Saturday, 16 April 2011
Jo Aleh and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher lead the 470 Women going into the medal race in Palma. Image copyright Jesus Renedo/Princesa Sofia/MAPFRE.
by Jodie Bakewell-White
Leading in the Women’s 470 and the Laser Radial, plus a further three lying top five the NZL Sailing Team is poised to secure some metal ware at the ISAF World Cup Regatta in Spain. Only the medal races remain to determine the final results.
Fleet racing has concluded overnight and the remaining final day of the six day regatta will see the top ten placed sailors in each event (except for women’s match racing) sail off in the high pressure medal race which counts for double points. Put simply - you can’t have a bad one and get away with it.
Jo Aleh and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher (pictured) benefit from their rivals’ inconsistency on the penultimate day, and have moved up to the top of the Women’s 470 leaderboard eight points clear of Japan with former leaders Israel, in third. Aleh and Barbarich-Bacher were eighth and then second in racing last night.
Sara Winther goes into the Laser Radial medal race with the upper hand leading the fleet with a five point margin over Van Acker (BEL). In two races sailed last night Winther placed 11th and then added another bullet to her scorecard.
Tom Ashley retains his place in third going into the medal race for the Men’s RS:X after coming off the water with a fourth and an eighth on the penultimate day sailed in similar conditions to day four.
“I had a pretty rough day, but results weren't disastrous,” Ashley says. “In the first race of the day I led until the last downwind, before a combination of bad luck and a few minutes of incompetence (more the latter than the former) left me in 4th.”
“In the second race I got a poor start, then worked my ass off to recover and rounded the top mark in 7th, well in touch with the leaders. Unfortunately I ran out of gas a little bit after that and lost a couple of places on the downwind.”
“So as a result of today's shenanigans, I'm still in 3rd but in a slightly more precarious position than before. Tomorrow's medal race will be a great hit-out. Mathematically I have a chance of winning (16 points behind 1st and 10 behind 2nd) but to do so would be against the run of play to say the least.”
In the Finn Dan Slater is secure in fourth place well clear of fifth and within reach of the podium. “Going into tomorrow’s medal race I won't lose my position in fourth place, I can however move to third but need a few things to go my way for that to happen,” he says.
Four kiwis will start in the Laser medal race – Sam Meech, Andrew Murdoch, Mike Bullot and Andy Maloney all making the top ten cut. Meech and Murdoch are equal on 57 points with an almost insurmountable 18 points behind third place. Bullot is seventh and Maloney is tenth.
In the Women’s Match Racing Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt have provisionally finished fifth overall. The kiwi trio went up against Tunnicliffe and crew of USA in the quarter final losing 3:1, consequently winning two further sail offs to finish fifth.
Racing resumes for the final day of competition, late evening Saturday (New Zealand time) with live updates and race news available from the regatta website.
New Zealand’s standings after day five
Men’s RS:X (66 entries)
3rd Tom Ashley
20th Antonio Cozzolino
Laser Radial (78 entries)
1st Sara Winther
Women’s 470 (49 entries)
1st Jo Aleh and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher
Men’s 470 (84 entries)
18th Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders
Finn (83 entries)
4th Dan Slater
35th Matt Coutts
Women’s RS:X (33 entries)
31st Stephanie Williams
Laser (127 entries)
4th Sam Meech
5th Andrew Murdoch
7th Mike Bullot
10th Andy Maloney
55th Josh Junior
Women’s Match Racing
5th Koru Match: Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt
Coaches Mark Howard, Mark Orams, Nathan Handley, Hamish Wilcox and Dave Robertson are supporting the New Zealand sailors at Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE Regatta.
Yachting New Zealand
Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE