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27 September 2004, 04:46 pm
Richard Crowned New Continental Champion
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EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship
Calpe

Following the announcement of the top four in the Europeans that were hosted by the C.N.Calpe in Spain over the last few days, the semi-finals were started on Saturday in a fantastic 10 knot breeze.
Mathieu RICHARD, who had finished the round-robin stage of the regatta in the lead, elected to sail against, Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) in the best of five semi final, which left the other half to be fought out between Jes GRAM HANSEN (DEN) and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE).

After two flights, Richard held a two-race advantage over Lindberg, a score that was replicated in the other match, where Gram Hansen was two-up over Hansen. At this stage, the final races of the semis were left overnight, to be sailed on the Sunday.

Sunday dawned bright and windless and after waiting for most of the morning, the semi-finals resumed in a stable but light 8-knot breeze. Richard secured his spot in the final with a race victory over Lindberg to take the score to a match winning 3-0, whilst Hansen pulled one back against Gram Hansen to take the score to 2-1. It was not to be for the Swedish team however and Gram Hansen eventually took the second spot in the final 3-1.

By this point in procedings, time was running out and as the breeze clocked right and increased to 10-knots for the final and petit-final, racing was going to be close and hard fought in shifty conditions thanks to the presence of a rather large lump of rock.

As time was running out the final and petit-final were to be decided as the best of three matches, so the first to score two wins would take the championship title, and third place respectively. The first two matches in each got underway cleanly and race wins were shared amongst all four teams.

At one minute to the deadline of 1600hrs, the warning signal was sounded for the final flight of the championship and was accompanied by white flags from Richard and Hansen, signifying damage to their boats. Damage was not assessed to be significant enough to delay racing and amidst red flag protests from both boats the last flight got away cleanly. Any protests were to be settled after racing.

As it was there was no need to settle things on shore because in the final race of the day, and the Europeans, Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and his team took home the race, match and championship victory.

Bjorn HANSEN, also won his last race of the third and fourth spot sail-off to claim the final podium position in Spain.

Overall Results

Postion Name (Nation)
1 Mathieu Richard (FRA)
2 Jes Gram Hansen (DEN)
3 Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
4 Staffan Lindberg (FIN)
5 Paul Campbell James(GBR)
6 Maxim Taranov (RUS)
7 Philippe Presti (FRA)
8 Prezmeck Tarnaki (POL)
9 Francisco Neto (POR)
10 Jordi Calafat (ESP)
11 Andrea Micalli (ITA)
12 Juan Luis Paez (ESP)
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