Friday, 15 April 2011
Stephanie Hazard (Koru Match, NZL) and Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) match racing in Palma. Image copyright Jesus Renedo/Princesa Sofia/MAPFRE.
by Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
Despite light and shifty conditions which brought mixed results for most leaders, during the fourth racing in the Princesa Sofia MAPFRE competition, Ben Ainslie in the Finn class and Dorian van Rijsselberge in the RS:X, were able to sail to a perfect day claiming victories in the day's races.
Ben Ainslie (GBR) increases his lead over GilesScott (GBR) in second and places 24 points from Thomas Lebreton (FRA), third overall. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) is eleven points ahead of NickDempsey (GBR) and twenty from Gold Medallist Tom Ashley (NZL) in the RS:X.
The day's tricky conditions distributed highscores to all the favourites and with two more races on Friday, the top ten places for the medal races not a done deal yet.
Defending champions, Manu Dyen andStéphane Christidis (FRA) are keeping the lead in the 49ers despite mixed results which include a victory, 10 and 20. Pietro and GianfrancoSibello (ITA) are gaining a place in second after three top ten places and carry a good lead over third. It could have been a perfect day for theBritish duo of Dylan Fletcher and Alan Sign (GBR). They score a fifth and a second, but a penalty on the start force them to count 19points.
Mixed results also collected for French 470teams who share top placing despite collecting their worse race results today. Nicolas Charbonnier and Jérémie Mion (FRA) are conservingthe lead without winning a race yet. They struggled in the first race and took third in the second. Three points behind, last year regatta winnersPierre Leboucher and Vincent Garros (FRA) read the wind differently with a second in the opening race and a 28th in the second.
“The wind was unstable and tended tofavour the left. The last race was long and difficult. In the end we scored a good race and may be back on the podium so not so bad in the end.”explained Leboucher and Garos.
The Greek team of Panagiotis Mantis and PavlosKagialis are third. Races victories went to Panagiotis Kampouridis / Efstathios Papadopoulos (GRE) and Gideon Kliger / Eran Sela (ISR).
The women in the 470 class suffered the same fate with all top teams collecting high scores.
“It was a very exhausting day.”explains the Israeli team of Cohen and Vered, who narrowly slip into first place overall after a 22 and a 12. “ We usually are in the top ten atthe windward mark. Today was another story, we struggled in these conditions and had to go with the fleet in the middle to try to gain places. We keptgaining and losing so in the end it was quite stressing. Anyway, the other top girls have also collected a bad race so it makes our day look better!The score is very tight so with two races tomorrow before the medal race, it is like we start all over again.”
Jo Aleh and Bianca Barbarich-Barber (NZL) won the first race but followed the trend with a high point second race. They are in second, only two points from the Israeli. Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata(JAP) lost the lead after scoring their worse results so far. But with only five points from first, anything remains possible.
Marina Alabau is enjoying the conditions inPalma, with another good racing day. The Andalucian is conserving her lead in the RS:X fleet, six points from Charline Picon (FRA). They share today'svictories. Third place goes to Italy but Alessandra Sensini has stepped down from the podium, replaced by Laura Linares (ITA).
With Paul Goodison (GBR) collecting top points for breaking the start, Tom Slingsby (AUS) is reclaiming the lead in the Lasers. The Australian has sailed to top 6 results and is going intotomorrow's final races with a good advantage. Nick Thompson is third, one point only from Goodison and five from Slingsby. Best results (2-1) in theGold fleet today were taken by Sam Meech (NZL) who climbs from 10th to 4th.
In the Laser radial, Paige Railey (USA) loses the lead for Evi van Acker (BEL). The American wins the first race but has to carry the 28 points collected in the second race and drops to thirdoverall five points from the new leader. Veronika Fenclova (CZE) climbs to second overall.
Olympic Gold medallists Iain Percy and AndrewSimpson (GBR) are increasing their lead in the Star class after winning a race. New faces are coming to the top with Andrew Campbell /
IanColeman (USA) in second and Diego Negri / Enrico Voltolini (ITA) third.
“There was very little wind out there today, it was pretty hard going. We didn’t feel we got it right today, but somehow we seemed to still have a good day. We were not very lucky out on the course, but we fought back really hard and are pretty pleased to have extended our lead.” says Percy.
The top three remain in place in the 2.4.Thierry Schmitter (NED) and Heiko Kroger (GER) shared today's best results with a first and a second. They are increasing the gap over Megan Pascoe(GBR).
The Women’s Match Racing fleet at the42nd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE has now been reduced to the top eight teams. The morning saw the completion of the Repechage Group to see whowould advance to the Quarter-Finals with the Gold Group. Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) and Stephanie Hazard (NZL) were 1-2 in the group with scores of 4wins and one loss each.
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) continued her unbeaten streak through the Gold Round Robin and won the Gold Group to earnthe chance to sail against the second place team for the Repechage (Hazard) in the Quarter-Finals. The other pairings for the Quarter-Finals areClaire Leroy (FRA) vs. Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA), Silja Lehtinen (FIN) vs. Silke Halbrock (GER), and Lucy Macgregor (GBR) vs. Sally Barkow (USA). Thfirst team in each pair to score 3 points will advance to the Semi-Finals.
After two flights of the Quarter-Finals, Tunnicliffe leadsHazard 2-0; Le Berre and Leroy are tied 1-1; Lehtinen leads Hahlbrock 2-0; and Macgregor and Barkow are tied 1-1.
Tomorrow will see the completion of the Quarter-Finals and the Semi-Finals in the Women Match racing and the final races for the other classes. Last chance to qualify among the top ten for Saturday's medal races.
Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE