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8 May 2004, 08:39 am
Spectacular Opening Day
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Volvo Champions Race

A few thousand spectators experienced a spectacular first day in this years first edition of the Volvo Champions Race. Two broken masts and quite a few capsized 49ers were presented by the world´s best Tornado and 49er crews.
It was eight times World Champions Mitch BOOTH and Herbie DERCKSEN from the Netherlands to start into the day with breaking their mast ashore whilst preparing their Tornado for the first race. Fortunately they were able to replace the mast quickly and win the first two races of the day in champion´s style. Said Booth, "We had a lot of fun today. Isn´t it great to sail on a lake."

Second victims of a demasted Tornado were Netherland´s Mischa HEEMSKERK and Pieter van RUITENBURG. They broke their mast in a big puff before the first starting gun was fired and missed all three races of the day.

Booth/Dercksen are leading the rankings after day one in front of Darren BUNDOCK/Will HOWDEN (AUS/GBR) and Austria´s Olympic Champions Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER.

The young and rising team of German brothers Jan-Peter and Hannes PECKOLT dominated the 49er fleet on Friday with two wins and a seventh. Poland´s "Double Pawel" Pawel KACPROWSKI/Pawel KUZMICKI are in second position ahead of Austria´s Nico DELLE-KARTH who teamed up with Germany´s Moritz DEML.

Extremely shifty winds made it very difficult for almost all competitors to find the fastest lanes on the 20 minutes short Up&Down courses directly in front of their enthusiastic audience. Volvo Ocean Race CEO Glenn BOURKE who is visiting the new and exciting German Super Series over the weekend, was extremely impressed with what he saw. Said Bourke, "this is a perfect spectator venue. It´s great to be so close to the crews and all the action. And it´s interesting to study their tactics if you are a sailor like I am. I can hardly imagine a more beautiful venue".

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.

Said Thomas Hanel, Director of Public Affairs & Events on behalf of the event´s title partner Volvo Car Germany: "Already the first day of racing has fullfilled all our expectations and more than that... A world class fleet, a world class audience. As a sponsor you can hardly expect a lot more. We still think that it´s been a golden decision to develop a new and exciting racing format like the Volvo Champions Race. It´s a new brand and we will work hard to make it better and better".

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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