-White
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