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Day 1 at Takapuna RS:X Worlds in New Zealand

'Alessandra Sensini (ITA) on Day 1 RS:X NZ Nationals - Takapuna'    © Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

Day One at the 2008 RS:X Worlds at Takapuna, Auckland. The 58 windsurfers in the Mens Yellow fleet and an equal number in the Blue fleet, enjoyed postcard sailing conditions. After two races completed for both fleets Shahar Zubari of Isreal, Tom Ashley (NZL) and Ivan Pastor Lafuente (ESP) head the Men's event, all on four points and Alessandra Sensini of Italy the Women.

Britain's Nick Dempsey is in ninth place overall after finishing the day with a fifth and a seventh. Leo McCallin had a 23rd and a 29th in his group. Richard Hamilton had a 29th and a 25th in the same group. Bryony Shaw was just outside the top ten overall with an 8th place in both her group races.

The Mens fleet was held ashore as sailors waited for the sea breeze to stabilise and the first race for the Yellow fleet started at 12:47 local time in an 8-10 knot north easter. Israel’s Shahar Zubari, currently ranked eight in the world, was fast out of the blocks. He lead at the top mark and was never headed, winning the race by almost a minute.

At the first mark fellow Israeli Nimrod Mashiah was in second place but French sailor Fabrice Hassen overtook him down the run. Poland’s Piotr Myszaka had a brilliant first run moving up from sixth to third place and up the second beat he moved into second place and held it until the finish.

Day 1 RS:X NZ Nationals - Takapuna -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=40814   Click Here to view large photo

The sea breeze was building nicely and the second race was sailed under clear blue skies, with the wind lifting to 12-14 knots. Appropriately for this New Zealand hosted World Championships, there were 'lambs in the paddock' on day one (whitecaps to the rest of us).

In the second race in the same fleet, Portugal’s Joaa Rodriguez led from start to finish. Second at the first mark was once again Israeli Nimrod Mashiah; just as he did in the first race he faded back into the fleet. Hong Kong’s Ho Chi Ho was third at the first mark. He climbed into second place and held onto that place for the whole race.

Then there was a big gap, another 46 seconds back to the first race winner Israel’s Shahar Zubari, who finished third overall ahead of Jon Paul Tobin.

In the first race for the Blue fleet Nikolas Kaklamanakis from Greece was round the top mark first and was not headed. New Zealand's Tom Ashley was second at the top mark and held that placing until the final run when Spaniard Ivan Pastor Lafuente sailed through him.

In the second race for the Blue fleet the Spaniard Lafuente had a perfect start, he rounded first ahead of Frances Nicholas Le Gal with the Kiwi Tom Ashley third. Down the run Ashley sailed into second place, and on the second run he took the lead from the Spanish competitor. Le Gal held onto third place.

With the Men's races completed, the Women's Yellow and Blue fleets, each with 38 starters, set sail in stronger conditions as the sea breeze was solidly established by their start time.

Day 1 RS:X NZ Nationals - Takapuna -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=40814   Click Here to view large photo

In the Womens Yellow fleet Italy's Alessandra Sensini won the first race ahead of Spanish sailor Blanca Manchon who finished a quarter of a minute ahead of France’s Faustine Merret with another Spanish sailor Marina Alabau about the same distance back in fourth place.

In the first race for the Blue fleet, New Zealand board sailing icon Barbara Kendall led from the start, but cruelly down the final run France’s Charline Piccon swept into the lead and held on to win by just four seconds. Italy’s Laura Linares was third and Australia's Jessica Crisp was fourth.

In the second race for the Yellow fleet Sensini won by about 20 metres from Marina Alabau who finishing more than a minute ahead of China’s Piena Chen. So Sensini was 1, 1 and it was 2, 4 and 4, 2 for the two Spanish sailors.

In the second Blue fleet race, the Kiwi Kendall won by four boat lengths from Charline Piccon, with Italy’s Laura Linares third. Kendall and Piccon share the Blue fleet lead after the first day.

Provisional Top Ten Standings

RS:X Men - Leading positions after day 1

1st eq. Tom Ashley NZL – 4 points (3, 1)
1st eq. Shahar Zubari ISR – 4 points (1, 3)
1st eq. Ivan Pastor Lafuente ESP – 4 points (2, 2)
4th eq. Piotr Myszka POL – 7 points (2, 5)
4th eq. Nicholas Le Gal FRA – 7 points (4, 3)
4th eq. Jon-Paul Tobin NZL – 7 points (3, 4)
7th eq. Ho Chi Ho HKG – 11 points (9, 2)
7th eq. Nimrod Mashiah ISR – 11points (4, 7)
9th Nick Dempsey GBR – 12 points (5, 7)
10th Nikolas Kaklamanakis GRE – 14 points (1, 13)

RS:X Women - Leading positions after day 1

1st Alessandra Sensini ITA - 2 points (1, 1)
2nd eq.Barbara Kendall NZL – 3 points (2, 1)
2nd eq. Charline Piccon FRA – 3 points (1, 2)
4th eq. Marina Alabau ESP – 4 points (3, 1)
4th eq. Blanca Manchon ESP – 4 points (1, 3)
6th eq. Peina Chen CHN – 6 points (4, 2)
6th eq. Faustine Merret FRA – 6 points (2, 4)
6th eq. Laura Linares ITA – 6 points (3, 3)
9th Mingli Duan CHN – 12 points (5, 7)
10th Lise Vidal FRA – 13 points (7, 6)

For the official RSX World Championship website click here?nid=40814 and results click here?nid=40814

Day 1 RS:X NZ Nationals - Takapuna -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=40814   Click Here to view large photo



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9:21 AM Sun 13 Jan 2008 GMT

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