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1 August 2007, 11:13 am
Laser Radial European Championship and Laser Radial Men's World Championship 2007
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Action from Scheveningen

VAN ACKER Extends
Scheveningen, Netherlands

Defending champion Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) extended her lead on day three of the ISAF Grade C1 Laser Radial Europeans in Scheveningen, Netherlands, posting a bullet in the single race held in light winds. In the Laser Radial Men's Worlds Eduardo VAN VIANEN (NED) moved to the top of the leaderboard.
After no racing on the second day due to strong wind and waves over 2.5 m high, the third day of the Laser Radial European and Men's World Championships was a complete contrast of not enough wind. The Race Committee started the two women's European Championship fleets and the first of the men's World Championship fleets under grey skies and a light northwest wind. As the second men's fleet waited for the course to clear the wind died to below 5 knots and racing for the first three fleets was abandoned.

As the clouds cleared the breeze came back at 10 knots, 25 degrees further to the west and the course was re-set. Each of the women's fleets started at the second attempt but the first of the men's fleets continuously pushed the line in spite of the black flag rule being in force. After 16 boats were disqualified for breaking the line during the minute before the start the fleet finally got away on the fourth attempt. The second men's fleet were far less trouble.

Defending champion, VAN ACKER, consolidated her overall lead by winning her fleet. Afterwards she said, 'I am very pleased. I had a good start and good speed and I led from start to finish'. In the women's fleets the top sailors all handled the lighter conditions well except for Croatia's Gea BARBIC whose 29th dropped her from third to 15th overall.

It was a different story for the men. Overall joint leader, Douwe BROEKENS (NED), said before the race, 'I was fast in the strong winds of the first day but it could be a different story if the wind goes light'. His fears were well founded as he finished 15th in his fleet. 'I had a disaster' he said afterwards. His disaster was not so great but it did drop him to third. His place was taken by fellow Dutchman, VAN VIANEN who had previously shared the lead. His fifth place gives him a five point lead over the chasing pack.

The Race Committee attempted to start the second of three races scheduled at 17:00 but abandoned their attempt as the spring tide produced a 2 knot cross course current making it virtually impossible for the boats to make forward progress when beating into the current on starboard tack in the 8 knot wind.

The qualifier series is extended into the fourth day and three more races are scheduled. However the building high pressure over the southern North Sea does not give much promise of winds of over 8 knots. Once again the only window for a race could be during slack water time.

Jeff Martin (As Amended By ISAF)
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