Leaders hang on during day two of the Princess Sofia Mapfre Trophy

Tuesday April 7th 2009, Author: Corinne Rolland-McKenzie, Location: United Kingdom
The conditions on the second day of racing in Palma didn’t create many changes in the leadership. Light to medium, the sea breeze increased to 14 knots providing the 800 sailors engaged in 10 classes with perfect sailing conditions.

Marina Alabau (ESP) and Paige Railey (USA) maintain a narrow lead in their respective classes, the RS:X and Laser Radial. Two victories bring Blanca Manchon (ESP), leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup after winning Sail Melbourne and placing 3rd in Miami, into second overall in the RS:X class. She is five points from Alabau who performed well again with two top three results. They are closely followed by Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) who climbs to 3rd position overall after placing second twice.

It is the same scenario in the Laser Radial, with Beijing Gold medallist, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) moving from ninth to second overall, two points from Paige Railey (USA). Tunnicliffe, like Manchon, is currently at the top of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, after winning the Rolex Miami OCR regatta and Sail Melbourne.

Robert Stanjek and Markus Roy (GER) conserve a slight advantage over the Star fleet. However, the new Italian team of Diego Negri and Luca Devoti climbs from fifth to second after winning the first race and a second in the last. Athens Bronze medallist Xavier Rohart from France with new crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, are conserving their third position.

It was a long day on the water for the 49ers who had three races scheduled. The wind came in late and didn’t permit a third race to be sailed by the second group, reducing the overall results to five races. Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) increased their lead after scoring two second places. Lauri Lehtinen and Kalle Torcen (FIN) have gained 8 places in the overall ranking to sit in second after a victory in the first race and a third in the second. The Princesa Sofia Mapfre is the first regatta for the Sibello brothers after the Olympic Games: “We took a long rest after the Olympics. We needed to recover from our disillusion caused on the last day.” The Italians finished in 4th place and missed on Olympic medal narrowly after a protest over the last race! “I took time to enjoy the family.” explains Pietro who has a young daughter and a newborn baby boy. “We only started training in Alassio and this is our first event since the Olympic Games. There is some new blood in the fleet, lots of young teams who have been training all winter to get to the highest level.”

Another Italian in the lead is Fabian Heidegger (ITA). Third in Palma last year, he adds another victory to his score and a fourth, to secure a small six points margin over Ricardo Santos. The Brazilian moves up from eight to second after placing third and a bullet in the second. The level in the RS:X is one of the highest among the fleets present in Palma with many Olympic representatives. It is also one of the classes with the best attendance at ISAF World Cup events.

With two victories today, Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) has increased his lead in the Laser class by 18 points over the UK's Nick Thompson. A six points score, in a fleet of 134 sailors is a real performance that could put the Croat in great position for the Absolute trophy given to the class winner with least points this week.

Only four classes have a new leader today. In the Finn, Spanish sailor Rafael Trujillo Villar enjoyed the conditions that led him to a second and a victory. “These were typical Palma conditions, the wind came in late and increased up to 14 knots," he said. "That was perfect for the Finns, especially in the second race when free pumping was allowed. The waves were bigger and it provided great surfing conditions.” Trujillo who has been training most winter in the US was glad for his training partner, Bryan Boyd’s (USA) victory. “The first race was very close but Brian finally passed me on the line.” This was the first race victory for Boyd in the Finn at this level. The American is coached in Palma by Rafa Trujillo’s wife, Caroline Brisebois!

Thierry Schmitter took the lead from team mate Andre Rademaker in the 2.4m, while Helena Lucas (GBR) climbed to second. Schmitter comments on the racing in Palma: “Things are good in Mallorca. We have perfect conditions for sailing and very good temperature so far. It is a great event for training for us. A lot better than sailing in Holland at the moment.

"The competition is not very strong although the English are giving us a ride for our money. But the event has to grow in this class and it will. It is good that the disabled class is part of the World series but I would also love to get more competition from abled sailors. The Spanish 2.4 fleet is impressive with 14 boats. They are more in the development stages. But it is very good to see that they can use each other to improve their performance quickly.”

Helena Lucas added: "“It was a much better day today. I had pretty good speed around the track and was just a bit more on it really. I had my head out of the boat more, got the shifts right and picked the right side – the wind was going left and I was on the left so it was all good.”

The 470 class in both the Men and Women division’s have both changed hands. Austrian team of Sylvia Vogl and Carolina Flatscher are in first overall. They took the gun in the first race and placed third in the second. Ingrid petitjean and Nadège Douroux from France have climbed to second after a second and a first. Their team mates in the men division, Nicolas Charbonnier with new crew Baptiste Meyer are leading the 76 boats fleet with top four results.

Racing will resume on Tuesday with two races scheduled in all classes and three for the 49ers.

Robert Deaves reports on the Finn action:

Wins for Bryan Boyd (USA) and Rafael Trujillo (ESP) on day two in the Finn class at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía MAPFRE in Palma shuffled the leaderboard somewhat as the sailors enjoyed near perfect sailing conditions in the seabreeze off Mallorca.

Boyd, the only non-European Finn sailor competing in Palma won the first race of the day, sailed in 11-13 knots of wind. It was close racing throughout, but Boyd passed race leader Trujillo on the approach to the finish to take a well deserved win. The two were followed over the line by Ed Wright (GBR), Giles Scott (GBR) and Piotr Kula (POL). Overnight leader Tapio Nirkko (FIN) placed a lowly 22nd.

