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13 September 2007, 10:53 am
Gold Medal Fleet Decided
Image of 49ers racing
It was a day of light winds in Marsala

Seiko 49er European Championship 2007
Marsala, Sicily, Italy

Qualification came to a close on Wednesday at the ISAF Grade C1 Seiko 49er Europeans with the crews having to adapt their techniques to light air sailing.
The wind was visibly less on Wednesday and although it built up throughout the day the maximum was only ever 8-9 knots. The westerly wind then dropped further throughout the course of the racing finishing the final qualification in only 5 knots of wind.

Some of the crews, with a lighter combined weight, thrived in this weather, one of which was Federico ALONSO and Arturo ALONSO (ESP), commenting of the race ALONSO said, 'We had a bad day yesterday so needed to perform today, this wind is good for us and good starts helped us to have a very good day.'

In such a light wind it was essential that the sailors got a good start and were able to sail into clear air from the very beginning. This was the key for all the successful sailors. Jan-Peter PECKOLT and Hannes PECKHOLT (GER), although using their discard on the final race of the day, enjoyed another good day of racing, commenting on the starts Hannes said, 'Today was interesting; those who made good starts and made it to a clear lane got to go all the way, those sailors were fine, On the other hand though, for example, our last start we messed it up and came in the 20's.'

For all the crews, with the qualification under their belt the regatta really starts today. The beginning of the gold medal fleet races has come at a perfect time for one of the home crews, the Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA). With home support from the Italian's spectating on the water, the SIBELLO brothers have gradually improved throughout the week, peaking just before the start of the medal races. With two first places on Wednesday, the SIBELLO brothers have propelled themselves to third in the leaderboard.

'We had some really good starts today, we were sixth going into the racing this morning. The real racing begins tomorrow though, we have had a very good qualifying improving everyday; we can sail in any wind conditions so are going into tomorrow and the gold fleet very confident.'

With light winds forecasted again for today, hopefully the Race Officers will be able to keep up to date with the race schedule.

Laura Pollard (As Amended By ISAF)
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