Alistair Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh, produced an outstanding performance in extraordinarily tricky conditions on the opening day of the 49er European Championship.
We are unable to obtain any official results or information at the time of posting. This unofficial report from the RYA's Nigel Cherrie.
Richardson and Greenhalgh's 5,1,1 scoreline from their three qualifying heats (short windward/leeward races) is expected to put them in the provisional lead of the 60 plus fleet (no results were available at the time of posting). There are still 4 days (up to 5 races per day) left to decide the medal positions.
The pair had promising seasons in 1999 and 2000 and were amongst the favourites to claim the single place for the Sydney Games at last April's trials regatta. Following training with Barker and Hiscocks prior to the Olympics, they took a long break and returned to competition at last months Hyeres Olympic Classes Regatta, finishing sixth overall. "It was a very shifty day. The breeze went from 3-11 knots on every beat so it all came down to the wire. The race we finished fifth could have been much better than that or much worse. The whole day was eyes out of the boat, very difficult conditions, certainly not 'higher and faster' easy race wins," explained crew Peter Greenhalgh.
In the other qualifying fleet, Team GBR Olympic Silver Medallist helmsman Ian Barker and crew Harvey Hillary scored 8,2 while Paul Brotherton (Gold Medallist at this event three years ago) and Simon Hiscocks scored 5,4. Brotherton won the Hyeres Regatta and the European Championship warm up event and was leading their third qualification race this afternoon when it was mysteriously abandoned just 200 yards from the finish line.
Racing continues Sunday.