Day three of the 43rd Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma ended the qualification stage for the classes sailing in groups. The Lasers, 470 and 49ers will be split on Thursday in Gold and Silver fleets with a Bronze fleet only for Lasers and 49ers.
With racing on schedule, all classes are discarding tonight their worse results creating some changes in the classification. Only Ben Ainslie (GBR) in the Finn, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the Laser radial and Thierry Schmitter (NED) in the 2.4 are conserving the lead after winning races today.
Schmitter took two bullets to comfort his lead over Helena Lucas (GBR) in second and Barend Kol (NED) in third position.
In the Laser radial, race three for the Yellow group was re-sailed following a request for redress lodged yesterday by a large number of sailors against the race committee. Then it was back to normal business with new groups formed for races five and six. Bouwmeester (NED) conserves her lead while Evi van Acker (BEL) discarding a 15 points race, takes the second position overall. Alicia Cebrian (ESP) places third with a consistent series of top five results.
Ben Ainslie secures further his top position, 11 points ahead of Birgmark (SWE) after placing second to Zach Railey (USA) in race five and winning the last. 'It was a very difficult day today – the wind was quite light this morning and changing a lot so it was very hard to read and there were lots of ups and downs in the fleet but for me I had a good day.'
With a race win, Railey moves up to third overall. 'It has been a very difficult event so far, taking decisions on the water have not been easy but I am sticking to my choices and on the second race, even if I missed the shift on the left, I was able to come back and pass twenty boats. I am happy with the way I am going, confidence is the key.'
Jonas Warrer and Soren Hansen (DEN) have taken the lead in the 49er fleet from David Evans and Edward Powys (GBR) now in third place, one point behind John Pink and Rick Peacock (GBR) in second.
The 49ers will be split in three groups tomorrow with the top 25 selected into the Gold fleet.
The 470 men and women have new leaders. The Croatian pair of Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, third at the ISAF Worlds in Perth, have climbed to first after a third and a second place. World Champions Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) are taking second position overall after scoring similar results.
The Croatian are commenting their day: 'Another great day like yesterday, we used similar tactics both yesterday and today, we were very tough and precise on the start, which enabled us to have a good opening in both today's races. The left side of the course was the favourable one in both races so with good speed and good sailing we managed to reach the left side. We were among the leading boats from the first mark. A third and a second place in these difficult conditions is a very good result.'
In the 470 Women fleet, Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance (FRA) improved steadily their position over the week to take the yellow jersey on the third day: 'The conditions are very hard here with lots of good teams, tricky winds and short steep waves. We are bringing special attention to our starts. These are our favoured conditions but the hardest part is still to come: finish the regatta with the pressure to be in first place. So we will keep taking one day at a time and concentrate on our sailing.'
Australian Tom Burton is taking the lead in the Laser standard over Nick Thompson (AUS) and Charley Buckingham (USA). Two races victories was the only condition for Jared West to make it into the Gold fleet. In 45th position the Australian is narrowly making the cut!
In seventh position is Juan Ignacio Maegli from Guatemala. Qualifying his country for the Olympic Games in Perth, Maegli is following the family tradition: his father participated in three consecutive Olympic Games from 1976 to 1984 in the Finn. Maegli explains his good results: 'The regatta has been going pretty well, I've been getting good and consistent results but the conditions have made the races very tricky and tough. I am looking forward to Gold fleet racing tomorrow and hopefully I can keep up the good form.'
Olympic Gold medallists are sharing top places in the Star class with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in first place two points from Brazilian Scheidt/Prada. This is a high point score regatta with all sailors collecting up and down results. Swiss team of Marazzi / De Maria and Loof/ Salminen (SWE) were the fastest across the starting line today with a win and an OCS each.
Racing will resume on Thursday at 10 am for the Women Match-racing and 11 am for the other classes.
The third day at the 43rd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mapfre proved to be a big day for the six teams in Women's Match Racing. In the Repechage – only two would advance to the Quarter Finals, the other four go home. The racing was very close with Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) winning the round with four wins and only one loss. The next three teams were tied with three wins and two losses and only one would advance. After digging deep in the rule book the tie was broken in favor of Claire Leroy (FRA) with Renee Groeneveld (NED) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) losing out. Skudina and Leroy advance to the Quarter Finals and will face the top two from the Gold Group.
In the Gold Group, Lucy Macgregor (GBR) leads the way with an undefeated score of three wins and no losses. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) follow closely with two wins each. The Gold Group will finish their round robin in the morning and the seeding for the Quarter Finals will be complete.
Day Three Results - Repechage Round Robin:
1-Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Siuzeva, Elena Oblova - RUS : 4 wins – 1 loss
2-Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand , Marie Riou - FRA : 3 - 2
3-Renee Groeneveld, Annemiek Bes , Marcelien de Koning - NED : 3 - 2
4-Silja Lehtinen, Silja Kanerva , Mikaela Wulff - FIN : 3 - 2
5-Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt - NZL : 2 - 3
6-Silvia Roca, Eva Gonzalez, Lara Cacabelos - ESP : 0 – 5
Gold Round Robin (after 3 of 5 flights – to be completed Thursday):
Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush , Kate Macgregor - GBR : 3 wins – 0 losses
Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, Debbie Capozzi - USA : 2 - 1
Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega , Sofía Toro - ESP : 2 – 1
Sally Barkow, Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham , Alana O’Reilly - USA : 1 - 2
Mandy Mulder, Annemiek Bekkering , Merel Witteveen - NED : 1 -2
Olivia Price, Nina Curtis , Lucinda Whitty - AUS : 0 – 3
Trofeo Princesa Sofia website
by Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
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7:05 PM Wed 4 Apr 2012GMT
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