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15 May 2004, 08:47 am
First Day Of Finals
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470 World Championship And Olympic Qualification Regatta

Consistency wins regattas but it was almost impossible on a day like yesterday. All the leaders suffered drop races and the previous overnight leaders suffered 2 drop races.
The 'Bora' developed and offered 20 knots at the 11.00hrs start time but with variations of 40 degrees. Starts were delayed until the Race officials were happy the the direction was settled in. However the variation in wind strength made racing a tactical nightmare. Boats had a beautiful 20 knots , while in other areas boats had 3 knots.

Johan MOLAND and Martin ANDERSSON (SWE) have streadily moved up the fleet all week and yesterday's 3, 1 and 21st was second to best of the day and takes the Swedish team into the overall lead, five points ahead of the boat that had a remarkably good day of 1, OCS and second. Frenchmen Gildas PHILIPPE and Nic Le BERRE moved up three places to sit just behind the Swedes

Braslavets & Matvienko moved down 2 places yesterday with an even more remarkable day of 12, (30) and (29) losing a 4 point lead and giving a further 11 points to the leaders.

The Men's Silver fleet will be where dreams are made this week, with the remaining six Olympic spots up for grabs in this fleet alone. Past Kiwi World Champion Simon COOKE , now sailing with Alister GAIR leads the Silver group but after a court battle in the Sport Arbitration council Cooke has no way of representing NZL in Athens.

Cooke/Gair are followed by Germans Lukas ZELLMER & Felix KRABBE , also a newcomer to the Silver fleet. But importantly Selim KAKIS and Ozgoneng KAAK take third overall in Silver and the first of the Olympic Qualification spots. Behind them in Qualifying position are the Hungarians, Austrians, Belarussians, India and Poland.

The Women only managed two races today with Slovenians Dekleva/ Maucec holding onto first overall stretching their lead to 8 points. The Swedish women have also been improving since a podium finish at last years European Championships and yesterday Torgersson & Zachrisson moved up to second overall with the Brazilians taking their place in 3rd overall

Racing continues at 11.00 Local time, full results are available on the event website at the address below

Darren Dunkley-Smith
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