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The Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia – Day 4 - RS:X windsurfing: Tom Ashley slips to 3rd, Kate Ellingham consistent

NZL Sailing Team Tom Ashley (RS:X), Andrew Murdoch (Laser) and Michael Bullot (Laser) are all placed in the top five of their class with just two days to go at Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2010 Regatta on now in Palma de Majorca, Spain. Ashley lies in third position in the men’s board sailing, while over in the Laser Murdoch has jumped back up to fourth place, with Bullot just behind in fifth.

Racing got underway on time today with 10-15 knot north westerly’s that continued through until around 4pm in Palma when the wind dropped away on all race courses resulting in postponements until a new lighter breeze kicked in from the south west.

There’s been a lead change in the RS:X after day four of racing with Greece’s Kokkalanis coming back strongly with a second and third in racing today to take the top spot which had been shared by Ashley and Zubari of Israel at the start of the day. Both Zubari and Ashley had their poorest race result of the series today, resulting in a slip back to second and third overall respectively.

Kokkalanis has 29 points, six points clear of Zubari on 35, with New Zealand’s Ashley one point further back on 36. A ten point margin separates third and fourth place.

After no racing on day three the other fleets returned to the water today with Andrew Murdoch (pictured) making a big move in the Laser fleet. Now able to discard his DNF result from day two Murdoch climbs back up the leader-board from 31st place into fourth. In today’s racing he was fourth and then 18th.

Michael Bullot retains his place in the top five of the Laser fleet who are now racing in gold fleet for finals to decide a top ten to sail off for the medals. Bullot bounced back from a black flag in the first race of the day to finish fourth in the second race and keep his place in fifth in the overall standings.

Josh Junior was the other big mover for New Zealand in the Laser fleet. With a ninth and an 11th in racing today Junior discards his worst score and moves up into 13th position after starting the day in 23nd. Andy Maloney is lying 15th.

Over in the Women’s 470 event Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie had a great day on the race course with two third places. Lying seventh in the standings the points are tight above them and just four points separates the kiwi girls from third place at this stage.

Now sailing in gold fleet the New Zealand’s Men’s 470 pairing of Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders are lying 16th.

Elsewhere Sara Winther is in 26th in the Laser Radials, and Kate Ellingham continues to sail with great consistency and holds 14th place in the Women’s board sailing. Matt Coutts is in 26th place in the Finn class.

Racing continues tomorrow. The schedule allows for six days of racing in total in the Olympic and Paralympic classes with the winners set to be decided on April 2nd in Spain. This is the third of seven events in the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup series after Melbourne and Miami.

The New Zealand team is supported by coaches Ian Neely, Mark Howard, Nathan Handley, Jez Fanstone and David Robertson.

See the regatta website for news, history, entry lists, and results.

New Zealand’s Current Standings

Laser (131 entries)
Andrew Murdoch – 4th (4, 8, DNF, 2, 4, 18)
Mike Bullot – 5th (12, 4, 1, 16, BFD, 4)
Josh Junior – 13th (31, 5, 3, 42, 9, 11)
Andy Maloney – 15th (16, 2, 15, 20, 7, 38)
Sam Meech – 27th (35, 19, 14, 3, 21, 39)
Max Andrews – 47th (20, 33, 10, 14, 52, 46)

Laser Radial (70 entries)
Sara Winther – 26th (17, BFD, 33, 13, 34)

470 Double-handed dinghy
Women’s – 41 entries
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie – 6th (1, 13, 29, OCS, 2, 3, 3)
Men’s - 93 entries
Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders – 16th (4, 13, 7, 32, 18)

Men’s – 72 entries
Tom Ashley – 3rd (3, 6, 2, 8, 5, 5, 13)
Antonio Cozzolino – 40th (31, 45, 48, 36, 41, 18, 52, DNF)
Women’s – 41 entries
Kate Ellingham – 14th (15, 13, 12, 11, 20, 9, 18, 14)
Jazmine Lynch – 28th (30, OCS, 30, 23, 22, 17, 29, 32)

Finn (54 entries)
Matt Coutts – 26th (22, 42, 24, 29, 20)

New Zealand’s Coaching Team:
Ian Neely
Mark Howard
Nathan Handley
Jez Fanstone
David Robertson

For more information contact:
Jodie Bakewell-White
Yachting New Zealand
Tel. 021 709 065

About this Regatta:

The numbers for 2010:
680 boats
1,000 sailors
40 nations

The Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia – MAPFRE is held in Majorca, in the renowned bay of Palma, every year around Easter and will celebrate its 41st anniversary in 2010. It is the third of seven events in the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

The Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia – MAPFRE is the starting point of the European sailing season every year. The ten Olympic sailing events are joined by the Dragon fleet as invited class.

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