Perfect Start For Xu As World Cup Standings Take Shape

Yachting — By on January 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

The 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings are starting to take shape after Sail Melbourne and US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR, the opening two regattas in the seven series World Cup.

China’s Lijia Xu has had the perfect start to her World Cup campaign winning Laser Radial gold at Sail Melbourne and the Rolex Miami OCR. With back to back victories she comfortably leads the Standings and is six points ahead of Alison Young (GBR) who has finished fourth at both World Cup regattas.

Laser Radial silver medallist at Sail Melbourne, Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) has fallen one place following her 13th place in Miami. 2010-2011 Sailing World Cup Laser Radial Champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is fourth, trailing Xu by 15 points. Canada’s Lee Parkhill leads the Laser Standings on 25 points and is closely followed by Charlie Buckingham (USA) who is second on 24 points.

The Canadian’s fifth in Melbourne and 12th in Miami is enough for him to hold an advantage over Buckingham, who came 11th in Melbourne and seventh in Miami, ahead of the third regatta in Palma, Spain. Beijing 2008 gold medallist, Paul Goodison (GBR) and Laser World Champion, Tom Slingsby (AUS) have a regatta win each and are in third and fourth. Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) and Stu McNay and Graham Biehl (USA) are locking horns in the Men’s 470 with just two points splitting the pair after Miami.

The World #1 Australians hold top spot after they won silver in Melbourne and gold in Miami. Belcher and Page have been dominant in the Men’s 470 over the last year after World Cup glory and World Championship honours. But McNay and Biehl are pushing them hard early on in the World Cup having won Melbourne gold and finishing fourth in Miami to trail the Australians by a narrow margin. Americans Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan lead the Women’s 470 on 34 points with Germany’s Kathrin Kadelbach and Friedrike Belcher second on 29 points and Rolex Miami OCR winners, Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED), in third on 20 points. Sebastian Wang-Hansen (NOR) has had a steady start to the World Cup with a fourth and a third place to his name.

The Norwegian leads the Standings on 35 points, seven ahead of Bob Willis (USA) who has been unable to match Wang-Hansen’s consistency. Nick Dempsey (GBR) comfortably won gold in Miami after winning 10 of 11 races, he is third on 20 points. In the Women’s RS:X, Demita Vega (MEX) and Jessica Crisp (AUS) are tied on 20 points with one regatta win each to their name and America’s Farrah Hall is tied on 19 points with Bryony Shaw (GBR). Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) top the Standings on 20 points.

The Austrians claimed the Miami honours with the Australians taking Sail Melbourne gold before their World Championship win at Perth Rob Coutts (NZL) leads the Finn class on 22 points but Zach Railey (USA) and Olexsiy Borysov (UKR) are just two points behind him in second and third.

There was no Star and Women’s Match Racing competition at Sail Melbourne so sailors got their campaign underway at the Rolex Miami OCR. It was business as usual for Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) who took the Star gold to lead the Standings. And in the Women’s Match Racing Lucy Macgregor (GBR) overcame Olivia Price (AUS) in the final in Miami to take an early lead after one regatta.

In the Paralympic Classes, Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) are tied on 39 points with Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) in the SKUD. Matthew Bugg (AUS) leads the 2.4mR on 31 points and Udo Hessels, Marcel Van de Veen and Mischa Rossen top the Sonar Standings on 20 points. The third ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta, Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE, in Palma, Spain, takes place from 31 March to 7 April.

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