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DEMPSEY DIGS DEEP IN PALMA

 


Dempsey digs deep to keep Palma prize in sight



Nick Dempsey pushed through the pain barrier to post another faultless scoreline on Tuesday (18 March) at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Majorca.



In spite of needing treatment for a back strain before taking to the water on this third day of competition, the Athens bronze medallist managed to pick up two straight race wins in the RS:X men’s division in Palma Bay, crossing the finish line in the first of the day’s two races with a 1m30 lead over second-placed Italian Fabian Heidegger.



“I managed to gain some good distance in the first race, which meant that I could relax a bit and not push myself too much,” explained the 27-year-old, whose scoreline now reads four race wins from the six races of the series so far.



“I managed to hang in there, but it’s feeling pretty uncomfortable at the moment.”



Dempsey has a two point buffer at the top of the RS:X men’s table, with local Spanish hero Ivan Pastor La Fuente his nearest rival and Israel’s Shahar Zubari in third.


Bryony Shaw is still in medal contention in the women’s RS:X windsurfing fleet, posting results of 1,4 from her two races today.   The 2007 Pre-Olympic Champion is in third place currently, with Spain’s Marina Alabau and Italy’s Alessandra Sensini pulling ahead in first and second places.



Ben Ainslie maintains a sizeable lead at the top of the Finn results table, although Skandia Team GBR development squad sailor Mark Andrews got the better of his teammate in the first of the fleet’s races of the day.  The 22-year-old Scot crossed third to Ainslie’s fourth when racing finally got underway for the heavyweight dinghy class, but the five-time World Champion fought back to clinch the win in the second race of the day.  Ainslie is now 14 points ahead of the second-placed Croatian Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic.



British sailors still occupy to the top two spots in the men’s single-handed Laser class – Paul Goodison and Nick Thompson posted scorelines of 4,2 and 2,4 respectively from their two races today.  The three-time European Champion Goodison leads Thompson by two points, with Swede Rasmus Myrgren six points behind Thompson in third.



Racing in the Yngling women’s keelboat class remains tight, with World Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson in equal third place on points with the American crew of Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi.  Team Mirabaud picked up results of 1,7 from their two races on Tuesday, and Olympic gold medallist Ayton is confident that their training has stood them in good stead for a podium finish in Palma this week.



“We’ve spent quite a lot of time working on our downwind speed and have made big improvements there,” Ayton explained.



“There’s an Olympic sized fleet here, so it means different tactics and getting used to having a bit more space than at a bigger event such as the Worlds. But the team are sailing well together – every day we’re learning and that’s where we need to be at this stage of the cycle.”



In the 49er fleet, John Pink and Simon Hiscocks were punished for premature start in their first race of the day before recovering with 2,5 from the second two races to push them up to eighth overall.  In the 470 women’s event, the RYA’s Beijing nominees Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark had a better day with 6,9 to put them in tenth place, just behind 2012 hopefuls Hannah Mills and Katrina Hughes in ninth.



Luke Patience and Chris Grube are the top British crew in the 470 men’s event, currently in 25th.



Racing at the Princess Sofia Trophy-Mapfre continues through until Friday 21 March.  For more information, visit http://www.skandiateamgbr.com/events/princsoftrop/princsoftrop.htm

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