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10 June 2005, 11:09 am
High Wind Experts Come To The Fore
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Formula Windsurfing European Championships 2005
Ialisos Beach, Rhodes, Greece

On the third day of the Formula Windsurfing European Championships in Rhodes, Greece the wind really blew with gusts up to over 25 knots taking many of the competitors to their limits. The race committee ran three races for each group of the men's fleet and two races for the women.
Two of the racers obviously loved these conditions and took advantage of their high wind ability. The reigning Formula Windsurfing European Champion, Wojtek BRZOZOWSKI (POL) and the French windsurfing giant, Antoine ALBEAU (FRA) dominated their fleets. In the women's fleet Sarah HEBERT (FRA) also enjoyed the stronger breeze and scored two bullets.

The men's fleet was still in the qualification series and divided in two groups. BRZOZOWSKI won all three races of the blue group today. According to the Pole, 'Everything went perfect for me today in the races. Although I even broke a mast ten minutes before one race and barely made it to the start. But the real fight will start tomorrow when all the top riders fight in one fleet.' ALBEAU was equally as strong and dominated the yellow group with three victories. The overnight leader, reigning World Champion, Micah BUZIANIS (USA), also raced well with two seconds and a fourth. However the American was outperformed by last year's winner here in Rhodes, Ross WILLIAMS (GBR) and 2003 Formula Windsurfing World Champion, Steve ALLEN (AUS). Both scored two second places and a third.

After the day of high winds, BRZOZOWSKI takes over the overall lead with 4.2 points, in front of ALBEAU with 6.8 points. BUZIANIS dropps down to the third place with 9.4 points. Breathing down his neck is WILLIAMS on 11.4 points. ALLEN lies a little further back on 15.0 points, 2.7 points ahead of Gonzalo COSTA HOEVEL (ARG).

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Sarah HEBERT (left) used her
high wind ability to good effect
© Event Media
In the women's fleet, HEBERT was more than happy with the challenging conditions. She won both races of the day and moved up to the second place overall with a 12.4 point total. Allison SHREEVE (AUS) lost some of her lead at the front with two third places, but still managed to stay on top with 7.1 points and was happy with her performance, 'It was tough out there today! I was fighting hard. Sarah and Lucy were sailing really well in these conditions. But none the less I had a great day out on the water.' Lucy HORWOOD (GBR) is third with 13.7 points.

If the forecasts come true the wind will increase even more today with the meteorologists expecting gusts up to 30 knots.The men's fleet will be split into a gold and a silver fleet today. The first start is due at 1100 hours local time.

Matthias Regber (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Antoine ALBEAU enjoyed yesterday's windy conditions:© Event Media
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