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17 May 2004, 08:52 am
Finals Start Today
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Big Breeze On Day Three© Event Media

Laser World Championship And Olympic Qualification Regatta
Bodrum

In perfect sailing conditions two more races were completed to end the qualifying series of the Harken Laser World Championship yesterday in Turkey.
It was also a day when 4 more countries qualified for the 2004 Olympics as they qualified for the gold fleet - Korea, Malaysia, Ireland and Uruguay.

Now the fleet is split into gold and silver there will be equal interest in the gold fleet and silver fleet with 22 countries still trying to qualify for the remaining four country positions in the silver fleet.

Yesterday the racing was exciting at the front of both the qualifying fleets was exciting in the 17 to 20 knot winds. In the first yellow fleet race Ali Kemal TURFEKCI from Turkey led at the halfway stage. He. and the next four boats, took the port hand mark at the downwind gate whilst Mathieu MURATI (FRA) opted for the starboard mark which proved decisive as he had a comfortable lead by the time the fleet reached the next windward mark which he held to the finish.

In the first race of the blue fleet Hamish PEPPER (NZL) and Gareth BLANCKENBERG (RSA) tied at the end of the first downwind with each taking opposite marks at the gate. Following Blankenberg to the right hand side of the course was Frederick WESTMAN (FIN) and Robert SCHEIDT (BRA). Scheidt was on a roll. He said. "I played the shifts on the second beat the same way I did on the first and was able to pass the guys in front of me. After that I just protected my lead".

In the second race of the yellow fleet Michael BLACKBURN (AUS) started in the middle of the line. He said. "I had a good start and had good speed. I was patient and waited for the knock and then had a few good tacks sailing the high angles and got to the top mark third behind Brendan CASEY (AUS) and Mark MENDELBLATT (USA). On the second windward I had a little bit of extra speed, which hasn't been the case in every race, and got to the top mark first". Blackburn held his lead to finish ahead of Karl SUNESON (SWE) and Casey with Mendelblatt fourth.

Scheidt completed a perfect day by winning the second race of the blue fleet. "Again I played the shifts nicely up the first beat and came to the top mark behind Andreas GERITZER (AUT). We had a bit of match race for the rest of the race and I managed to win by twenty metres."

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

Overall Top Ten

Pos Nation Name Total R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6
1 BRA SCHEIDT Robert 9,0 -6 5 1 1 1 1
2 AUS BLACKBURN Michael 15,0 3 -6 2 4 5 1
3 USA MENDELBLATT Mark 15,0 4 -25 3 1 3 4
4 SWE SUNESON Karl 20,0 6 -16 1 2 9 2
5 NZL PEPPER Hamish 23,0 1 8 -29 7 2 5
6 AUT GERITZER Andreas 24,0 -13 3 7 3 9 2
7 RSA BLANCKENBERG Gareth 30,0 7 5 5 9 4 -15
8 GBR GOODISON Paul 33,0 (bfd) 14 2 2 12 3
9 AUS CASEY Brendan 33,0 15 -25 3 6 6 3
10 NOR MOBERG Peer 42,0 12 -26 14 6 4 6
Jeff MArtin (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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