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Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2010 Regatta - Ashley in RS:X windsurfing medal race

Four NZL Sailing Team representatives have made the top ten cut and will sail in tomorrow’s medal races at Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2010 Regatta now reaching it’s conclusion in Palma de Majorca, Spain.

All four who have qualified for the double points medal race sail off are lying in the top five of their fleet.

They include Tom Ashley in the Men’s RS:X, still in third after no racing in the fleet today, and 470 Women’s duo Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie who have come up to 4th position at the end of the penultimate day.

The remaining two are kiwi Laser sailors Michael Bullot, now in third place overall, and team-mate Andrew Murdoch who retains his fifth position after racing today.

The wind was back in the North West and sailing took place in breeze of around 8-10 knots which eased and then shifted mid afternoon causing problems for organisers and postponements, then some cancellations.

The RS:X sailors did not race at all today, so New Zealand’s reigning Olympic champion goes into tomorrow’s medal race seven points adrift of Kokkalanis from Greece, and one point off Zubari of Israel. All three have been in contention from the start of the regatta, with solid consistent results from the outset five days ago.

Tomorrow’s medal race, which cannot be discarded and is worth double points, will decide the medals for 2010. This is Ashley’s first major international following a break from competition after the 2008 Games.

Over in the Laser class points are relatively tight amongst the top six going into tomorrow’s medal race, although leader, Javier Hernandez of Spain has a jump on the pack on 44 points total.

Michael Bullot is in third place after returning a 14th and a fourth in racing today, and has a pointscore of 55.

Andrew Murdoch lies in fifth place overall with 58 points after placing ninth, then 15th in racing today.

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie have improved their standing in the Women’s 470 fleet as the regatta has progressed and at the conclusion of the penultimate day they are in fourth, with a shot at the podium in tomorrow’s medal race.

The battle for gold and silver will be fought between Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux of France, and Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol of Italy who each have a share in a lead which appears insurmountable for the trailing teams. By appearing for tomorrow’s medal race these sailors are assured of a podium finish.

New Zealanders Aleh and Powrie are five points off third place, and a massive 30 points adrift of the leaders.

For the other New Zealand sailors the regatta has reached its conclusion and they will now cheer on those who have reached the medal race and pack up equipment for departure.

Just the medal races will be sailed 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)
Mike Bullot – 3rd (12, 4, 1, 16, BFD, 4, 14, 4)
Andrew Murdoch – 5th (4, 8, DNF, 2, 4, 16, 9, 15)
Andy Maloney – 22nd (16, 2, 15, 20, 7, 42, DNC, 34)
Josh Junior – 30th (31, 5, 3, 42, 9, 11, DNF, DNC)
Sam Meech – 34th (35, 19, 14, 3, 21, 43, DNC, 39)
Max Andrews – 50th (20, 33, 10, 14, 52, 49, 47, 30)

Laser Radial (70 entries)
Sara Winther – 22nd (17, BFD, 33, 13, 35, 14, 23)

470 Double-handed dinghy
Women’s – 41 entries
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie – 4th (1, 13, 29, 2, OCS, 3, 3, 5)
Men’s - 93 entries
Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders – 19th (4, 13, 7, 32, 18, 30, 17)

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 – 28th (22, 42, 24, 29, 20, 21, 35)

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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