Spain. Princess Sofia Trophy: Dempsey and Shaw saw Skandia Team GBR off to a solid start Print E-mail
Monday, 10 April 2006
Lindsey Bell:

Windsurfing duo Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw saw Skandia Team GBR’s sailors off to a solid start at the Princess Sofia Trophy, the first major European Olympic classes regatta of the 2006 season, which got underway today (Sunday 9 April) in Palma, Spain.

Athens Olympic bronze medallist Dempsey notched up a second and a first place in the first two races of the Neil Pryde RS:X men’s fleet to finish the first day on equal standings with Israeli sailor Shahar Tzuberi, while in the women’s fleet Shaw recorded second and fourth placings in her opening races to top the leaderboard at the end of day one.

Paul Campbell James and Mark Asquith are the highest British sailors currently in the 49er standings, thanks to a fifth and a first place from their opening races, while up and coming development squad sailors Dave Evans and Rick Peacock secured victory in their second race to finish the day in ninth overall. Athens Olympic bronze medallists Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks are currently in 12th with 12 points.

Skandia Team GBR’s Laura Baldwin and Penny Clark got off to a good start in the 76-strong Laser Radial event, ending the day in fifth and sixth places after their opening three races.

An enthusiastic Baldwin explained: “I won the first race which was quite pleasing, and then I had a couple of starting issues in the second two races, with very biased start lines, but I managed to fight my way back to fourth and sixth, so overall I’m very pleased with today.

“It’s the first time we’ve all met back after the winter training, so it’s really interesting to see how everyone’s training has gone and where you stand in the fleet.”

European Champion Paul Goodison sits in seventh position after three races in the Laser Standard class, while Tornado sailors Leigh McMillan and Will Howden are currently in fifth.

Although the opening day greeted most competitors with a shifty 7-11 knot breeze, the Finn and 470 sailors suffered when this died away on their race course, situated under the cliffs at S’Arenal. Ed Wright finished the day in third in the Finn class, but the tricky conditions proved problematic for the women’s 470 sailors, Christina Bassadone-Saskia Clark and Pippa Wilson-Sheena Craig, who ended the day in 20th and 30th respectively.

Racing was abandoned during the second flight of the men’s 470 event – but not before 2012 hopefuls Tom Mallandine and James Clark, sailing in the first flight, posted a third place in their first ever race at senior international level. The duo were bronze medallists at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Korea last July and are making their first foray into senior competition in Palma this week.

“I can’t quite believe it,” said Mallandine afterwards. “It’s our first senior event – I came here expecting to get a thumping and then we pulled off a result like that!”

The Yngling event gets underway tomorrow (Monday) and will feature Skandia Team GBR's Olympic gold medallists Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb alongside new crew Victoria Rawlinson in only their second major regatta together.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 10 April 2006 )
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