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18 September 2011, 08:15 am
Poland Continue To Dominate At RS:X Europeans
Pepa Mavrodieva (BUL)
Bulgaria's Pepa Mavrodieva in action in Bourgas

RS:X European Championship
Bourgas, Bulgaria

The Medal Race fleets were decided in light winds on the fifth day of the RS:X European Championship. Poland's Piotr Myszka maintains his lead in the men's fleet whilst compatriot Zofia Klepacka extends hers in the women's fleet.
The promised Meltemi just did not show up, the morning started cloudy with an early morning breeze out of the north east and the wind did not get above 8-10 knots all day. Enough to get everyone hooked in upwind but downwind the track was forward and no one was planing.

It's upon such rolls of the dice that careers depend. The big guys disappear into the peleton and the light wind specialists come to the fore.

Over in the RS:X Men's fleet, Piotr Myszka (POL) was unfazed. Windy or not he dominates the fleet with nine wins, two seconds and a fourth are ample evidence of that fact. Myszka has a 22 point lead going into the Medal Race so the gold medal is his, he just has to turn up and go through the motions. The 2010 RS:X World Windsurfing Champion is now the 2011 RS:X European Windsurfing Champion as well.

Byron Kokalanis (GRE) goes into the Medal Race in the silver medal position but is just three points ahead of Shahar Zubari (ISR). To reverse that Zubari is going to have to finish 2 places - 4 points - in front.

Meanwhile Ivan Pastor lafuente (ESP) has to pull something special out of the bag if he is going to upset the established order. It won't be easy but no doubt this experienced racer will have a strategy in mind to mix it with Byron and Shahar.

Over in the RS:X Women's fleet, Zofia Noceti-klepacka (POL) is almost safe. 18 points separate her from Lee Korzits (ISR) in silver who is 20 points clear of third placed Pauline Perrin (FRA) so barring any major disasters that should be the podium.

The Medal Races get underway at 15:00 Local time on Sunday.

RS:X European Men - Top 10
1 POL 82 Piotr Myszka 15.0
2 GRE8 Byron Kokkalanis 39.0
3 ISR 11 Shahar Zubari 42.0
4 ESP 7 Ivan Pastor Lafuente 45.0
5 FRA 77 Pierre Le Coq 57.0
6 CYP 1 Andreas Cariolou 59.0
7 ISR 21 Nimrod Mashiah 63.0
8 SUI 31 Richard Stauffacher 68.0
9 FRA 115 Nicolas Le Gal 106.0
10 FRA 19 Louis-Benoit Hug 105.0

RS:X Euroepan Women - Top 10
1 POL 8 Sofia Klepacka 29.0
2 ISR 1111 Lee-el Korzits 47.0
3 FRA 53 Pauline Perrin 67.0
4 ESP 1 Blanca Manchon Dominguez 76.0
5 GBR 94 Bryony E Shaw 78.0
6 ITA 11 Laura Linares 80.0
7 UKR 9 Olga Maslivets 81.0
8 POL 7 Dziarnowska Maja 83.0
9 POL 20 Brygola Agata 94.0
10 ISR 10 Maayan Davidovich 95.0

The day dawned humid and still. There even seemed a possibility that the first starts of the day would be postponed. The sea breeze was in a fickle mood. Nevertheless, the fleets went out into a building breeze.

The first starts may have been in marginal conditions but pretty soon everyone was planing as the wind topped out at just over 15 knots. Three races in all fleets were possible with the second discard coming into play tomorrow.

Looking at the RS:X Women's fleet, it becomes a real possibility that anyone in the top 7 could take the bronze the medal.

It was Lee Korsitz (ISR) who was dominant today posting a perfect set of three bullets to Klepacka's (POL) 7-2-2 so the gap is closed marginally tonight. The gold is between these two as Maja Dziarnowska (POL) in third is 33 points adrift tied on points with Pauline Perrin (FRA).

Just five points back is Olga Maslivets (UKR) tied on points with Bryony Shaw (GBR). Blanca Manchon (ESP1) closes out the top seven one point back

In the RS:X Men's fleet, anyone in the top six could step onto the bottom step of the podium especially in view of the fact that the forecast is for more breeze tomorrow and even more on Sunday for the medal races.

Piotr Myszka (POL) is untouchable on 12 points having fired in three wins on day four to make the RS:X European Championship title a virtual certainty. However, Byron Kokalanis (GRE) went out to race feeling distinctly unwell but determined to defend his second place

He scored a 5-4-5 against third placed Ivan Pastor's (ESP) 10-3-8 so he can rest ahead of day five safe in the knowledge that his silver is safe for the moment.

Having their own private battle are Shahar Zubari (ISR) and Nimrod Mashich (ISR) in fourth and fifth. Seven points separate them but if the forecasts are to be believed Mashich will go out tomorrow in the conditions in which he normally excels. And Zubari will have to find something a little bit special to maintain his lead especially after the second discard is taken.

Pierre Le Coq (FRA) will have to do the same if he is to transform his outside chance of a bronze medal into a reality.


Rory Ramsden (As Amended by ISAF)
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