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30 July 2007, 04:02 pm
Greece Win Optimist Team Racing Worlds
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Optimist World Championship 2007
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Greece won the 2007 Optimist Team Racing World Championship title in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. The event at the Optimist Worlds, held in ideal 12-15 knot winds and completed within six hours, was full of surprises.
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Former medallists Peru and Poland did not even qualify. Then in the first race top seeds New Zealand lost out to the Netherlands 18-18 when their lead sailor crossed the finish line first to lose the race. Italy, seeded 3, went down to Ecuador.

In Round 2 Greece, which had beaten fourth seeds Spain in the first round, also disposed of Argentina, historically the most successful nation, while Ecuador continued to progress by beating Sweden.

Round 3 saw some of the teams defeated in Round 1 re-emerge as challengers, most notably Italy which had recovered by wins over France and Denmark, and Bermuda which had lost to Singapore: both teams secured their places in the top five by further victories in the fourth round.

The 'fast-track' match between the only two teams so far undefeated saw a surprise victory by Greece over 2006 champions Singapore. Since the principle of the repechage system is that it takes two defeats to be eliminated however, the Asians had a second chance which they took by beating Bermuda to qualify for the final. In the other semi-final Ecuador again defeated Italy but, going down to Singapore, were relegated to third place over-all.

The final was thus between Greece and Singapore. The Greeks won the first of three exciting matches, lost the second but took the final race to win gold for the first time in the 22 year history of the event.

Robert Wilkes (As Amended By ISAF).
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