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10 August 2007, 10:07 am
Wind Cheats Sailors On Day One In Denmark
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Ian WILLIAMS beat Jesper BANK and Bjorn HANSEN during the first day of the Danish Open 2007

Danish Open 2007
Copenhagen, Denmark

The first day of the ISAF Grade WC Danish Open 2007 brought three skippers to the front after the first five flights of the Round Robin have been completed. Jesper BANK (DEN), Jesper RADICH (DEN) and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) all recorded three victories out of five.
Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Sebastien COL (FRA) and Sten MOHR (DEN) all scored two victories apiece.

There was a northerly breeze of 5-8 knots which was very shifty during the early matches. Competitors also had to contend with a south running current.

During the morning flights the racing was close especially the matches between HANSEN and BANK and then HANSEN against MOHR. In both matches HANSEN emerged as the victor after skilfully getting penalties onto his opponents. In the match between HANSEN and MOHR, MOHR lead all the way and whilst trying to offload his penalty at the finish line infringed HANSEN by not giving him room. A second penalty to MOHR sealed his fate and handed the win to HANSEN.

Today brought a flurry of protests, 15 in all bringing about five penalties given by the on water umpires.

Chief Umpire John STANDLEY said, 'One of the major changes since about 2000 is the increasing level of professionalism within the sport in general for both competitors and officials. There are far fewer drawn out discussions on the interpretation of the rules. During today for example there was little or no disagreement with the umpire decisions on the water.'

For BANK it was a particularly interesting day as he has not sailed on the World Match Racing Tour since the Monsoon Cup last year, where he finished fifth. "The wind came from the north today which I have never experienced at the Danish Open before. The current was strong at times which made things tricky but at the same time it was great fun. We are trying to get things together as a crew because we have never sailed as a team before. Everything is going well and with three wins out of five I am reasonably satisfied," said BANK.

Not all the teams had the chance to race today on the sunny waters off Skovshoved harbour. After the first five flights the crews were changed and unfortunately at the same moment the wind vanished. After an hour of waiting for wind the crews were sent ashore and at 17:00 sailing was stopped for the day.

Racing will start again tomorrow at 10:00.

Flemming Vitus
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