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9 May 2004, 11:11 am
25,000 Spectators Celebrate Sailing Festival
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Volvo Champions Race
Starnberg, Bavaria

The first stop of this year´s Volvo Champions Race has conquered the hearts of the Bavarians in and around Starnberg and Munich. 25,000 sailing fans enjoyed a great racing day with lots of sunshine and challenging shifty winds on Lake Starnberg.
Amongst the audience was also Alinghi's Sports Manager Jochen SCHÜEMANN, who only lives a few kilometres away in Penzberg. Said the 49 year-old three time Olympic Champion who just took over responsibility as the head of the German sailing team for the Olympic Games in Athens, "You cannot present sailing on Lake Starnberg any better. Close action, a fantastic audience and good sport. This is a format to enjoy sailing at its best".

In the world class field of the Tornados last year´s Volvo Champions are back in command. Australia´s Darren BUNDOCK and his British crew Will HOWDEN lead the rankings ahead of Mitch BOOTH and Herbie DERCKSEN (NED) and Austria´s Olympic Champions Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER. Said Dercksen, "Conditions today have been more difficult than you can think of. But one thing is clear: The audience just loved it. It was amazing how close we got to the shore. And its a real good feeling to hear them clapping and shouting. Its great to experience 25.000 people loving my sport."

The 49er class is lead by the young German brothers Jan-Peter and Hannes PECKOLT who recently finished 11 at the Worlds in Athens ahead of Poland´s Pawel KACPROWSKI and Pawel KUZMICKI and European Champions Marcus BAUR and Max GROY from Germany. Baur/Groy had a much better day than yesterday and helmsman Marcus Baur explained why, "we did not christen our new boat before the first race but we managed to do that last night with a big bottle of Champagne. It´s name is Rosi Skywalker with respect to our new sponsor RS."

The Volvo Champions Race in Starnberg, Bavaria is the first of three Stops of this year´s Volvo Champions Race Tour. Following are the Volvo Champions Races in Rostock (2 - 4 July) and Travemünde (24 - 26 September) right after the Olympics. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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