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British team dominating at Princesa Sofiie event

'39th Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2008'    Nico Martinez ©

Spanish sailors have taken the lead in four classes on day one, while the British team is dominating three classes at the 39th Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE. Nick Dempsey leads the boards - Ben Ainslie the Finns and Paul Goodison is leading the 107 Lasers with two second places in the qualifying races, which started on schedule with a light south-westerly breeze and sunshine.

Ben Ainslie scored consistent results with two third places to lead the Finn class, while most of the fleet collected up and down results in shifty breeze and big waves out side the bay of Palma. Junior sailor Piotr Kula (POL) won the first race to add precious points to his first Olympic trials. He is placed 8th overall. Gasper Vincec (SLO) took the second race to place 3rd overall behind American Zach Railey.

Paul Goodison (GBR) is leading the 107 Lasers with two second places in the qualifying races. Ranked second in the world, Paul Goodison is in top form and has set the pace for his close opponents. Athens Silver medalist, Andreas Geritzer is in second position, 2 points behind the Briton.

Last but not least, Nick Dempsey had a perfect day with 2 bullets; he takes command in the 99 board’s fleet, two points from Casper Bouman. Today’s light conditions don’t usually suit the young Dutch who has created a surprise with two second places. The Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, will be used by Dutch Olympic selectors in case of a tie between Bouman and rival Dorian Rijsselberghe, at the end of their selection series.

39th Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2008 -  Nico Martinez ©?nid=42699  

Double Olympic medalist Natalia Via Dufresne sailing with Laia Tutzo in the 470 have had a near perfect day with a second place in the first race and a victory in the second, the Catalan team are on the right path to gain selection for the Olympic Games. They have a 3 points lead over World Number 1, Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol. The Italian pair has placed second at the World Championship.

The day’s first race went to triple world champion Dutch sailors Marcelien de Koening and Mobke Berkhout who are now on 5th position. The Dutch will be defending their title with a new boat designed by DSM they have been testing for the last two years.

It is not surprising to see Marina Alabau (ESP) sharing the top score with Alessandra Sensini (ITA). At the age of 22 the young Spanish girl has already reached the summit of the ISAF World ranking in the new Olympic board, the RS:X and has a few title under her belt including the 2007 European Championship. Current World champion, the Italian has the benefit of the experience and has collected 3 Olympic Medals along with a few European and World titles. They both won a race and placed second to secure a 9 point early lead over Olga Maslivets from Ukraine.

Two bullets in the qualifying races are placing young Spanish 470 team formed by Onan Barreiros and Aaron Sarmiento in the lead of the regatta and comfort their lead in the national selection for Qingdao. Second overall are 2007 ISAF worlds vice champion the Coster brothers from Holland.

Tight results in the 49er class with the top 6 teams within 3 points. Here again, the Spanish have made no concession and claim the 1st place. However, it is not as expected the Gold medalists Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, placed 12th overall, who have scored the best results today but the runner up Federico and Arturo Alonso. On equal scores, the British team of Paul Campbell-James and Mark Asquith and the Peckolt brothers (GER) are sharing the second position overall.

The German are leading the Tornado and Laser radial fleets

Pietra Niemann collected two bullets today. Already qualified for Qingdao, she has decided to give the World’s in Takapuna a miss to concentrate on her Olympic preparation. She is the hot favorite to take the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, and by the same occasion place top 12 as requested by her National Olympic Committee. Johannes Polgar and Florian Spalteholz (GER) have collected consistent results (2-2) in a small but talented field of Tornados. Today’s races went to Gold medalist Roman Hagara and Hans-Pieter Steinacher (AUT) and French team of Xavier Revil and Christophe Espagnon.

The Russian team of Basalkina/Ukrainsteva/Maximova has opened the score in the Yngling competition and taken the lead in front of current World champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson (GBR) and German crew led by Ulrike Schuemann.

Sailing will resume on Monday with an early start for the 49er at 11am while the other classes are scheduled at 12pm. Similar weather conditions are expected on the bay of Palma.

Full results at http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/portada.php?idiomaz=3




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9:00 AM Mon 17 Mar 2008 GMT






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