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25 June 2005, 10:48 am
Fleets Wait For Wind
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Kiel Week 2005
Keil, Germany

Kiel Fjord offered midsummer air and sea temperatures yesterday but not enough breeze for all fleets to race. Paige RAILEY (USA) increases her hold on the Laser Radial fleet whilst Elsie RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS) look untouchable in the 470 Women and Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) announces his imminent retirement from the Laser class.
The Race Committee postponed all fleets in the morning but eventually sent out everyone except the Tornado, 49er and Mistrals who stayed ashore due to the lack of minimum wind speed. It was not to be for most of the others either and in the end it was only the 470 fleets and the Women's Laser Radial fleet who completed a race after long, hot hours on the water.

2003 ISAF Youth Worlds gold medallist, 18 year old Paige RAILEY (USA) maintained her lead in the Laser Radial fleet after finished third in yesterday's race. She now leads by seven points from Sweden's Karin SÖDERSTRÖM, SWE who posted a fifth to stay in second place just four points ahead of Natalia IVANOVA (RUS) who had a less satisfactory day finishing tenth - points she discards.

Previous series leader Tatiana DROZDOVSKAYA (BLR) was again unable to produce the form that she enjoyed at the beginning of the regatta and a disastrous 31 pushes her further down the leaderboard to 14 overall. Can she regain her form and climb back up the podium? It's not looking good for her and it was Ciara PEELO (IRL) and Charlotte DOBSON (GBR) who had the best of things yesterday. Both posted bullets and now lie at fifth and sixth overall respectively.

Both the men's and the women's 470 fleets completed races yesterday and have teams are now counting the results from five races. The Argentinean team of Mathia BUHLER and Marcos LAMAS remain at the top of the leaderboard despite having their worst day so far. Their lead is now diminished to just one point ahead of ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne winners Mathew BELCHERand Nick BEHRENS (AUS) who posted a second yesterday. Michael ANDERSON-MITTERLING and David HUGHES (USA) maintain their position in third after taking the bullet yesterday and are just three points behind Belcher and Behrens. The winners of the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR, Sven and Kalle COSTER (NED) had their best day yesterday, finishing second and now lying seventh overall on equal points with three other teams.

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Petra NIEMANN (GER) © segel-bilder.de

Over in the women's fleet, the young Australian team of Elsie RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON have stamped their authority on this regatta. Rechichi has two ISAF Youth Worlds gold medals in the 420 and a silver medal in the 29er under her belt and is a relative new comer to the senior 470 circuit. Rechichi and Parkinson won the gold together at the 2004 Youth Worlds in Poland and just last month had their best ever ISAF Graded event last month when the finished second at the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta in Medemblik. After an OCS in race two they were way down the leaderboard but now the discard has kicked in they stand clear at the top having won all four of their other races and are a monster nine points ahead of second placed Sabine WALTER and Antje STRUCKAT (GER), the only other team to win a race. In third place is Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED).

At the press conference yesterday Helena LUCAS (GBR) discussed her plans for the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition in the 2.4mR - in this male dominated fleet she consistently challenges the experienced veterans of the class and currently shares the lead in Kiel with Heiko KRÖGER and 2004 Paralympic bronze medallist Thierry SCHMITTER (NED).

The big, yet not unsurprising news, from the Press Conference was that Laser legend, seven time World Champion and triple Olympic medallist, Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) announced that this will be his last year of Laser sailing. Together with crew Bruno PRADA he plans to campaign a Star for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Racing continues today.

ISAF (Source: event media) Image: Women's 470 fleet © segel-bilder.de
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