Only one point away from each other, the top three teams in the 49er class promise a thrilling Medal Race for tomorrow. The local team of Lennart BRIESENICK-PUDENZ and Morten MASSMANN (GER) fluffed with a 17th place in the second race of the gold fleet but after eight races they took the overall lead. "We struggle a bit in that race, because we were always on the wrong side on the beat. But we are in the Medal Race and that was our main target for Kieler Woche. Maybe we looking now for place on the podium tomorrow", explained Briesenick-Pudenz later. Emmanuel DYEN and Stéphane CHRISTIDIS (FRA) are second going into the medal races tomorrow in front of Pavle KOSTOV and Petar CUPAC (CRO).
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In the press conference yesterday, German gold medallist from Sydney Heiko KRÖGER (GER) promised: "I am third now, but I will catch Andersen and Schmitter tomorrow." Said and done. After nine races overall Kroeger left Thierry SCHMITTER (NED) and Jens Als ANDERSEN (DEN) behind him. "Today you have to be well rested and quick. Normally the left side would be the better one in these conditions, but this time it was the right. That you have to know. In the three finishes we were only about 20 cm away from each other. That was pretty close but it was great day of sailing", was Kroeger's comment.
It will be hard work for last year winners Ai KONDO and Wakako TABATA (JPN) to leave the Kieler Woche 2009 again as the winners of the women's 470 event. They are six points behind the leading Dutch team Lisa WESTERHOF and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) and the Medal Race will be decisive. There may also be a surprise from the third or fourth placed teams tomorrow. After five races Henriette KOCH and Lene SOMMER (DEN) are in third place behind Kondo and Tabata but only one point away and just one point behind them are the German team of Wibke WRIGGERS and Geeske GENRICH.
Yesterday's first team in the men's 470, Lucas ZELLMER and Heiko SEELIG (GER) were black flagged today in the last race and make the way free for the Croation team Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC. With one discard, Zellmer and Seelig have to count their BFD as they also picked one up in race 2 and will therefore not make the Medal Race. The Croatians are one point ahead of Jan-Jasper WAGNER and Lennart SCHEUFLER (GER) and behind them are three British teams also challenging for a podium finish.
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An Intense day decides the Semi-Finallists
The Women's Match Racing quarter-finals began this morning with the eight qualified teams competing in a full round robin to decide the semi-finals places. At the end of the round robin the two Australian teams were on top, each with five wins from seven races. This placed Katie SPITHILL first as she defeated Nicole SOUTER in the contest between them. Progressing with Spithill and Souter to the Semi-Final are Renee GROENEVELD (NED) and Julie BOSSARD (FRA). Bossard found herself in the same position as yesterday, her position in the next round decided after a tie. Bossard, Silke HAHLBROCK, Genevieve TULLOCH and Lucy MACGREGOR all posted three wins but it was Bossard who took the place in the semi-final.
Next up on the match racing course area was the fourth stage to decide overall places fifth to eighth. ISAF World Cup Standings leader Lucy MACGREGOR was up against Genevieve TULLOCH to decide fifth and sixth whilst Silke Hahlbrock took on Paula LEWIN (BER) to decide seventh and eighth in a best of three series. It was a clean sweep for MacGregor, taking two wins in succession and the British team finish fifth to bring their Standings total to 54 points. In the battle for seventh place, Hahlbrock despatched Paula Lewin in a similar way with two straight wins but it was a disappointing day for the young German team. An injury to a crew member early in the day affected their performance but they will be back on the water tomorrow to watch and learn from the finalists.
The RS:X fleets all sailed a further three races today to bring their total to five and bring in the discard. After a poor start to the day, Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL) was back on form and added a first and a fourth to his two bullets from day one. Discarding his eleventh place, Miarczynski tops the leaderboard going into the Medal Race three points ahead of his nearest rival. Toni WILHELM is snapping at the heels of the Polish sailor after a consistent day of two thirds and a second. Just two points further back in third overall is the first of two Korean sailors Taehoon LEE.
In the women's RS:X fleet it was another clean sweep for the young German Moana Delle who posts a perfect score-card of five bullets. Anna GALECKA (POL) lies in second place after two thirds and a second today and she is just one point ahead of Finish sailor Tuuli PETäJä. All three will pick up valuable World Cup Standings points if they can continue their successful performances in the Medal Race tomorrow.
With just one race on the scoreboard, the Star fleet were keen to get back into the action today. The first race got underway in 10 knots of breeze at 11.15 with a black flag start but all the fleet got away cleanly. First to finish was Olympian Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE) who has left the Finn fleet and teamed up with apostolos KARNOUTSOS to compete in the Star. Two more races followed to give the Stars enough races to sail a Medal Race but without a discard. After four races Iain PERCY and Andrew SIMPSON (GBR) head the leaderboard. A consistent day at the front of the fleet from the 2008 Olympic gold medallists, posting two seconds finishing the day with a bullet places them two points ahead of MARK MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE.
98 Stars are entered for the 2009 Star Europeans which will take place in Kiel from 5 to 12 July so this Kieler Woche is a great preparation event for this high class fleet and the German teams are demonstrating the benefits of their new training programmes. Three German teams will feature in the Medal Race tomorrow.
Like the Stars, the Finn fleet only had one race on the scoreboard so needed to sail three today and are not able to discard their worst score. Only five points separate the top five and tied on 20 at the top are Deniss KARPAK (EST) and Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC (CRO). Tied for third and fourth on 24 points are World Cup Standings leader Ed WRIGHT (GBR) and Dan SLATER (NZL).
He came as the favourite to Kiel and he did not disappoint. British Olympic gold medallist Paul GOODISON sailed the shortest possible way into the Medal Race finishing first in all five races. Goodison leads Michael BULLOT (NZL) in second and another young British sailor Nick THOMPSON, the current leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings behind him in third.
The girls from the Laser Radial were the last out on the water today but have five races on the board. With no race score outside the top two, the leader before the Medal Race is Paige RAILEY (USA) ahead of Evi VAN ACKER (BEL). Qingdao gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) ended up third on equal points with Charlotte DOBSON (GBR). Only five points separate the top four sailors so there is everything to play for in the Medal Race tomorrow.
On the last day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup at Kieler Woche only the finalists will sail in the Olympic Classes and the 2.4mR will continue to sail as a fleetrace. With a tracking system in place all Medal Races can be seen on the internet (www.kieler-woche.de) on Wednesday, the first warning signal on both Medal Race courses is scheduled for 11:00 local time. For all other competitors of the Olympic Classes the 127th Kieler Woche and the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Kiel is finished.
For full results from all classes, visit the Kieler Woche website
Besides the ISAF Sailing World Cup competition, Kieler Woche has even more to offer. Three high class international championships (the X-35 Worlds, the X-41 Europeans and the SAP Europeans of the 505) and the virtual Kieler Woche online are other highlights of this year's event, which again brings together all varieties of the sport from cutter sailing to surfboard, dinghy and offshore yachts, disabled sailing events and the famous windjammer parade.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.