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14 June 2007, 09:16 am
Cliffhanger Medal Race In Prospect
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David BELL, Yes, No

RS:X European Championships 2007
Limassol, Cyrpus

After a delayed and dramatic day of racing in Limassol, world #1 windsurfers Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL) and Marina ALABAU (ESP) lead going into the Medal Races at the ISAF Grade C1 RS:X Europeans. In the men's fleet Poland are assured of gold, although it could go to either MIARCZYNSKI or Piotr MYSZKA (POL), whilst the women's Medal Race is set to be a repeat of the World Championship showdown between ALABAU and Alessandra SENSINI (ITA).
Wednesday proved a long day in Limassol, Cyprus! Competitors were held on the beach for seven hours until the evening breeze kicked in at 6-10 knots. A puff here; a puff there; the wind speed never really steadied but the direction was stable. Racing into the sunset, this was the last chance to make the top ten and therefore qualify for Thursday's Medal Races. The key was to maintain consistency.

SENSINI Charge

The women were the first to start at 18:00. World Champion Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) was on a charge, finishing third in Wednesday's opening race, race 8 of the series, and then following up with her first bullet of the regatta. This is a competitor that the current overall leader, Marina ALABAU (ESP), cannot ignore. She must be dreading a repeat of the World Championship Medal Race last year when SENSINI snatched the championship from her on the finishing line. There are only four points in it now so she will have to have nerves of steel on Thursday!

Also on the way up, is Blanca MANCHON (ESP), the defending European Champion, who is just 4 points behind Barbara KENDALL (NZL). KENDALL's black flag on Tuesday meant she could not discard her 12th place in the second race of the day, effectively ending her title challenge, although she now has a battle on her hands with MANCHON for the bronze medal. Look forward to a thrilling final day with a double-points scoring Medal Race in prospect.

Polish Battle

In the men's fleet, things were not going all Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI's (POL) way, in fact it was quite the reverse for the overnight leader. In finishing 13th in race 9 (first of the day) he had fought back from deep in the pack. It will be his discard. MYSZKA, on the other hand, sailed two blinders, taking two thirds, and jumping to second overall. He now trails MIARCZYNSKI by 14 points.

Nicolas LE GAL (FRA) - 5,1 for the day - is only five points off the silver medal in third overall, with Fabian HEIDEGGER (ITA) in fourth a further two points behind. Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) claimed his place in the Medal Race, scoring a first and second and putting him in eighth overall. Stand by for a great fight for the minor places on the podium.

The first Medal Race is scheduled for 10:00h on Thursday with the rest of the fleets scheduled for 12:00.

For all the news on the RS:X European Championships CLICK HERE.

Ben Barger (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Alessandra SENSINI lies second overall:© Ntina Halla
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