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27 July 2007, 10:12 am
Last Day of Qualifying Series
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470 Junior World Championship 2007
Bourgas, Bulgaria

After Wednesday's mass finishing in the blue fleet, the protest room was kept busy. Over 25 boats crossed the line in such close proximity (all in 10 seconds) and the race committee boat had a super hard time clarifying the exact finishing order and many sailors were pushing to either get a redress or request a scoring recheck. A partial resolution was reached, with still a couple of scoring requests being held later in the day.
The one very positive thing to start early yesterday was the wind, a total reversal of Wednesday's conditions. A direction of around 60 degrees (NE) at around 20 to 22 knots with gusts in the 26 knot range with short, sharp and choppy waves at around 4 to 5 foot. Now as the sailing instructions noted, there was 4 days to get in 6 qualifying races. So the race committee decided to run one race to complete the series with a full score.

14:00 saw the first start in the silver fleet in full planing conditions in huge waves, very spectacular. The day was not with out some incidents three boats broke shrouds and others had big crashing capsizes. In all, 14 boats didn't finish and had to limp home but those who wound their courage level up, really did a fantastic job, in such trying conditions. Again it was the day of the heavy hitters, Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC (CRO) just tuned themselves into the conditions and pushed the boat faster, higher, deeper and over more ground than anybody else. They led by around 400 metres from their closest rival. Just flying! With a lesser margin Levine EYAL and Amir YAM (ISR) did the same in their fleet. Levine commented 'Both Yam and I love the windy conditions we can find that the only way to handle the choppy waves is to go faster.'

Other notable achievements were made by Georgios VASILAS and Evangelos MITAKIS (GRE) who are the easily one of the lightest crews, blasting to a second place finish in the gold fleet. Georgios: 'We had to loose a lot of weight for the Europeans in Thessaloniki, So we are not very heavy. We went fast today because we have a really good technique, something we have been working on for some time. And It shows due to our score in this 6th race.'

Five Women's Boats Go Through

A look at the women's part of the fleet sees five women's boats going through to the gold fleet with only a 16 point spread. Greece, Finland, Spain, Australia and Switzerland, have all made it through to battle out to see who will be the best women's team. Stacy OMAY and Chelsea HALL (AUS) had a great race, scoring a 12th place finish. Chelsea is last years 420 World Champion and has been sailing with Stacey for only a couple of months. Emanuelle ROL and Anne-Sophie THILO (SUI) were black flagged (BFD) on Wednesday and had gear breakage in yesterday's race so just made it in to the top 41, but were clearly upset with their last two days.

Tomorrow sees the split of the top 41 come into effect. It will be interesting to see how the top teams will handle racing against each other. The forecast is for something resembling today so stay tuned for more action today.

David BELL (As Amended By ISAF), Image: Exciting Conditions! © David BELL
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