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26 July 2004, 04:35 pm
Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) Victorious
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EUROSAF European Women's Match Racing Championship
Saint-Quay-Portrieux, Brittany

Seven teams representing six Nations, contested the Championship, which was hosted by the Sport Nautique St Quay Portrieux (SNSQP), with the French Sailing Federation (FFV) and in conjunction with the European Sailing Federation (EUROSAF).
Entries included Claire LEROY, a member of the host club, currently ranked second in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings and who recently finished third at the ISAF Women's Match Racing Championship and at the Swedish Match Cup.

The second French team was skipped by Christelle PHILIPPE from APCC, ranked 6 in the World. The other competitors were: Lizzie EDWARDS (GBR), Ana UMBELINO (POR), Malin SVEDMYR (SWE), Franziska UNKELBACH (GER) and Mar CASTANEDO DIEZ (ESP).

Two Round Robins were sailed using eight Beneteau First Class 8's, allocated by draw to ensure fair competition. Unfortunately, the planned third round robin could not be completed due to light winds.

On the first day of racing, sailed in very light wind, Claire LEROY and Christelle PHILIPPE took the lead with four wins each, followed by Lizzie EDWARDS in third and equal fourth going to Ana UMBELINO and Mar CASTANEDO DIEZ.

The competition intensified during the second Round Robin when the British team, skipped by Lizzie EDWARDS, contested the French supremacy. Sailed in 10 knots of wind and choppy waters, the British team finished the day leading the championship by one point. At the end of racing on Friday evening, the positions were: 1st Lizzy Edwards (GBR), 10 points; 2nd equal Claire Leroy (FRA, SN Saint-Quay) and Christelle Philippe (FRA, APCC), 9 points; 4th Mar Castanedo Diez (ESP), 6 points; 5th equal Ana Umbelino (POR) and Malin Svedmyr (SWE), 2 points; 7th Franziska Unkelbach (GER), 1 point.

The semi finals were very strongly contested, with Philippe (FRA) beating her fellow countryman Leroy (2-1) and Edwards (GBR) winning against Castadeno (ESP) also (2-1).

In the finals, sailed in a very light northerly wind, Christelle Philippe succeeded in winning the EUROSAF European title by beating Lizzie EDWARDS 2-0. The sail-off for third place was won by Claire Leroy who, surprisingly, was not really advantaged by sailing in her home waters, with Spanish Mar Castadeno finishing very close to the event's favourite.

The event was exceptionally well organised by the SNSQP, and a friendly atmosphere and fair spirit prevailed throughout the whole Championship.
Olivier Bovyn (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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