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8 June 2004, 09:46 am
Brothers And Sisters Share Lead After First Day Of Finals
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470 European Championship

Brothers and Sisters teams lead the 2004 European Championships with 3 days to go here. Sven & Kalle COSTER (NED)lead the Men's gold fleet and Susanne and Michaela WARD (DEN) lead the Women's.
It was a day when consistency was difficult and only the brave could keep a lead in the shifty 5-7 knots. The Men's gold fleet got away cleanly at 11.30 Hrs with Moland/Andersson (SWE) and Foerster/Burnham (USA) getting the best of the start and working left to what seemed to be less breeze.

The Dutch Coster brothers, coming out of the right with good height consolidated up the middle of the leg protecting a slender early lead but at the top mark it was the little known Korean pair of Dae Young Kim & Sung Ahn Jung that lead the fleet.

Moland/Andersson followed the Koreans and then the Costers followed by a bunch of 15-20 boats arriving at the mark within 15 seconds. On the first run the Costers showed great down wind tactics gybing early to the Left-Middle and overtook the unlucky Swedes and Korean's in second and third. Sven & Kalle then covered the fleet up the next work building on a 20 second lead with POR 22 Alvaro MARINHO & Miguel NUNES of Portugal slipping into Second with previous regatta leader, 70 Javier CONTE & Juan de la FUENTE (ARG) working hard to get back into forth place. Places stayed the same down the reach to the finish.

The second race of the day for the Women got underway after a Gernal Recall and under the Black Flag with USA 1732 McDowell/Kinsolving the only boat to be black flagged out of the race.

Russian Champions Vladelina ILIENKO & Natalia GAPONOVICH went to an early lead in what has been an inconsistent regatta for them. Local favourites Stefanie ROTHWEILER & Monika LEU held onto second place and Germany's Alina GROBE & Vivien KUSSATZ took third. Spain's Silver medallists Natalia Via DUFRESNE & Sandra AZON suffered their drop race registering a 26 place finish in very difficult conditions.

Late in the day the Race Officer sent the Women off on their third race of the day only to see the breeze veer and die before they could reach the top mark. Further races for the day were abandoned at 16.10 local time. Finishing what was a long day on the water in light conditions.

The leaders in the Women, the Ward Sisters now enjoy a 9 point lead after a day of 2 and 9 (drop) to Spain's Natalia Via DUFRESNE & Sandra AZON on 23 points and Russia's Vladelina ILIENKO & Natalia GAPONOVICH on 24 points.

It is much tighter in the Men's with just 4 points separating the top three boats with the Costers, Sven & Kalle on 25 points after 7 Races followed by the Argentinians Javier CONTE & Juan de la FUENTE dropping back a place to be second overall followed by 2003 World Champions Gabrio ZANDONA & Andrea TRANI in third on 29 points.

Racing is expected to continue today in light conditions. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Darren Dunkley-Smith (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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