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9 June 2006, 12:42 pm
DEMPSEY Eyes Up European Title
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Petrol Ofisi RS:X European Championships 2006
Alacati, Turkey

After a lucrative start to the 2006 season, Olympic bronze medal winning windsurfer Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) will be firmly in the hunt for his first ever European title when racing gets underway at the ISAF Grade C1 RS:X European Championships. The Brit will not be alone in his quest for glory though, with well over 100 windsurfers lined up for the start of racing in Alacati, Turkey this Saturday.
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Also set for the start in Alacati are Olympic Champion Gal FRIDMAN (ISR), World number one Ivan PASTOR (ESP), Mistral World Champion Nicolas HUGUET (FRA) and Hyères winner and World number four Casper BOUMAN (NED).

On the former Olympic Mistral board, World and European Championship medals eluded the Norwich born, Weymouth based windsurfer, but DEMPSEY is in good form ahead of the week long Europeans, enjoying a string of successes this season on the NeilPryde RS:X - the new Olympic equipment brought in for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The world number three DEMPSEY has already bagged four medals - three golds and a silver - for Skandia Team GBR on the RS:X at the major ISAF Graded Olympic Classes events this year at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR, ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères and most recently at the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta, and is confident for his first podium finish at a European Championship.

No Lack Of Ambition

'Basically, I want to win everything!' DEMPSEY explained.

'The win in Holland was important psychologically for me ahead of the Europeans, and to get three firsts and a second in the first major regattas of the season can't be bad preparation!'

British Development squad sailors Leo MCCALLIN (GBR) and Hugh SIMS WILLIAMS (GBR) will also fly the Skandia Team GBR flag in the men's fleet at Alacati, while Weymouth's Bryony SHAW (GBR) and Brighton's Christine JOHNSTON (GBR) will campaign in the women's fleet. World number five Lucy HORWOOD (GBR) has been forced withdraw through injury.

SHAW Leads Women's Charge

Like DEMPSEY, SHAW has already enjoyed a successful transition to the new Olympic board - she was the highest placed RS:X sailor at the 2005 Raceboard Worlds and also clinched gold at the Miami and Palma regattas earlier this year. World number one Marina ALABAU (ESP) will also start amongst the favourites, whilst three-time windsurfing Olympic medallist Barbara KENDALL (NZL) will make her first appearance on the RS:X.

Some 125 competitors from 25 nations will contest the 2006 RS:X Europeans. Racing starts from Saturday 10 June, with the final Medal Race scheduled for Friday 16 June.

Lindsey BELL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Nick DEMPSEY is aiming for his first European title:© Thom TOUW
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