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10 June 2009, 09:09 am
Leaders Unchanged As Dropping Winds Put Pressure On Race Management At 470 Europeans
Croatia's Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC
Croatia's Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC won their only race today

470 European Championships 2009
Lake Traunsee, Austria

The overall leaders remained unchanged as weather conditions were far from favourable on the second day of racing at the 470 European Championships at Lake Traunsee, Austria.
The Race Committee put all efforts into getting racing underway to secure the schedule of qualifying races that require six races in each event. They managed to complete one race in both the men's groups. The leaders remain unchanged. Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC (CRO) won the race in their group, and women's leaders Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL (ITA) observed the men's racing from the water, without having a start in their fleet.

With the addition of the fourth race in the men's groups, and the worst result discard becoming active, the overall standings got shuffled, however without effect on the crews in the Men's 470 top three. FANTELA and MARENIC maintain their lead by scoring the bullet in today's only race, and Harada RYUNOSUKE and Yugo YOSHIDA (JPN) move up one place over Italy's Fabio ZENI and Nicola PITANI, and now take second place overall after winning the race in their group.

The Race Committee had to deal with some difficult situations today. Helmut CZASNY (AUT), the Principal Race Officer who is in charge of Race Management, explained, "We waited for the thermal wind to come up in the afternoon. At about 13:00 it was there and it seemed like conditions were to be as good as yesterday. Shortly after the start of the men's groups, the sky got cloudy and the steady thermal wind got disturbed, causing nasty wind shifts. We had to abandon the ongoing races." CZASNY said

In the men's "yellow" group, five crews already suffered a disqualification after an early start with the "black flack" hoisted.

The Race Committee waited for a couple of hours for the conditions to improve. Finally a light 8 knots northerly breeze came up and another attempt was made to get racing going in the men's fleet. As the wind dropped, the Race Committee decided not to start the women and shorten the men's races.

For the #1 crew in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER from the Netherlands, Tuesday proved dissappointing as they were hoping for some favourable conditions, after their disqualification in race three yesterday.

"It was a day of floating competition on the water, moving up and down in the fleet like a jojo. Pressure changed and differed by the meter", Kalle COSTER said.

During yesterday's third race, the Dutch came in a "right of the way" situation with Gabrio ZANDONA and Edoardo MANCINELLI from Italy. The Italians protested and the Dutch spent the rest of the evening defending their vision on the incident. The Dutch got disqualified and lost their best result of day one, a third place. They drop from 10th overall down to 20th.

"Unfortunate, but it doesn't mean that it's in our way to climb back up. We still have nine races to go and everything is possible, especially in these conditions" Kalle COSTER said.

Tomorrow's conditions will be very important to maintain the events' schedules. A tough job for Race Manager CZASNY.

"We still need two more races for both men's groups and even three races for the women's fleet to finalize the qualifiers. We will do our best. If we do not succeed, we will continue on Thursday until we have six races before the final series start." CZASNY said.

Athens 2004 Men's Two Person Dinghy gold medallist, Kevin BURNHAM (USA), observed racing and the hard work from the Race Committee from his coach boat.

"The conditions here are very difficult, with wicked shifts. It's incredible what the Race Committee has to deal with, and I admire them how they handle it. They are doing an excellent job!" BURNHAM said.

Racing in the qualifying series continues tomorrow, with the action in Austria continuing through until the Medal Races on 14 June.

Men's Results - click here
Women's Results - click here
Rick van Wijngaarden (As Amended by ISAF)
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