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24 May 2011, 08:08 pm
Croatians Take Command Of Day One At The Delta Lloyd Regatta
Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic
Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011
Medemblik, Netherlands

The Delta Lloyd regatta, fifth event on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit, is following the trend of the previous European events, with a windy opening day.
The strong north easterly provided for excellent racing and thrill in all classes.

The Croatian teams have mastered the gruelling conditions taking top spot in the 470 men, the Laser and the Finn.

Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) opened the score in the 470 races with a victory and a third and take the lead in the 470 fleet. They said, "We are happy, we had a great day of sailing. With such a strong wind it was important to sail conservatively and not capsize. We did two tactical mistakes on the second race and placed third. A great way to start the regatta."

Sven Coster and Sven Coster (NED) are on equal points in second place. Greek teams of Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis and Panagiotis Kambouridis and Stathis Papadopoulos have collected similar results in their respective group with a fifth and a bullet in the second race to share the third position. World #1 Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) won the first race in their group and place seventh in the second.

The breeze lovers claimed the day in the Laser. Milan Vujasinovi (CRO) took both bullets in his group and the lead over the 120 Lasers.

Vujasinovic said, "I know I have a good speed in the breeze but I have started well both times. It was also a matter to be patient and wait for the right shift. The rest was not an issue." 2010 ISAF Sailor of the Year and World Champion, Tom Slingsby (AUS) is in second place, two points from Dutch Roelof Bouwmeester and team mate Tom Burton (AUS). "There were tough conditions," admitted Bouwmeester (NED), "I had good results but didn't sail as well as I hoped. Tomorrow I need to focus more and I know I can improve."

World #1, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and World Champion Ed Wright (GBR) are sharing top places in the Finn fleet. They are on equal points at the front of the rankings, with third place going to 20 year old from Greg Douglas (CAN).

The competition is fierce in the Laser Radial, with most of the top ten racing in the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Defending champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is taking the lead after a first and a second places, in front of Annalise Murphy (IRL) and Evi Van acker (BEL), second in Palma. In fourth and fifth places are Beijing Silver and Bronze medallists Gintare Scheidt (LTU) and Lijia Xu (CHN). "With both start under black flag, it was tricky but I am fast in the breeze and have chosen to take it easy on the start and sailed safe," explained Bouwmeester (NED).

In the absence of most class favourites, 36 women are participating in the RS:X. From the nine Chinese windsurfers on the starting line, five entered the top ten after the first two races, claimed by Ling Li. Yuki Sunaga (JPN) is in second position overall and Maayan Davidovich (ISR) third.

The men division is also missing most of the top sailors however there are 14 different countries in the top 15. Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) shared the victories and are in first and second position overall.

In the women's 470, Beijing Bronze medallists from Brazil are duelling at the top of the rankings. Isabel Swan now crewing with Martine Soffiatti Grael and the new pair of Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan, are first and second in the 27 boat fleet. Class favourites, Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata and Spanish duo of Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos, winner in Hyères, have been penalised for a premature start in the second race and start the event in 13th and 19th position.

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) are making a great comeback to the competition after winning two out of three races sailed in the 49er. The defending champions are starting the event with a 13 points lead over compatriots Will and Sam Phillips (AUS). 2007 World champions, Stephen Morrison and Ben Rhodes are placing third overall.

The Women's Match Racing competition has completed half of the qualification races. In Group A, Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) is undefeated with four wins. In the group B, Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) won four matches.

Thierry Schmitter (NED) has enjoyed the challenging conditions in the breeze with two bullets. Megan Pascoe (GBR) second in Hyères continues with top two placing, while Australian Matt Bugg settles for top three.

At the time of publication the Star class were still racing. More to follow

For more information on the Delta Lloyd Regatta click here.

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