Danes still ahead

A better day for Shirley Robertson's team at the Yngling Women's World Championship in Santander

Wednesday May 12th 2004, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected
Santander kicked up some awkward seas and 10 knot northwesterlies for
races 5 and 6 of the Yngling Womens World Championship.

A sharp 1m northerly swell combined with the waves created by the NW wind made for some tricky upwind conditions and some downwind surfing prospects for the boats racing today.

The first start of the day saw the 37 boat fleet get underway first time. Up the first beat it was the Spanish boat of Eva Rios and the Ukrainian boat of Ruslana Taran who led the fleet to the top mark. These two were chased by the Russian boat of Anna Balsakina and current ISAF World No.1, Dorte Jensen, from Denmark.

Again the first run saw many place changes and it was The Netherland's Annalies Thies who managed to sail around some of the leading pack to round in fourth place, just behind the leading trio of Taran, Balsakina and Rios.

On the second windward leg, the fleet were divided in tactics with a 50/50 split in sides of the course. However it was again Taran who led around the top mark with Balsakina still chasing hard. By this time, these two boats had opened up a 20 boat length lead on the third placed boat of Thies.

Shirley Robertson's team rounded in fourth place, having picked up two places on the beat, and she was followed by Rios who had not been able to maintain her lead from the first beat.

It was only at the finish that Taran found out that she had been judged OCS at the start and therefore handed the race win to Balsakina. Thies and Robertson rounded out the top three with Rios coming in fourth.

For the second race of the day, the fleet were a little too anxious to start with two general recalls being ordered before finally getting away on the third attempt. This time it was the Norwegian boat of Carolina Toll and Anna Balsakina who were judged to be OCS.

Straight from the start it was Taran, American Carol Cronin and Sharon Ferris' leading Kiwi team who tacked immediately on to port and headed for the right hand side of the course, the rest of the fleet choosing to head inshore. It was these three boats that had the best first beat and it was the American who rounded first followed by Taran and Italian Giulia Conti, who made the best of the left hand side of the course with Ferris rounding in fourth place.

The leading three would stay the same for the run but Dorte Jensen who was moving quickly up the fleet and by the second top mark she was in fourth place behind Cronin, Taran and Conti. As the boats surfed towards the finish line, Jensen managed to sneak past both Taran and Conti into second place with Cronin taking the race win.

Overall it is still the Dutch who lead the scoreboard but Annalies Thies has now taken over the top position from Janneke Hin, who with a 29 and 18, have dropped down into third. With six races sailed the discard comes into effect and this allows Dorte Jensen to drop her OCS from yesterday and move onto equal points with Thies to sit in second place overall. Trine Palludan's team from Denmark have dropped down into fourth from her second overall place of yesterday.

Russia also had a good day today with both Anna Balsakina moving up into seventh place and Ekaterina Skudina moving into fifth. Sharon Ferri's team separates the two in sixth position.

With a third and a fifth place Shirley Robertson and team mates Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb have jump twelve places up the score board to twelfth place overall.

At present Holland, Russia and Denmark each having two teams in the top ten and it should be considered that the championship also forms part of their national
selection process. For some selection panels, this event is going to cause some large headaches in choosing who to send!

For the nations looking to qualify it is still Holland, New Zealand, Canada and Norway who look most likely to make it to Athens.

Tomorrow is a lay day with racing continuing on Friday and Saturday. Tonight the crews will be treated to a Gala Dinner at the Palacio de la Magdalena, a past home to the King of Spain.

For full results - click here

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