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20 March 2004, 09:50 am
Day One
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Coupe De France
Saint Tropez

After the dissipation of a light fog and the appearance of the sun around 2 pm, a gentle breeze from the South-east rose in the gulf of Saint-Tropez.
It made it possible for two race to be run for the 30 crews engaged in the 54th edition of this historical trophy, now being run in teams of three boats - Melges 24, Mumm 30 and Dragon.

This year the three classes were joined together on the same course, with a slightly shorter windward leg for the Dragon than for Melges and Mumm. Three rounds and then a finish for the first race with a wind between 6 and 10 knots, and then three rounds and an extra beat for the second race where the wind was sometimes gusting up to 12 knots, constituted the racing program on this first day.

In the light wind, where strong nerves are sometimes more important than boat speed, several crews showed real talent, giving identical performances in the two races of the day and thus confirming great overall potential.

In the Dragon class, Tamm ha Tamm with Christian BOILLOT of the Yacht Club of Monaco - helmed by Denmark's Franck ERICKSEN, won the first sleeve whereas the second was taken by Jean-Sebastien PONCE on Pistou. The Dragon Ulysses of Jean BREGER, who carries the colours of the Yacht Club of France, was particularly consistent and finished third in the two races.

In Melges 24, it was a very even scenario for the two winners of the day, respectively the FlorDirect Monegasque of Philippe LIGOT and Germany's Vamp with Eddy EICH, whilst behind them second and third places were allocated twice to the British boat Gill skippered by Quentin STRAUSS and to the Yacht Club of France team representative Guy ZAG with Henri SAMUEL.

In the Mumm 30, the Yacht Club of France team Shared Challenge skippered by Maxime BESSOU won the first race, but the second went to Mean Machine with the Monegasque Peter de RIDDER, penalized by an individual recall tardily returned from in the first race.

Today, racing will be again start from 11 a.m. with three races planned and with a likelyhood of a change in conditions we can expect some close racing and a likely redistribute the overall positions.
Fiona Brown
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