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5 July 2011, 08:44 pm
A Tough Day in Helsinki At Open Europeans
Sari Multala
Laser Radial fleet

Open European Championship
Helsinki, Finland

It was a challenging day at the European Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
The Star class was able to finish two races smoothly enough, but the Laser Standard and Laser Radial experienced delays due to a tricky wind. Sailors' nerves were put to a test because of the postponements. However, there were no major changes at the top in any of the classes.

With six races completed and a 21st in the last, Tonci Stipanovi? of Croatia hands over the lead in the Laser fleet to Milan Vujasinovi? (CRO). "I was expecting the wind to go right so I started at the Committee boat, but today was different, the wind was light and shifty and unfortunately for me favoured the left." admitted Stipanovic. The battle is fierce for the strong Croatian Laser team, playing in Helsinki the first of two Olympic selection event.

Poland's Jonasz Jonasz Stelmaszyk is third and Andreas Geritzer (AUT) fourth. "The conditions were tricky today, mostly because of the changing wind. But I'm happy with the way I performed. Tomorrow is another day, and the gold race is like a new beginning. I just want to avoid mistakes and enjoy Finland", Geritzer continued with a smile on his face.

In the Laser Radials, Evi Van acker (BEL) the woman to beat right now. Van Acker who won silver in both Skandia Sail for Gold in Weymouth and at the Delta Lloyd Regatta is showing she can also perform well in the lighter stuff. She is being chased by China's Lijia Xu and Spain's Alicia Alicia Cebrian. Local sailor Sari Multala, who celebrated her 33rd birthday today, is currently 13th.

On Wednesday 6 July the Lasers will sail their final stage in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets for the Men and Gold and Silver for the Women.

In the Star class, Emilios Papathanasiou and alexandros Dragoutsis (GRE) continue at the top after seven races. Fernando EchÁvarri and Fernando Rodriguez rivero (ESP) are in the second place, while Japan's Kunio Suzuki and Daichi Wada hold the third spot.

For complete results, go to www.openeuropeans2011.com

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