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13 May 2004, 09:31 am
No Surprises on Day Three
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Finn European Championship and Olympic Qualification Regatta
La Rochelle

The regatta favourites were engaged in an intense battle in both races. Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ sailed in the forefront of the fleet to win the first race by an unbeatable margin and the second race was fought until the last meters by Ben AINSLIE and Karlo.
The Croatian, Karlo KURET, who is one of the most experienced Finn sailors of the Championship with three Olympics in his portfolio, defeated the World champion within a few meters of the finish line.

The first race started with 12 knots and the "Olympic triangle". The Oscar flag allowing free pumping was displayed on the top mark, giving a rest to the jury, and providing lots of fun to the sailors. Guillaume FLORENT was first at the top mark followed by Mateusz, Ben AINSLIE and Mattias MILLER from Germany. At the leeward mark, Mateusz had passed the French with Ben in second position. On the second beat Mateusz enjoyed a big shift on the extreme left side of the course that propelled him out of reach from his followers. Guillaume FLORENT caught up to Ben and stayed on his trail until the last beat. Florent and Michael FELLMANN (GER) who had sailed further to the left (yes again) made some ground on Ainslie, to take second and third place in front of the World Champion.

With more wind on the second race, Oscar was displayed at the start of the triangle course. The wind had picked to 14-17 knots. After several general recalls, the Black flag sent eight sailors back home. Ben AINSLIE cleared out at the start, followed closely by Karlo KURET and Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ. Karlo, with a good speed and pointing higher than his rival, gained some ground and finely got even with Ben who couldn't get away. On the last 100 meters from the finish, the Croatian passed the Brit to win the race.

Mateusz crossed the line in 3rd position followed by Gasper VINCEC and Marin MISURA. Iacopo TACCHINO was the best Junior in both races in 43 and 36 place.
Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ is leading the score (and discarded a third place!!) in front of Ben AINSLIE and Sebastien GODEFROID. Guillaume FLORENT is fourth and Emilios PAPATHANASIOU is recovering his good form in fifth position.

The battle for Olympic selection is getting intense between the three "kiwi" boys. They are now within three points of each other. Dean BARKER is sixth, Clifton WEBB is seventh after collecting a black flag today, and Peter FOX eighth.
Complete results are available on the event website via the link below.

Top Ten After Four Races

Pos Nation Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1 POL KUSZNIEREWICZ Mateusz 2 2 2 1 3 7
2 GBR AINSLIE Ben 28 4 1 4 2 11
3 BEL GODEFROID Sébastien 1 6 3 35 7 17
4 FRA FLORENT Guillaume 11 5 9 2 13 27
5 GRE PAPATHANASIOU Emilios 29 1 4 17 8 30
6 NZL BARKER Dean 4 37 6 18 10 38
7 NZL WEBB Clifton 3 9 19 9 BFD 40
8 NZL FOX Peter 6 15 35 14 6 41
9 DEN HOGH-CHRISTENSEN Jonas 13 7 7 24 19 46
10 GER FELLMANN Michael 52 11 20 3 17 51

Corinne McKenzie (As Amended by ISAF)
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