Xu leads, Clark challenges for podium place

Race winner, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) is chased by Penny Clark (GBR) in Race 8

Lijia Xu of China continues to lead the Women’s Laser Radial World Championships, being sailed off Takapuna, New Zealand, going into the final day of the regatta tomorrow. Xu is four points clear of Evi Van Acker of Belgium in second with Sarah Steyaert holding on to third place a further nine points behind Van Acker. Penny Clark and Andrea Brewster (GBR) are in 4th and 5th places

After regular postponements over the initial four days, conditions on the Hauraki Gulf today were conducive to an on time 10am start to racing on what was the penultimate day of the 2008 Women’s Laser Radial World Champs. Three races were sailed today with a total of eight races now on the board, and just one day of competition remains.

Racing now in gold and silver fleets, sailors today encountered a predominantly overcast sky and a north easterly breeze which ranged between 6 and 10 knots. Sailors had challenging chop to contend with which made things interesting.

'Race one we had 8-10 knots, less in the second race, like 6-8 knots, and then a little more again, but it was really hard with the waves,' said Evi Van Acker after racing. 'It was kind of like China, so that was good practice.' 'You couldn’t really see where the wind was coming from because the waves were so big. It was really difficult and everyone had mixed results, and I think that’s why I’m still in second place.'

Chinese sensation Lijia Xu, who had the overnight lead, won the first race of the day in the gold fleet. Eighth around the first mark Xu had to battle back to cross the line 12 seconds ahead of Charlotte Dobson GBR.

Race seven was Xu’s worst in the regatta to date apart from her DSQ in race two; she finished 30th which effectively wiped her large leading margin putting Evi Van Acker of Belgium back within striking distance of the lead. Van Acker managed to further diminish Xu’s lead by finishing ahead of her in race eight, the last race of the day. Xu was 6th while Van Acker was 4th narrowing the gap to four points at the conclusion of the penultimate day.

Sarah Steyaert of France retains third place overall despite a mixed day on the water. She recorded a 24th, a 20th and a 3rd today and now has a points total of 58, nine points back from Van Acker. Behind her, Penny Clark GBR is her closed rival who would need to close an eleven point gap to Steyaert to make it onto the podium.

Olympic Qualification

With just six Olympic berths still available and 23 nations here in Auckland who have not yet qualified the battle for national Olympic qualification is on. The pecking order after today of those in the hunt for Olympic qualification is as follows… Greece, Spain, Russia, Ireland, Croatia and Czechoslovakia with Paraguay further down the list.

Women’s Laser Radial World Championship 2008

Results Radial - Gold 
Scores take into account 1 = ;discard=20 
NoSail NumberNameScores12345678
1CHN 193008Xu Lijia453(dsq)1131306
2BEL 193004Van Acker Evi49127214(dnf)194
3FRA 193009Steyaert Sarah586122-3624203
4GBR 193011Clark Penny691071813-391722
5GBR 193010Brewster Andrea76912-2817104159
6AUS 193003Blanck Sarah78148-421182818
7NED 193015Bouwmeester Marit8447162213166-35
8POL 193005Szotynska Katarzyna8810513420729-36
9LTU 193019Volungeviciute Gintare925(dnf)232843920
10USA 193002Tunnicliffe Anna936(ocs)133135341
11CHN 193042Shen Xiaoying101181415-15226215
12FIN 193007Tenkanen Tuula102-31295626121014
13USA 193020Railey Paige10332(dnf)7834445
14NZL 193001Aleh Jo1087654322817-52
15SWE 193115Soderstrom Karin10824102938-431312
16GBR 193006Dobson Charlotte111534819(dnf)2268
17NZL 193014Winther Sara11726192068-402513
18GBR 193013Vickers Lizzie118861516319-5133
19GBR 193018Baldwin Laura1202291323-44311111
20SUI 193113Brugger Nathalie1217514-505193140
21SIN 193108Yin Elizabeth124413310519-44115
22ESP 193052Cebrian Alicia124182361618-232716
23GRE 193067Mantzaraki Eftychia12411817281715-4628
24ESP 193055Romero Steensma Susana125372725112212-57
25POL 193103Gladysz Zuzanna12514284-322818330
26FIN 193058Multala Sari13421-37363232526
27RUS 193105Chernova Anastasia134172018871054-55
28GRE 193070Kravarioti Virginia1362082029-38133610
29DEN 193050Schutt Maiken1391610221825-531434
30FRA 193017de Turckheim Sophie1424(ocs)9528502422
31IRL 193074Peelo Ciara146-3431162512211625
32BEL 193025Maes Laura14743-453233352317
33CAN 193038Ross Lisa148371431420-552238
34CRO 193016Mihelic Tina150301182015-393927
35CRO 193045Petronijevic Mateja16311(ocs)32310114353
36CZE 193046Fenclova Veronika163191733241237-4721
37ITA 193080Nevierov Larissa165242549211-52837
38FRA 193062Brain Solenne165221341714-474532
39NOR 193092Samdal Elin16515(ocs)4373742723
40CAN 193037Rasa Keamia16523241913633-5247
41SIN 193109Lo Manyi1653824291916-45327
42CHN 193041Zhu Jiangyan16612201137541418-56
43DEN 193047Lindberg Alberte16925912-4421383331
44IRL 193075Hanna Debbie17027181182927(dnf)50
45BRA 193027Kostiw Adrina171211630342229-5019
46PAR 193101Cerutti Bogado Florencia1731611141041-564041
47ISR 193076Endelman Nufar183154-56930205649
48CAN 193035Bertold Isabella187291226123430-4944
49LTU 193089Mileviciute Ausra19655431214736(dnf)29
50NZL 193099Powrie Miranda19612272440302637-43
51CHN 193040Shen Huanqi19617212726-43254139
52RUS 193106Kirilyuk Alisa201393134272-544424
53GRE 193069Vlachou Maria2014037253941-5346
54ITA 193078Clapcich Francesca2012615331535-573542
55PER 193102Schmidt Paloma2163928631195142-54
56TUR 193117Unver Ayda218282226182746-5551
57DEN 193049Hall Cathrine2263626472011-483848
58NZL 193096Hume-Merry Cushla2428323753154948-58
Scoring penalties are as follows: =
CHN 193042 Shen Xiaoying Race 4 15, 15 -->33 scores, = arb
ESP 193052 Cebrian Alicia Race 6 23, 23 -->41 scores, 20= arb