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2 July 2001, 11:54 am
Racing Starts Today
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Finn European and Finn Junior European Championship

A record fleet of 90 boats will compete in the 2001 Finn European Championship in Malcesine, East bank of Lake Garda, Italy.

After 3 busy days of strict measurement and a practice race, racing will start Monday with 11 races scheduled until Saturday 7th. The competition is promising to be of the highest level with 24 countries represented and the best of Finn sailors. Mateusz Kusznierewicz will defend his title against many strong opponents. Sydney Silver medallist, Luca Devoti will feel at ease on his "home" waters despite the pressure expected. Michael Fellmann (GER) winner of Kiel week, Emilios Papathanasiou (ITA) who won the Riva Cup this year and Michael Maier (CZE), another "Lake" specialist will stand strong chances. Xavier Rohart (FRA), Karlo Kuret (CRO) and Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) will also be among the best experienced and trained to take the Tittle from Mateusz. Despite the absence of Sydney Gold Medallist, Iain Percy, the English "Armada" will not fail to display some "deadly" weapons. Percy's training partner, Andrew "Bart" Simpson is expected to show his full potential.

The "old guard" will also have to deal with the new generation. Stefan de Vries (NED), Kristian Aderman (SWE), Soren Holm (DEN) and some of the 20 Juniors will take the opportunity to measure up and show their fitness and abilities.

In any case and despite the fierce competition, Mateusz Kusznierewicz will not give up the fight. No.1 World ranked Finn sailor after winning Palma, Hyeres and the Spa regatta this year, narrowly missing on his second Olympic medal and 3 times World Champion Mateusz is still the "Hottest" favourite for the tittle.

The 2001 Finn Junior European championship title will also be disputed. 2000 winner, Charlie Cumbley (GBR) will face 19 other Juniors from Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Holland, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweeden and Ukraine. Juniors favourites include World Junior champion George Kontogouris (GRE), Stefan de Vries (NED), and Chris Brittle from the UK.

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie/News Editor
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