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Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE day3 - Ashley shares lead in windsurfing RS:X, Ellingham drops back.

After two days of light winds the bay of Palma turned on winds gusting up to 30 knots on day three of Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE 2010 Regatta in Palma de Majorca, Spain. Racing was postponed for all fleets until a start was possible mid afternoon for the RS:X Men and Women, while the single-handed and double-handed dinghies didn’t race at all today.

Tom Ashley has moved up to share the lead in the Men’s RS:X after lying third at the outset of day three; his talent for performing in all conditions working to his benefit once again. Ashley, who is back on the European circuit this year after a break from competition in 2009, placed fifth in both races sailed in today’s strong breeze.

Overnight leader Shahar Zubari still sits at the top of the table with Ashley, despite his poorest race results yet in today’s two races. The Israeli sailor was ninth and then 12th and both he and Ashley are now tied on 21 points. Kokkalanis from Greece is only three points adrift in third position in a close fought battle at the top of the table.

Dorian Van Rijsselberghe (NED) was the stand out in the fleet today with two wins, which sees him climb up to fourth place.

With six races now sailed the RS:X fleets are at the mid way point in the regatta, now discarding their worst race score and with three days of racing remaining until the medals are decided.

Over in the Women’s fleet, New Zealand’s Kate Elllingham slipped out of the top ten back to 13th place overall at this half way stage in the regatta. She was 20th and then fifth in racing today.

The Laser standard and 470 fleets will now split into gold and silver for racing tomorrow with all the New Zealand sailors well inside the top half cut.

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)
Mike Bullot – 5th (12, 4, 1, 16)
Andy Maloney – 14th (16, 2, 15, 20)
Sam Meech – 24th (35, 19, 14, 3)
Max Andrews – 28th (20, 33, 10, 14)
Andrew Murdoch – 31st (4, 8, DNF, 2)
Josh Junior – 32nd (31, 5, 3, 42)

Laser Radial (70 entries)
Sara Winther – 38th (17, BFD, 33)

470 Double-handed dinghy
Women’s – 41 entries
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie – 7th (1, 13, 29, 2)
Men’s - 93 entries
Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders – 23rd (4, 13, 7, 32)

Men’s – 72 entries
Tom Ashley – 2nd (3, 6, 2, 8, 5, 5)
Antonio Cozzolino – 36th (31, 45, 48, 36, 41, 18)
Women’s – 41 entries
Kate Ellingham – 13th (15, 13, 12, 11, 20, 5)
Jazmine Lynch – 27th (30, OCS, 30, 23, 22, 12)

Finn (54 entries)
Matt Coutts – 32nd (22, 42)

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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