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18 February 2008, 11:43 am
MULTALA Flying in Auckland
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Sari MULTALA extends her lead in Auckland

Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland Regatta
Auckland, New Zealand

Racing continued off Kohimarama Yacht Club in Auckland today for day three of ISAF Grade 1 Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland regatta.
The event which has attracted unprecedented fleets in the Tornado and Laser Radial classes this year, will conclude tomorrow.

Conditions were moderate with 10 - 13 knots from the south-west which made for more ideal, albeit shifty, sailing conditions. Three more races were completed, and all classes are on schedule.

In the Laser Radials Sari MULTALA of Finland has further extended her leading margin after racing today. A 10th in the last race of the day is the only minor blemish on her scorecard which otherwise shows finishes in the top three for the entire series so far. Multala is now an incredible 21 points clear of her nearest rival and with just two races remaining she looks to be unbeatable.

When asked what her secret for this regatta was Multala responded, "I really tried to prepare well mentally for this regatta, after a disappointing Sail Melbourne. I have been concentrating on my starting, which is going better."

"Yesterday was simple," she continued, "you needed to get a good start because it was a one-way track which made it really difficult to catch up. Today there were more passing lanes, because the wind was shifting, so I was able to work my way up through the fleet by playing the shifts."

Lijia XU of China retains second place behind Multala adding a fifth and two seconds in the three races sailed today. Consistency has been key for Xu also who has had top ten finishes for all ten races sailed so far. Anna TUNNICLIFFE of the USA stays in third place overall a further 22 points back from Xu, while New Zealander Jo ALEH improved her standing today back up to fourth place overall just three points behind Tunnicliffe.

"Today was a better day for me," says Jo Aleh. "There were more opportunities because the wind was shifting, you had to use your head and eyes. In the first race I got a good start and got in phase straight away and once I was ahead it was easy to defend my lead."

The 46 strong Radial fleet will sail one further fleet race tomorrow following which the top ten placed sailors will then head out for the final double-points medal race.

In the Tornados Aussies Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY continue to lead the 40-strong fleet who are all preparing for their World Champs next week. Bundock and Ashby had a solid day on the water bringing in a second, a win and a seventh in the three races sailed. They are eleven points clear of second place.

Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton Paz of Spain relinquish 2nd place overall having their poorest day on the water so far with a twelfth, a ninth and a 25th. It was ROLAND GAEBLER and Gunnar Struckmann of Germany that capitalized and have climbed up into second overall after lying fourth at the start of the day.

Gaebler and Struckmann had a third and two second's today which saw them leapfrog past the Spaniards and the Booth/Nieuwenhuis duo from the Netherlands who are now laying third and fourth respectively.

Best placed of the New Zealanders in the Tornado fleet is Aaron MCINTOSH and Mark Kennedy who are now lying 13th overall.

Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS secured the lead, albeit a narrow one, in the Men's RS:X class today. After starting the day on equal points with Portuguese sailor João RODRIGUES, Kaklamanakis is now two points clear. The Greek windsurfer was 14th, 2nd and 1st in racing today.

Rodrigues is close behind in second place overall while New Zealander Jon-Paul TOBIN retains third place going into the final day of Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland. Tobin is just two points behind Rodrigues and is 17 points ahead of Plasvic of Canada in 4th.

Over in the women's RS:X racing there is no change to the top three pecking order. Young Spanish sailor MARINA ALABAU continues to lead the fleet. She had a second, a ninth and a win on the water today and is five points ahead of Romy KINZL of Germany. Local legend Barbara KENDALL retains third place with just two races remaining including the final double-points medal race.

Tomorrow's first race starts at 1000 hours and the medal race will see all of the classes, including the Tornados, racing on one course off Kohimarama beach from 1300 hours.

Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland website: www.sailauckland.org.nz

Jodie Bakewell-White (As Amended by ISAF)
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