Princess Sofia Trophy- Controversy for NZL’s Star and Finn at Palma

Dan Slater - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofía Mapfre 2012

Both of the NZL Sailing Team’s medal race starters have completed their regattas to finish fifth overall at the 43rd Trofeo S.A.R Princess Sofia Mapfre Regatta.

The final day of racing for the top ten standing boats in each fleet was greeted with near perfect conditions of sun wind and waves in the Bay of Palma as the double point medal races got underway.

Five of the ten starters in the Finn medal race were scored OCS (over the start line too early), including triple Olympic Gold medalist amd series winner, Ben Ainslie (GBR). NZL’s Dan Slater was one of few to improve his overall standings as a result of this outcome which race pushed him up one place to be fifth overall for the regatta.

In the Mens Two Man Keelboat, (Star) Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner were tied on points going into the Medal race NZL was tied on points with Robert Scheidt (BRA) with a five point margin on 2008 Gold Medalist Iain Percy (GBR ) and a three point margin on the French crew.

On the final run, New Zealand was in third close behind SUI in first place, with GBR in second, with BRA back in fourth spot. 4th and FRA were in fifth.

Had those positions remained SUI would have won the double points scoring medal race but NZL would have won the regatta.

Right on the finish line NZL received a pumping penalty from the on the water referees (very unusual in the Star keelboat) and had to undertake a two turns (720) penalty. Having completed that they then were required to sail off the course and undertake another 720 as it was claimed they had failed to keep clear of another competitor from Germany, receiving an additional penalty.

Pepper and Turner finished 10th and last in the race, which was double points scoring, and dropped from a win in the regatta back to fifth overall - still a very creditable result in a very classy fleet.

NZL 8464 Hamish Pepper an Jim Turner; Star - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2012


New Zealand’s final standings
5th - Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner – Star (27 boats)
5th - Dan Slater- Finn (57 entries)
11th- Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders- Men’s 470 (93 entries)
11th - Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
13th - Sara Winther- Laser Radial (89 entries)
14th- Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie – Women’s 470 (52 entries)
31st- Matt Coutts- Finn (57 entries)

This regatta was the third of seven ISAF World Cup events for the season, and is the first European regatta of the year 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, Womens Match Racing and Men’s 49er have already been selected and will be attending the Olympic Games to be sailed in Weymouth.

The ISAF World Cup continues with the Semaine Olympique Francaise regatta two weeks from now in Hyeres 21-27 April, and nearly all of the NZL Sailing Team will be there.
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