ISAF World Cup: Kiwi Stars on top after opening day at Palma

Star class action as 2008 Olympic Gold Medalists, Ian Percy and Bart Simpson (8471) sneak into the top mark on port tack at the 2012 Princess Sophia Regatta, Palma Spain

The New Zealand crew of Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner were the top performers of the Kiwi contingent, on the first day of racing, at the Princess Sofia Regatta at Palma, Spain.

Sailing in the two man keelboat, the Star class, Pepper and Turner placed fifth and third in the two races sailed on Day 1 and lead the regatta by just one point from Xavier Rohart and Pierre Ponsot (FRA). Rohart is a double world champion in the class as well as winner of the Bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics.

Pepper and Turner are yet to qualify New Zealand for the 2012 Olympics, and their final opportunity to do so is the Star Worlds from 20-30 May in Barcelona, Spain.

Racing in the Womens Singlehanded event, Day 1 Princess Sophia Regatta, Plama, Spain

In the rest of the classes, 2012 Olympic crews all turned in mixed results.

In the Womens Singlehander, Sarah Winther finished 14th in the first race and second in race 2, to lie in 12th place overall.

It was a similar story in the Womens Two-hander, the 470, with fancied New Zealand crew of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie finishing 34th in the opening race and then winning the second, to lie 14th overall.

Same again in the Mens Two-hander with Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders finishing 23rd in the first race and then third in the second. The young mens crew report on the opening day. They are sailing in a Yellow fleet with a total of 93 boats entered in the regatta which is the third round of the ISAF World Sailing Cup:

Racing in the Womens Match Racing event, Day 1 Princess Sophia Regatta, Plama, Spain

Race 1 Very light start to the regatta, Race 1 was an overcast 4-6knots. Our start cost us hugely, leaving us in the middle of the course getting tacked on all over the place. We never found a lane, leaving us in 41st around the top mark! not the best start to the regatta. We sailed pretty well though making some good calls and going fast. In the end we caught up to 23rd in our fleet.

Race 2: The sun came out, the wetsuits came off (ended up a bit toasty in the first race). Pushed the start much harder, coming off the line punched and in breeze. We rounded the top mark leading, but didn't sail a great race from then on. Felt a bit frustrated with a third, after hitting the top mark and being a little off the pace downwind in conditions we normally feel good in. Hopefully we have some more time in the front bunch tomorrow.


Racing in the Womens Match Racing event, Day 1 Princess Sophia Regatta, Plama, Spain

Both New Zealand sailors were caught with a Black Flag for being early starters in the opening race of the mens Singlehander, the Finn class. Eight sailors were picked up for crossing the start line in the final minute of the start. Slater finished 10th in the second race to lie 34th overall, with matt Coutts finishing 39th in race 2, to lie in 39th overall, sailing in a single 57 boat fleet.

In the Womens Match Race event, sailed in Elliott 6mtrs, the New Zealand crew lost their only race sailed. Some of the fleet sailed two races, and overall placings are meaningless until a full round is completed.

Racing continues on Tuesday.