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12 May 2004, 10:20 am
Kusznierewicz Keeps The Lead
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Finn European Championship And Olympic Qualification Regatta
La Rochelle

Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) keeps the lead of the championship after scoring another second place in yesterday's only race. Ben AINSLIE stormed ahead in race three, increasing his lead on Mateusz on the run.
"It was another tricky race. The left side was favoured again, but frankly no one here can explain why!" admitted the triple Finn World Champion.

Racing started in a light and steady 10-knot breeze and sunny conditions but big black clouds and rain suddenly arrived, affecting the temperature and wind.

Ben AINSLIE led the fleet around the first mark with Liu BO (CHN) on his trail. While Ben distanced himself from the fleet, Liu Bo dropped some places in the downwind to cross the finish line in eighth position.

Run specialists, Mateusz KUSNIEREWICZ (POL), Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL), Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE) climbed to the top of the fleet after the first downwind leg to finish the race second third and fourth. Ismael BRUNO was the first French sailor in fifth place. "Ismael decided to change a his equipment today and it responded better to these conditions."explained his coach, Patrice GUADAGNIN.

After 3 races, Kusnierewicz has a small lead over Godefroid. Guillaume FLORENT (FRA), freshly selected in Hyéres for Athens is in third position, 2 points ahead of young Dane; Jonas HOGH- CHRISTENSEN. The battle for Olympic selection continues between the New-Zealanders. Clifton WEBB is leading the score in fifth place. Dean BARKER, sixth yesterday, is placed ninth in front of Peter FOX in tenth position. Richard CLARKE is leading the Canadian selection in 13 place. " We have to place in the top 12 to be qualified for Athens." Explains Clarke. Other Canadian, Chris COOK is lying in 28 position.

With a sore knee, US representative Kevin HALL decided to stop racing to recover before the next regatta. Luca DEVOTI has also stopped after two races.

First Junior is Ukrainian Oleksiy BORYSOV in 28 positon. He is also leading the overall Junior results in 43 place, with Tapio NIRKKO 45 and Lei GONG 46.

In the country battle for Olympic qualifications, Alejandro COLLA places Argentina in the top of the list in 24 position. Russia is next with Vladimir KRUTSKIKH 26. The first Chinese, Liu BO is 31.

Two races are scheduled for today. The weather forecast is for 10 to 12 knots (North- Easterly), and flat water. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.

Overall Top Ten

Rgs Nation Name Total R1 R2 R3
1 POL KUSZNIEREWICZ Mateusz 6 2 2 2
2 BEL GODEFROID Sébastien 10 1 6 3
3 FRA FLORENT Guillaume 25 11 5 9
4 DEN HOGH-CHRISTENSEN Jonas 27 13 7 7
5 NZL WEBB Clifton 31 3 9 19
6 GBR AINSLIE Ben 33 28 4 1
7 GRE PAPATHANASIOU Emilios 34 29 1 4
8 DEN HOLM Soren 40 5 10 25
9 NZL BARKER Dean 47 4 37 6
10 NZL FOX Peter 56 6 15 35
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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