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28 March 2004, 07:49 am
Spectators Treated On Day One
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© Aline Siepmann

Audi Spring Battle 04
Lake Wannsee, Berlin

The first day of the AUDI Spring Battle 04 brought great match racing action to sailors and fans on Lake Wannsee. Bright sunny skies but light patchy breeze with a maximum of 8 knots promised a tough day of racing for all competitors.
America´s Cup Winner Jochen SCHÜMANN (GER) convinced the crowd with smart sailing and match racing tactics, giving his challengers no chance to overtake. Winning four out of five races he moved on safely to the next round. With the new technology of wirless head sets spectators, sailors and fans on the cruise vessel got a deeper insight to sailing secrets straight from the skippers mouths.

In the other Round Robin another German local Stefan MEISTER had four out five victories on his record and defeated German Whitbread around the World and Volvo Ocean Race sailor Tim KRÖGER, who was at a disadvantage in the light breeze being the most heaviest team in the comeptition.

Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR), who actually was rated as the secret favourite by most of the teams was all smiles in meeting the high expectations of his group after a brilliant sailing day and a little bit of luck. winning three out of five and tied with Alina GROBE, who won the Qualifier event the day before, he took advantage of the fact that he won the race against the group winner and got priority to move on.

CAMPBELL-JAMES commented later on back at the habour that he in fact loved the streamline as a new way of match racing form as the boat accelerates much quicker and is way more athletic and fun to sail with the double trapeze.

Due to a protest in Round Robin A, the last semi-finalist was not decided until after a re-match on Sunday morning. Chances are for the match racing rookies Austrian Alex KRUSE and German Jan-Eike ANDRESEN depending on the outcome of the battle between Andreas LABEK and ANDRESEN.

All in all over 300 spectator and fans witnessed thrilling match racing action on the cruise vessel on Lake Wannsee, who where well introduced to the match racing circuit by commentator Rolf SCHMIDT. One match was sailed handicapped with one person extra so SCHMIDT could commentate from onboard and cheered up the crowd with jokes and little teases through wireless headset broadcasting.

The final day of racing is today and it's all to play for. Full round robin results are available on the event website at the address below.
Aline Siepmann (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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