For Boyd it was his first win ever at this level. “I had a clear start at the pin end, which was surprisingly uncrowded. The left side has been working really well the past two days with a bit more pressure and some shift off the headlands. The breeze was coming up, and I was able to lead the left side back across about two thirds of the way up the beat. Rafa and Ed were pushing me quite hard to keep hiking, and I managed to round the top just in front of Rafa. There was a bit of separation to the top three and we had a good battle downwind with Rafa rounding the leeward mark just ahead and Ed and I splitting the gates to share second.”

“All three of us have been training together through the winter, so it was nice to have some mates to motivate each other up the last beat. It was again mostly left up the beat with a few tacks at the top trying to just edge ahead. Rafa squeaked ahead, I was second and Ed third, all bow to stern. The run was quite difficult, as the waves were a bit confused and finding the groove was on again, off again. Rafa and I found some nice waves and pulled out a bit on Ed at the bottom. The last 200 meters at the bottom was quite intense, with Rafa and I crossing paths more than once. At the finish I had Rafa by about a mete efor the win. It felt really nice to notch my first race win at a World Cup event, and move into the top ten overall.”

In race 4, Trujillo went one place better, winning from Nirkko and second placed overnight Andrew Mills (GBR). Scott, the 2008 Junior World Champion rounded off an excellent day with another fourth place to add to his fourth place in race three. Equally consistent was Piotr Kula (POL), who after some poor results yesterday, posted another fifth place to move up to 15th overall.

Trujillo said later, “It was typical seabreeze conditions from Palma. The wind came mid afternoon and went from 8 to 14 knots. It was perfect conditions for the Finn, especially for the second race. The Oscar flag was up and we had great pumping and surfing conditions with big waves!”

After four races, Trujillo has taken the overall lead from Wright, Mills, Scott and Nirkko.

One of the new sailors present in Palma is Deniss Karpak (EST). Having won the Laser bronze medal at the 2007 ISAF World Sailing Championships in Cascais, he finished 24th at the Olympic Regatta in Qingdao last year. He said, “Last season I was thinking about my sailing future. I wanted to sail in the Finn. My results in Qingdao led me to make the right choice. I'm a tall guy, so the Finn is my perfect class. I actually bought the boat in Qingdao.”

“After that I competed in a little Ukrainian regatta with 7 Finns in September, then no sailing until December, when I was training with my friend Gasper Vincec (SLO) and then a lot of training here in Palma. In total I have only done three months of Finn sailing. Not much for the battle with the Finn top sailors such as Rafa...and others.”

Yesterday Karpak was very pleased with his 7th and 5th, even though he lost a protest in race two and was disqualified. “Today I did two normal races at my normal level...twice 18th due to so little Finn experience and the first time in my life I have done free pumping. That was really hard, so I need to work at that. But I like to sail Finn, it's cool”

Top three results (and Brits)

Finn (after 4 races)
1. Rafael Trujillo, ESP (18pts)
2. Ed Wright, GBR (20pts)
3. Andrew Mills, GBR (22pts)
Other GBR
4. Giles Scott (26pts)
11. Mark Andrews (47pts)

470 Men (after 4 races)
1. Nicolas Charbonnier-Baptiste Meyer, FRA (12pts)
2. Steven Lefevre-Steven Krol, NED (15pts)
3. Lucas Calabrese-Juan de la Fuente, ARG (23pts)
Selected GBR
18. Jonny Moss-Ben Muskett (50pts)
21. Luke Patience-Chris Grube (54pts)
23. Ben Saxton-David Kohler (55pts)
29. Nick Rogers-Pom Green (61pts)

470 Women (after 4 races)
1. Sylvia Vogl-Carolina Flatscher, AUT (12pts)
2. Ingrid Petitjean-Nadege Douroux, FRA (17pts)
3. Henriette Koch-Lene Sommer, DEN (27pts)
5. Penny Clark-Saskia Clark, GBR (33pts)
10. Sophie Weguelin-Sophie Ainsworth (51pts)
16. Hannah Mills-Katrina Hughes (62pts)

RS:X Men (after 4 races)
1. Fabian Heidegger, ITA (8pts)
2. Ricardo Santos, BRA (14pts)
3. Piotr Myszka, POL (15pts)
9. Nick Dempsey (26pts)
28. Elliot Carney (61pts)
31. Richard Hamilton (66pts)

RS:X Women (after 4 races)
1. Marina Alabau, ESP (8pts)
2. Blanca Manchon, ESP (13pts)
3. Flavia Tartaglini, ITA (15pts)
Selected GBR
5. Bryony Shaw (24pts)
16. Izzy Hamilton (60pts)
18. Beth Williamson (66pts)

2.4mR (after 4 races)
1. Thierry Schmitter, NED (8pts)
2. Helena Lucas, GBR (11pts)
3. Andre Rademaker, NED (12pts)
4. Megan Pascoe (16pts)

Laser (after 4 races)
1. Tonci Stipanonvic, CRO (6pts)
2. Nick Thompson, GBR (23pts)
3. Giacomo Bottoli, ITA (24pts)

Laser Radial (after 4 races)
1. Paige Railey, USA (25pts)
2. Anna Tunnicliffe, USA (27pts)
3. Tine Mihelic, CRO (32pts)
Selected GBR
15. Charlotte Dobson (82pts)

49er (after 5 races)
1. Pietro Sibello-Gianfranco Sibello, ITA (5pts)
2. John Pink-Rick Peacock, GBR (10pts)
3. Federico Alonso-Arturo Alonso, ESP (11pts)
Selected GBR
6. Dave Evans-Simon Hiscocks (18pts)
7. Andrew Walsh-Simon Marks (21pts)
10. Paul Campbell-James-Mark Asquith (23pts)

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