Yngling GBR team get best start at Miami Regatta

by RYA 
Great Britain’s sailors saw a solid start to the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta on Monday (28 January), with Yngling World Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson displaying the most consistent scoreline of the Brits on the opening day.

The Beijing-bound trio posted 6,6 from their two races on Monday to see them in second place overall, with China’s team, helmed by Xia Qun Song, taking a surprising early lead in the women’s keelboat fleet.

Double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson – back racing in the Yngling with Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor for the first time since the World Championships last July – had a disappointing regatta opener to finish 22nd out of the 28 boat fleet, but bounced back to cross the line first in the second race and end the day in 12th place overall.

For the British Laser Radial sailors, the Miami event is a key part of their selection trials for the Beijing Games. Penny Clark is the leading Skandia Team GBR sailor at the end of day one in this women’s single-handed event, earning a sixth and a second from her opening two races to sit in third place on the leaderboard.

“A good start today, but there’s still a long way to go and another 10 races to get in yet!” remarked the 32-year-old Royal Naval Officer.

Charlotte Dobson picked up a yellow flag penalty at the beginning of the second race, but still ends the day six points behind Clark in fourth place, while Britain’s other two contenders for the Beijing berth, Lizzie Vickers and Andrea Brewster, are in 13th and 15th places respectively.

The Miami event also forms part of the selection trials for the three Paralympic classes, with the British contenders in the 2.4mR and SKUD making it a close battle on their opening day.

Helena Lucas, who won the 2.4mR Midwinters over the weekend, is in fifth place after three races with Megan Pascoe in sixth, while the two British boats shortlisted for selection in the two-person SKUD class are also just one place apart after their day of racing. Allan Smith and Jackie Gay are in fourth place, with Niki Birrell and Alexandra Rickham just two points behind in fifth, while John Robertson-Hannah Stodel-Stephen Thomas are in fourth place in the three-person Sonar class.

World bronze medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, testing out their brand new Star keelboat out in Biscayne Bay, are in 12th place after day one.

Racing at the Rolex Miami OCR 2007 will runs until 2 February – for results and regatta information visit www.skandiateamgbr.com

Leading Results:

2.4mR (after 3 races)
1. Damien Seguin, FRA (7pts)
2. Stellan Berlin, SWE (11pts)
3. Carl Horrocks, USA (11pts)

5. Helena Lucas (15pts)
6. Megan Pascoe (20pts)

Laser Radial (after 2 races)
1.Anna Tunnicliffe, USA (4pts)
2. Paige Railey, USA (5pts)
3. Penny Clark, GBR (8pts)

Other GBR
4. Charlotte Dobson (14pts)
13. Lizzie Vickers (26pts)
15. Andrea Brewster (29pts)

Yngling (after 2 races)
1. Xia Qun Song-Xiao Ni Li-Yan Li Yu, CHN (10pts)
2. Sarah Ayton-Sarah Webb-Pippa Wilson, GBR (12pts)
3. Sally Barkow-Carrie Howe-Debbie Capozzi, USA (13pts)

Other GBR
11. Shirley Robertson-Annie Lush-Lucy Macgregor (23pts)

Star (after 2 races)
1. Flavio Marazzi-Enrico De Maria, SUI (3pts)
2. Hamish Pepper-Carl Williams, NZL (4pts)
3. Rick Merriman-Brian Sharp, USA (5pts)

12. Iain Percy-Andrew Simpson (18pts)

Sonar (after 2 races)
1. Colin Harrison-Russell Boaden-Graeme Martin, AUS (4pts)
2. Jens Kroker-Tobias Schuetz-Siegmund Mainka, GER (4pts)
3. Bruno Jourdren-Herve Larhant-Nicolas Vimont Vicary, FRA (6pts)

4. John Robertson-Stephen Thomas-Hannah Stodel (8pts)

SKUD (after 2 races)
1. Nick Scandone-Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, USA (2pts)
2. John McRoberts-Stacie Louttit, CAN (5pts)
3. Scott Whitman-Julia Dorsett, USA (8pts)

4. Allan Smith-Jackie Gay (9pts)
5. Niki Birrell-Alexandra Rickham (11pts)