Racing in all classes didn’t bring much change to the results in the 39th Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Mallorca. The light conditions that have been prevailing since the start of the event were present again today. The strong breeze expected for tomorrow could finally see some upsets in the rankings and some different faces moving into the top ten and a last chance to qualify for the medal race.
by Corinne McKenzie
Team Skandia GBR sailors, Ben Ainslie and Paul Goodison are increasing their lead in the Finn and Laser classes. They both have a proven record in Palma.
Ben Ainslie victory in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia dates from 2004 while Paul Goodison has collected three second places and two titles in 2001 and 2002. They are both on the right path to add another 'Trofeo' to their impressive achievements. It is then not surprising that they both admit enjoying racing in Palma.
'I love the conditions we had here these last days. My goal is to win.'; declares Goodison.
Ainslie is using this regatta to further his equipment and technical training with the British team. 'Sailing in Palma is both enjoyable and also very useful for my training as the conditions are quite similar with the Olympic venue in China.'
Both sailors have excelled in the last two Olympic test events in Qingdao and their current results in the bay of Palma is an extra proof that they have already mastered these tricky conditions. Ainslie is increasing his lead to 28 points from second placed Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO).
The top four places are unchanged in the Laser, 49er and 470 Men. Gabrio Zandona and Andrea Trani (ITA) have dominated the fleet with a third in the first race today and a third victory in the second.
Surely not a day to remember for Sydney Bronze medallists, Javier Conte and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) who lose two places after collecting 49 points over two races.
The top three keep their standing in the Laser Radial. Petra Niemann concedes a victory to Ascension Togores (ESP) who climbs to fourth overall.
In the RS:X men division, Nick Dempsey who has scored higher places today is being threatened by Italian Fabian Heidegger now on equal point with the World number three. Shahar Zubari (ISR) is only one point behind in third position.
In the Tornado class, the tight is continuing between Xavier Revil/Christophe Espagnon (FRA) and Polgar/Spalteholz (GER).
The rankings in the RS:X and 470 Women, and Yngling have been claimed back by early leaders. Alessandra Sensini (ITA) enjoys a seven points lead over Marina Alabau (ESP). Athens Gold medallist Faustine Merret (FRA) is progressing to third position after a fourth h place and her first victory in the event. She is on equal points with the Spanish.
The Russian teams have once again swapped their place in the overall ranking in the Yngling regatta. Disqualifications at the start have upset the classification. American boat helmed by Sally Barkow is dropping from third to fifth overall. The second race of the day has been cancelled by lack of wind and three races will be programmed for the last day of the finals.
Giulia Conti and Giovanni Micol (ITA) have recovered from an average day on Tuesday (broken tiller before the start) to claim back the top of the rankings. The World number one are just one point from Natalia Via Dufresne and Laia Tutzo in second place. Today’s best improvers are the British Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark who gain five places to fifth overall and Camille Lecointre and Gwendolyn Lemaitre from France who reached the ninth position after brilliantly winning both races. A second disqualification sent the German team of Stefanie Rothweiler and Vivien Kussatz from second to 11th. While the Germans are only a point away from the Medal Race top ten target, their chance for a podium is jeopardised.
Tomorrow’s final races will decide on the Medal Race contenders.
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7:52 PM Wed 19 Mar 2008 GMT
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