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17 March 2006, 09:11 am
Home Stars Shine
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Split Olympic Sailing Week 2006
Split, Croatia

After a windless opening day, the ISAF Grade 2 Split Olympic Sailing Week got underway in Croatia yesterday with 87 boats from ten nations gathered to do battle. In good wind conditions of ten to 14 knots and under a cloudy sky the home sailors shone, as the day ended with five Croatians in the leading spots.
Two courses were used for racing in the Men's and Women's 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial and 49er, with three of the scheduled nine races sailed yesterday.

Junior European and Junior World Champions Šime FANTELA and Igor MARENIĆ (CRO) got off to an impressive start in the 470, taking bullets in the opening two races, along with a third place to hold the lead overnight. In third place overall is the leading women's team of Teja ČERNE and Alja ČERNE (SLO), putting up some resistance to the Croatian dominance so far.

Across the other fleets though, the home sailors are having their own way so far. Noa NINČEVIĆ and Nikola TOPIĆ (CRO) lead a small 49er fleet, whilst there is a close battle between Karlo KURET (CRO) and Marin MIŠURA (CRO) for control of the Finn fleet.

VUJASINOVIĆ Shines In The Laser

Amongst the 32 Lasers competing, number twelve in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings Milan VUJASINOVIĆ (CRO) got off to a terrific start, with two bullets and a sixth giving him a five point lead in a top class fleet which includes three of the World's top five and Olympic silver and bronze medallists, respectively Andreas GERITZER (AUT) and Vasilij ŽBOGAR (SLO). Meanwhile in the Laser Radial, Tina MIHELIĆ (CRO) holds a one point advantage over Spain's Alicia CEBRIAN.

For the first time in Croatia, the new Olympic Format will be used, with a double-weighted Medal Race on Sunday between the top ten competitors adding a final twist of drama to the proceedings. An International Jury comprising International Judges from six nations is ensuring fair play on the water.

ISAF (source: Daroslav MAKJANIC). Image, The 470s in action:© Stipe MARINOVIĆ
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