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15 October 2009, 04:34 pm
Competition Underway At IFDS Worlds In Greece
The SKUD18 fleet competing in Athens
The SKUD18 fleet competing in Athens

IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship 2009
Athens, Greece

Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain hold onto the leaderboard top spots after the opening two days of racing at the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship in Athens, Greece.
Competition began on with the Two-Person Keelboat SKUD18 fleet the first to race at the 2009 IFDS Worlds, on an outer loop course, with the start at 12:00 as scheduled. Conditions were good with a westerly wind of 9 knots and the Three-Person Keelboat Sonar and Single-Person Keelboat 2.4mR starts followed shortly after the SKUDs. ISAF Sailing World Cup winners Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett (USA) took the opening race of the championship, whilst victories also went to Aleksander Wang-hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) in the Sonar and Thierry Schmitter (NED) in the 2.4mR. With the wind conditions becoming progressively more shifty and unpredictable, the day's second races were postponed, started, but ultimately abandoned.

Rain greeted the competitors for day two, but a steadier breeze of around 10 knots provided the Race Committee with an opportunity to compete three races in the SKUD18 fleet and two for both for the 2.4mRs and Sonars.

With 27 athletes representing 11 nations, the 2.4mR fleet is the largest competing in Athens and after three races Dutchman Schmitter, runner up in this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup, who leads the way with a 1, 2, 3 scoreline. Heiko Kroger, 2000 Paralympic gold medallist, lies second overall, three points further back, with British skipper Helena Lucas completing the top three.

In the SKUD18 fleet, Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) have moved ahead of Whittman and Dorsett thanks to two bullets and a second place in today's three races. The Americans are now four points off the pace after 2, 3, 4 scores today. Beijing Paralympic gold medallists Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka and Robert Prem (GER) lead the Sonar fleet, with a one-point advantage over Wang-Hansen, Solberg and Kristiansen.

Racing continues tomorrow and through until the final races and Closing Ceremony on Sunday.

Click here for more news, photos and more from Athens.

ISAF (source: Hellenic Sailing Federation)
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