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11 April 2004, 10:01 am
Ecuador 1-2-3!
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Optimist South American Championship

Edgar DIMINICH of Ecuador scored a most convincing win, not having to sail the last two races, and, as often happens, inspired his team mates (Pedro VELEZ and Rafael QUINTERO) into silver and bronze medals.
This marks a truly astounding feat for a country, which had never had a sailor in the top 20 until two years ago. Last year they gave warning with places 7, 9 and 11 but the odds against this sweep of the medals must have seemed huge. For the team of adults back home preparing to host the Worlds in July, no better inspiration could have been found.

Sean BOUCHARD of Bermuda was the only sailor able to live with this trio but was not, of course eligible for the South American medals.

To the delight of the home crowd, Chilean national champion Arantza GUMUCHIO had a great final day to snatch the girls silver from the Peruvians behind Daniela ZIMMERMANN (PER), the latest of the clan who was also the best placed "infantil".

Earlier in the Team Racing, Peru took gold and silver in the South American Championship. Peru 1 beat Peru 3 to take the IODA South American Team-Racing Championship, with Argentina third. This is probably the "kiss of death" for Peru's chances in the World Championship in July! Over the past few years a pattern has developed that whichever of these two great rivals wins the South Americans, the other wins the Worlds.

In the Copa de las Naciones, the team-racing event for visiting teams, Trinidad registered its first ever medal, taking silver behind the usual champions Bermuda. Mexico took bronze in front of U.S.A.1.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Robert Wilkes
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