Light start to the Princess Sofia

While excessive breeze is forecast for Tuesday on the Bay of Palma

Sunday March 28th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

Light, unstable winds marked the opening day of Olympic classes competition at the 41 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mapfre, the third event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Conditions were initially ideal across the Bay of Palma but started to lighten as the afternoon wore on, leaving many classes unable to complete their race schedules. The Finns had no race today.

In the Skandia Team GBR squad, Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin posted three straight wins in the Elliot 6m women’s match racing event, beating the Danish team skippered by Dorte Jensen, Slovenia’s Vesna Dekleva and Ekaterina Kutovaya’s Russian crew. They are now joint leader in their group alongside the US' Sally Barkow and France's Julie Bossard (ranked no15 and no7 in the world respectively). MacGregor will face Barkow and Bossard tomorrow.

The 49er fleet completed just two of their three planned races. France's Emmanuel Dyen and Stéphane Christidis have taken an early lead, ahead of thrrr British teams -Beijing 49er representatives Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, followed by the young duo Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign and then Chris Draper and Pete Greenhalgh. John Pink and Rick Peacock were black flagged in the first race, but finished fourth in the second.

Just one race was held in the 470 Men, where the two fleets are now being led by Beijing Gold medallist Malcolm Page and his new helm Matt Belcher and the US team's Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl. However two got off in the Women's fleet where Italy's Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol are tied for the lead with Spain's Marina Gallego Duran and Julia Rita Roman, while current World Champions Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout from the Netherlands are third. Development squad crews Sophie Weguelin-Sophie Ainsworth and Ben Saxton-David Kohler are the top Skandia Team GBR 470 boats in 22nd and 23rd spots in their respective fleets.

In the Laser's two grops, two races were held with Croatian's Tonci Stipanovic taking an early lead, with Britain's Nick Thompon holding fifth having posted a win in his fleet's second race.

Just one race was held in the Radial, where the Czech Republic's Marketa Audyova took the bullet, but Spanish teams are gunning hard with five boats in the top 15.  Charlotte Dobson was the top Skandia Team GBR finisher in 20th.

In the rather thin Star fleet, Switzerland's Flavio Marazzi and Enrico de Maria are leading after a mass OCS in the second race nailed top contenders such as former World Champions Freddie Loof/Johan Tillander and France's Xavier Robart/Pierre Alexis Ponsot.

Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw saw a solid start to her regatta, poised in fourth place in the women’s RS:X windsurfing event, where Italy's Laura Linares leads. In the Men, Israel's Shahar Zubari is first while World Champion Nick Dempsey, recovering from illness, is in 26th place overall after a frustrating opening day

In the 2.4mR Paralympic class Helena Lucas is in second overall with Megan Pascoe in fifth.

With forecasts indicating excessive breeze across Palma Bay on Tuesday, both sailors and race organisers will be looking to make to the most of the improved wind conditions to keep up with the schedule when racing resumes on Monday.

Full results here


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