NZL Sailing Team head into Gold Fleets at Palma World Cup event

Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner (NZL) competing on Day 3 of the Princess Sophia Trophy regatta, Palma Spain

At the half way mark of the ISAF World Cup Regatta for Olympic classes in Spain, the qualifying rounds have been completed and the NZL Sailing Team will be in the gold fleets of all fleet racing divisions.

Now that six races have been completed for all the fleet racing classes, the worst score of each boat has been discarded and standings have been adjusted from the previous basis where all races were counted.

Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner had another consistent day, and are currently fourth overall in the Star class. All but one of their results has been inside the top ten, and they were leading the fleet for the first two race days. The top four teams are all within three points of each other, so still anything is possible as there are three days left in the regatta.

Dan Slater’s consistent efforts are also being rewarded as currently he is sitting in fifth place overall. A Black Flag (over the start line early) result from the first race had him lingering further down the leader board, and now that the BFD has been dropped, nearly all of his results are inside the top ten including a win in race four.

Light conditions on the first two days of racing brought mixed results for the already selected Olympic representatives in the NZL Sailing Team’s 470 crews and Laser radial sailor Sara Winther.

Sara is currently 15th in the 89 boat strong Laser Radial fleet, overnight (NZT) pulling out two good results for fourth and 11th place finishes.

Day three results for Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders were better, finishing their two races in tenth and fifth. These young men in the 470 class have have not been as consistent this regatta, with their ‘keeper’ results ranging from a third to twenty third.

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie in the women's 470 class started the regatta off with a gun, winning the first race, but since then have been hanging back closer to the middle of the pack. Overnight results of a 17 and 20th did not help their overall standings much, they are currently 19th overall.

The women’s match racing crew of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt finished the first round robin as fifth best of nine crews in their pool, and went into the repechage round overnight (NZT) where only the top two teams would move forward to the gold round robin. Stephanie, Jenna and Susannah, also known as Koru Match, finished up fifth and will not be progressing any further in this event.

New Zealand’s standings after day three
4th- Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner – Star (27 boats)
5th- Dan Slater- Finn (57 entries)
15th- Sara Winther- Laser Radial (89 entries)
19th- Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie – Women’s 470 (52 entries)
21st- Matt Coutts- Finn (57 entries)
23rd- Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders- Men’s 470 (93 entries)

This regatta is the third of seven ISAF World Cup events for the season, and is the first European regatta of 2012 for the NZL Sailing Team’s campaigns toward 2012.

The NZL Sailing Team has qualified for the London 2012 Olympics in all classes except the Star, and this country spot will be contended for at the 2012 Star Class World Championships in May. The NZL Sailing Team’s Men’s 470, Women’s 470, Laser Radial, Laser Standard, Mens RS:X and Men’s 49er have already been selected and will be attending the Olympic Games to be sailed in Weymouth.

Racing resumes10:00 tomorrow morning in Spain (NZL overnight) with live updates and race news available from the regatta website. The regatta concludes with the exciting double point medal races for the top ten in each fleet on Saturday April 7th in Spain.

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