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ISAF Sailing World Cup | Melbourne 2015

07 Dec 15 - 13 Dec 15

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6 April 2012, 05:21 pm
Ainslie Seals The Deal Despite Damages
Great Britain's Ben Ainslie
Great Britain's Ben Ainslie

Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE
Palma, Spain

Despite a pre-race incident, Ben Ainslie (GBR) claimed gold in the Finn at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE with a day to spare, whilst Thierry Schmitter (NED) sealed the 2.4mR gold.
With winds of up to 20 knots Ainslie was forced to sit out of Race 9, "It was one of those crazy days and a really strange pre-start incident I think because of the big waves and trying to clear another boat which would have caused me to capsize onto another boat.

"I injured myself in the process and reasonably damaged my boat so there was no real chance of continuing in the race in that state so the best option was to come ashore and luckily there was a spare boat lying in the dinghy park that no-one was using so we just switched the rigs round, came back out and just had to try and get a reasonable race to get round the course. As it turned it out I was not very quick at all but managed to sail reasonably well and had very good speed downwind and I finished third."

Ainslie's third place in Race 10 has given him an unassailable 35 point advantage over Zach Railey (USA) with only the Medal Race to come on the final day. Railey sits 14 points clear of Canada's Christopher Cook (CAN) who occupies the final podium place.

Highlights of the day are available on ISAF TV.

The Netherlands' Thierry Schmitter claimed his fourth consecutive title in Palma today after he won seven of the ten 2.4mR races. Helena Lucas (GBR) settles for silver whilst Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) takes bronze.

"After four days the wind and waves finally came through," said Schmitter. "It was a nice playground for spectacular 2.4mR sailing. And when I am enjoying the conditions, I am also able to win. Even if the World Champion, Damien Seguin (FRA) was not present, these results are encouraging for the coming months and the Paralympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth.

"I am already looking forward to competing again in the 2.4mR in Hyeres in three weeks time for the next stop of the ISAF Sailing World Cup."

The big winds on the penultimate day gave sailors the opportunity to hike or stretch their legs on the trapeze, but in turn the cards have been shuffled with new faces topping the leader board.

Last year's Women's 470 gold medallists Jo Aleh with Polly Powrie (NZL) welcomed the breeze and made the most of it. The pair won day's two races but it was not enough to take them through to the Medanl Race. "It was good to stretch the legs today" said Powrie. "It was good racing for us and more our conditions." Aleh and Powrie will sail in the Spring Cup before heading home for the Worlds and Skandia Sail For Gold. "There are lots of regattas and we need to plan our training as well. For us Palma is a good event to start with after our summer. There are always lots of teams to train with and race so for us it is a good event to come to," added Aleh.

The lead in the Women's 470 has been changing daily throughout the week and it is now the turn of Japanese team Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata to take the yellow jersey. "We are in good form and work well as a team. At the start of the regatta our mind was not into racing but now we are well into it. We got the silver last year but we want to take Gold tomorrow," said Kondo.

The Medal Race will decide the winner and the results are so tight that the top seven teams have a chance for Gold.

In the Men's 470, the World #1 Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) continue to march on with their good form with two bullets in the breeze. "These are more our type of conditions," explained Belcher, "We made some good decisions and took some good shifts but the Israeli were the fastest out there today."

Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela (ISR) scored a second and a third place to sit second overall. Tomorrow's medal race will decide who, from the Australians or the Israelis, will take the title.

Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) was the first to punch her ticket to the Women's Match Racing final when she dispatched Olivia Price (AUS) 3-0 in the Semi Finals.

The other Semi Final was taken to a "winner take all" fifth match. Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) received a penalty in the pre-start but lead all the way around the course. She tried to lure Claire Leroy (FRA) into an offsetting penalty at the finish, but Leroy escaped with a green flag and crossed the line first to advance to the Finals.

Tomorrow will see Echegoyen and Price sail for the Bronze medal while Leroy and Tunnicliffe sail for the Gold.

Simon Grotelueschen (GER) has taken the lead from Tom Burton (AUS) in the Laser after a strong day. Gold will be settled tomorrow between the German and Olympic Champion Paul Goodison (GBR). Despite being the best in the Laser Gold fleet today with a second and a third, Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) didn't make it into the Medal Race and finishes 11th.

With high scores, the top ten in the Star class are very tight in points. The top seven will all have a shot at the title at tomorrow's Medal Race with just a few points separating them. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada will be starting from first place with Hamish Pepper Jim Turner (NZL) in second and Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis-Ponsot (FRA) third. Early leaders Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) drop down to fifth but only five points from first. The Star Medal Race will be the one to watch for suspense and action.

Despite the pressure of their Olympic selection, Jonas Warrer and Soren Hansen (DEN) are conserving the lead in the 49er. The Beijing Olympic champion and crew can not get worse than Silver in the Medal Race dominated by the French and British with three teams each.

In the Radial, Alicia Cebrian (ESP) gave all she had to protect her first place in today's strong conditions usually favoured by her opponents. Evi van Acker (BEL) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) will start the Medal Race in second and third. The top three only can claim the event.

Medal Races begin at 11:30 local time with the Women's Match Racing starting things off at 10:00.

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Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE Website


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