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15 June 2005, 09:46 am
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Tornado World Championship 2005
La Rochelle, France

Perfect conditions in La Rochelle, France saw a return to form for some of the established names in the ISAF Grade WC Tornado World Championship, with multiple World Champion, Darren BUNDOCK and crew Aaron WORRALL (AUS), claiming victory in both of yesterday's races.
A consistent sea breeze of 9-15 knots came as a relief after Monday's delayed start. The general feeling in the fleet seemed to be one of impatience with three general recalls for race three and seven boats black flagged, including 1992 World Champion and two time Olympic medallist, Mitch BOOTH, and crew Herbert DERCKSEN (NED), and last year's winners of the Tornado Youth World title, Francois GABART and Romain DAVID (FRA) .

'The starting line was good,' explained four time World Champion and 2000 Olympic silver medallist, BUNDOCK. 'The problem was that the boats were going over the top end to try to get to the right. But the left was actually the way to go.'

'We were lucky with the general recalls,' added WORRALL. 'We hit a big jellyfish just before the start and broke the rudder, it gave us time to fix the problem.'

As the sea breeze picked up, from nine to twelve knots, the favourites seemed more comfortable than they had on the previous day and started to apply some pressure at the head of the fleet. Nobody in La Rochelle has more experience winning World Championships than BUNDOCK and the Australian took the lead after the first rounding in race three, overtaking the leading team in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and another set of former World Champions, Roland GAEBLER and Gunnar STRUCKMANN (GER). BUNDOCK and WORRALL held on to their lead to take the bullet with the Germans following them in second. Greece's 2004 Olympic representative Iordanis PASCHALIDES with crew, Konstantinos TRIGONIS, came in third, a result which helped to lift them to seventh on the overall classification.

Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) had had a topsy-turvy start to the Championship with a bullet followed by a finish of 36 on the opening day. Yesterday, they recaptured the form that led them to victory in the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta in Medemblik last month, following the Greek team in to claim fourth position. Aaron MCINTOSCH together with last year's Championship winning crew, Carlos ESPINOLA (ARG) came in fifth.

The wind picked up again for race four with 15 knots presenting spectators with a display of flying hulls. Olympic silver medallists John LOVELL and Charlie OGLETREE (USA) made their first significant move of the Championship by taking third place, although a disappointing third day means the American's still only lie 18 overall, one place ahead of GAEBLER and STRUCKMANN, who finished sixth in race four but are also being handicapped in the overall standing by a poor first day.

BUNDOCK and WORRALL got their Championship off to an unusually bad start, but went a long way to redeeming themselves with a second bullet for the day in race four. Consequently they sneak into the top ten of the leaderboard. Second place went to ECHAVARRI and PAZ who move up to fourth overall. If they can continue yesterday's form today they look set to grab the lead when the discard comes into consideration after race six. After their BFD in race three, BOOTH and DERCKSEN will also be eagerly awaiting the discard. A fourth place in yesterday's final race goes some way to amending their black flag, although along with yesterday's 42 place, the pair now face a very tough challenge to get back near the top of the leaderboard. MCINTOSCH and ESPINOLA look like the other team set to profit from the discard if they can string together two good performances in today's races. The former Olympic medal winning windsurfers have scored three fifth places in a row after a first race finish of 48. Olympic champions, Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) had another mediocre day and lie twelfth overall after finishes of 12 and 19.

Another two races are scheduled for today starting at 1330 hours local time, taking the Championship past the halfway stage and into tomorrow's lay day.

Top Ten After Four Races

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 GER Johannes POLGAR Florian SPALTEHOLZ 2 9 7 11 29
2 GBR Leigh MCMILLAN William HOWDEN 10 1 10 15 36
3 FRA Xavier REVIL Christophe ESPAGNON 7 7 17 8 39
4 ESP Fernando ECHAVARRI Anton PAZ 1 36 4 2 43
5 GBR Rob WILSON Mark BULKELEY 13 10 18 17 48
6 GBR Hugh STYLES Graham VIALS 14 2 16 17 49
7 GRE Iordanis PASCHALIDES Konstantinos TRIGONIS 19 19 3 10 51
8 DEN Peder RONHOLT Mads Moller HANSEN 5 27 8 13 53
9 GBR Andrew WALSH Edward BARNEY 16 15 6 16 53
10 AUS Darren BUNDOCK Aaron WORRALL 24 32 1 1 58
ISAF (Source: Event Media). Image, The wind provided some spectacular action on the water yesterday:© Benoit Hervochon
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