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Sail-World.com : Final Medal races for Olympic Classes today

Final Medal races for Olympic Classes today

'Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB, Pippa WILSON, GBR - Yngling - Rolex Miami OCR 2008'    © Rolex / Dan Nerney

The Olympic Classes will continue sailing at the Rolex Miami OCR after the final series races decided the ten competitors who will contest the final Medal races. TeamGBR sailors will compete in the Yngling and Laser Radial events.

Back-to-back racing is planned for the classes, with Laser Radials starting first. With courses shortened for approximately 30-minute races, it should be a quick day, unless the wind causes postponements as it has on-and-off since Monday, when this event began.

The stakes are high, just as they will be in the Olympics, with the single race weighing in for double in the sailors' score lines and not allowed as a discard.

One of the most interesting battles setting up for tomorrow is the one between long-time rivals Paige Railey and Anna Tunnicliffe, the USA's representative to the Olympic Games.

After sailing a first race at noon, the Laser Radial fleet was postponed for hours on the water before starting again. Though it fell short of exciting to watch, the second race had to have been one of the most challenging races of the week for Railey, who showed her true champion's colors when she won.

She combined the victory with a second-place finish in the first race to replace Tunnicliffe at the top of the scoreboard. Railey's and Tunnicliffe's one-two overall positions are exactly opposite of those they posted at the end of the US Olympic Team Trials for sailing. In this case, however, the point spread between them is much larger. Tunnicliffe's finish positions of 8-16 today enabled Railey to soar to a 15-point lead.

In the Laser class, leader Maciej Grabowski (POL) is still in a holding pattern over Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Pa.), who is in second and a member of US SAILING's Elite Youth Development Team. Though this class is devoid of many of the world champions who have attended in the past -- the Rolex Miami OCR this year conflicts with the Laser World Championships in New Zealand -- Rogachenko says it is still good practice and his goal early in the week was to set himself up for Saturday's races. 'I'm definitely going for it for the next Trials,' said Rogachenko.

In the aggressive and champion-studded Star fleet, the race committee's inability to conduct a second race today due to lack of wind proved a disappointment for many who poorly managed the 6-8 knots in the first race.

US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members John Dane and Austin Sperry (Gulfport, Miss.), the USA's representatives to the Games, missed the top ten when they finished 22nd and wound up 14th overall.

The lost race also meant the Britain's Ian Percy and Andrew Simpson missed out on the chance of a top ten place, they finished the series 13th, but a second and a fourth in the final two races showed that they were getting their new boat upto speed.

Norway's Elvind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen moved into first overall on the merit of their second-place finish today, dropping yesterday's leaders, Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria (SUI), down to third, with Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau (FRA) securing the runner-up spot with a sixth today. Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams (NZL) were the 'cut-off' tenth team after finishing 13th today.

In the Yngling Mandy Mulder, Mary Faber and Merel Witteveen (NED) maintained their lead in the Yngling class today after two races in which they place 11th and 12th. A steady performance of 8, 8 from their two races today boosted Britain's Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson into third from their overnight position of sixth in the Yngling class, with the trio looking to protect their bronze medal prospects in the medal race.

Also maintaining was Sally Barkow (USA) with crew Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi. Finishing 13-2 today, the trio held on to yesterday's eighth position overall, not typical of their performances in world-class regattas but still the ticket to continuing in the competition.

Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta Day 5

Laser (23 boats) -- 12 races
1. Maciej Grabowski (POL), 32pts
2. Kyle Rogachenko (USA), 38pts
3. Charlie Buckingham (USA), 41pts

Laser Radial (39 boats) -- 11 races
1. Paige Railey (USA), 27pts
2. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), 42pts
3. Karin Soderstrom (SWE), 56pts
GBR
4. Penny Clark 57pts
6. Charlotte Dobson 79pts
10. Lizzie Vickers 98pts
16. Andrea Brewster 141pts

Star (66 boats) – 8 races
1. Eivind Melleby/Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR), 24pts
2. Xavier Rohart/Pascal Rambeau (FRA), 28pts
3. Flavio Marazzi/Enrico De Maria (SUI), 30pts
GBR
13. Iain Percy/Andrew Simpson 74pts

Yngling (28 boats) -- 12 races
1. Mandy Mulder/Mary Faber/Merel Witteveen (NED), 62pts
2. Ekaterina Skudina,/Diana Krutskikh/Natalia Ivanova (RUS), 66pts
3. Sarah Ayton/Sarah Webb/Pippa Wilson (GBR), 95pts
Other GBR
15. Shirley Robertson/Annie Lush/Lucy Macgregor 146pts

Final leaders

2.4mR (25 boats) -- 12 races
1. Damien Seguin (FRA), 35pts
2. Stellan Berlin (SWE), 50pts
3. Paul Tingley (CAN), 61pts
GBR
4. Helena Lucas 65pts
7. Megan Pascoe 82pts

SKUD-18 (10 boats) -- 11 races
1. Nick Scandone/Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (USA) 14pts
2. Scott Whitman/Julia Dorsett (USA), 21pts
3. John McRoberts/Stacie Louttit (CAN), 33pts
GBR
5. Niki Birrell-Alexandra Rickham 53pts
6. Allan Smith-Jackie Gay 60pts

Sonar (11 boats) -- 10 races
1. Jens Kroker/Tobias Schuetz/Siegmund Mainka (GER), 19pts
2. Bruno Jourden/Herve Larhant/Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA), 33pts
3. Paul McCarthy/Richard Whealey/Paul Ryan (IRL), 41pts
GBR
4. John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Stephen Thomas 42pts




by Event media/Sail-World.com

  

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9:15 AM Sat 2 Feb 2008 GMT






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