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Sailing - 13. April 2009.

Girls excell in Palma

Great Britain swept to the top of the medal table as the decisive Medal Races brought the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE to a close and decided the crucial points allocations at the end of the third event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

The Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, third event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup, concluded with intense racing in the Medal Race staging the best top ten sailors in each class. The double-points, non-discardable Medal Race scores have been determinant to decide the events winners and added some valuable points to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings. The winner in each class scores 20 points, the second 19 points and so on until the 20th position who gains a single point.

The Brits finished on top of the medal table with two golds, two silvers and four bronze medals across the Olympic and Paralympic events competing in Palma. The Netherlands also won two golds, with the host nation Spain taking third in the medal tally with a gold and three silvers.

Blanca MANCHON (ESP) has made the most of the Spanish event, winning six races in the Women’s RS:X, including the Medal Race. She added 20 points to her impressive ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings score now at 58 points! MANCHON will be also awarded the “Absolute Winner” prize tonight by HM Queen Sofia of Spain. This traditional prize recognizes the achievements of the winner with the best results across all classes.

“I’ve sailed in the same way everyday, looking for clear wind and trying to stay in the leading group”, says MANCHON.

“I never imagined winning the Absolute Trophy, and I’ve won it! I’ve also won in my class and I’ve extended my lead in the ISAF Sailing World Cup,” she added

World #1 and Rolex Miami OCR winner, Marina ALABAU (ESP) places second overall in front of Flavia TARTAGLINI (ITA).

The racing was intense and very close in the Laser Radial fleet. Early leader Susana ROMERO (ESP) needed to keep Paige RAILEY (USA) within two places to keep the lead. The American raced in the front group while ROMERO could not come back after an average start to the race. A sixth place for RAILEY was enough to give gold to the American, on equal points with ROMERO.

“This gold medal feels amazing because I just started sailing full-time again in January,” said RAILEY. “It is the best feeling to come back and put everything I had into this event.”

These strong results were not enough to threatened Anna TUNNICLIFFE’s (USA) lead in the ISAF World Cup Standings. The World #1 adds another 15 points to her impressive score after winning the two first events.

470  Early leaders Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadège DOUROUX (FRA) sailed their worse race to place 10 and drop to third overall. “This is the result after a succession of small mistakes. A bad start, the wrong side, which leaded to bad decisions! It is a pity because we only had top eight scores in the fleet races! We sailed well in all type of conditions and were very regular. Even if our objective here was to get back into sailing mode after a long break, it is disappointing to miss the title.”

While the French are on equal points with Tara PACHECO and Berta BETANZOS (ESP) who take second overall, the title goes to early leaders Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER from Austria. “We were surprised to win! We knew we had secured a second place but we had not realised that the French were last. We came into the Medal Race with the intention to try to secure a second by keeping a close eye on the Spanish. It was a very competitive regatta.” The European champions add 20 points to their score in the lead of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings.

The 40th edition of the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE concludes with the prestigious prizegiving ceremony in presence of the Spanish Royal family, regatta patron.

The event has been highly publicised this year with free TV footage available daily, and tracking system for the Medal Race for four classes.

The sailors will head tonight for Hyères in the south of France, the fourth event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

ISAF Sailing World Cup

The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:

16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain

Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
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