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15 May 2006, 08:30 am
Day 6: Ready For The Final Series
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ISAF World Sailing Games 2006
Lake Neusiedl, Austria

The final series of the ISAF World Sailing Games begin on Lake Neusiedl, Austria today, with the qualifiers from last week's racing joined by the top crews from the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. Five days of racing follow, with the Medal Races on Saturday 20 May to decide the ten World titles.
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After an exciting opening week in Austria, the racing moves up another notch this week, with the top crews lining up against each other in the gold fleets. With the competition still in supplied equipment (except for the 49er), there is still plenty of scope for upset, especially with the qualifiers having an extra week of experience on the tricky conditions posed by Lake Neusiedl.

The Weather

After a great day to conclude the qualifiers last Sunday, the lay day saw glassy conditions return to Lake Neusiedl, and this morning began with a gentle three knot breeze over the lake. Before midday the wind is expected to shift to the south/southwest and rise to around five knots with gusts up to eight. Into the afternoon and this is expected to increase to around seven knots with gusts up to ten. Two races are scheduled for the gold fleets, with a total of eight races scheduled for the series followed by the Medal Race for the top ten competitors this Saturday.

Qualifying Series
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Laser Radial
Men's 470
Women's 470
Hobie Tiger
Hobie 16
Team Racing

Last week Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) dominated in the Laser, with the Aussie, used to sailing in Gosford, relishing the lake conditions in Austria. Today however, eight new faces will line up in the Laser fleet including Olympic silver medallist and home favourite Andreas GERITZER (AUT), as well as bronze medallist from Athens Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO). Also lining up is number two in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings Paul GOODISON (GBR), for whom a good result in Austria this week should lift him above Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) and into the World number one slot.

New Laser Challenge

However after broken mast and two black flags put paid to his regatta in Hyères, GOODISON is taking nothing for granted and knows he is in for a tough challenge this week. 'I went for a little sail yesterday and it was pretty tricky, pretty shifty,' he said this morning. 'I would have thought it's going to be a high scoring regatta from what I can see. I think it's just going to be whoever can hold their nerve and not pick up too many bad ones during the week.'

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The Hobies are underway
© ISAF World Sailing Games
According to GOODISON it is not necessarily going to be a regatta where a smattering of bullets will identify the winner. He is approaching today's start with a more measured attitude, 'I think you're going to have to be a little more cautious because there's only going to be one discard, as there's only eight races scheduled. So a little more caution than usual and keep the percentages high as opposed to winning races and then having bad ones.'

Racing got underway as scheduled at 1100 local time for the Hobie Tiger gold fleet down in Podersdorf, although so far they are the only boats out on the course. Look out for a full report on the day's action on later today.

For all the news on the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image, All is set for the final series on Lake Neusiedl this week:© ISAF World Sailing Games 2006
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