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16 June 2006, 09:37 am
DEMPSEY And MANCHON Lead Into Medal Races
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David BELL, Yes, No

Petrol Ofisi RS:X European Championships 2006
Alacati, Turkey

Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) and Blanca MANCHON (ESP) lead the way into the decisive Medal Races at the ISAF Grade C1 RS:X European Championships. Both face stiff challenges in what looks set to be a nail biting finale in Alacati, Turkey.
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Two final races in both fleets yesterday decided the top ten sailors who will move forward to compete in the Medal Races today. With a second and a third DEMPSEY may well have expected to extend his 14 point overall lead, but second place Joeri VAN DIJK (NED) had a blistering day, with two bullets moving him within eleven points of the lead. Meanwhile third place Nicolas HUGUET (FRA) did not fare so well and although he secured the bronze medal, has no chance of silver provided the top two finish in today's Medal Race.

Things are much tighter in the women's fleet where 2005 ISAF Youth Worlds Champion and 2005 Mistral World Champion MANCHON took advantage of a slip up by Antonia FREY (GRE) to move into the lead. The Spaniard has been consistent throughout the series and finishes of 6,4 yesterday put her three points ahead of FREY, who suffered with an 18,8 day.

Ten points off the lead and still well within shooting distance of the gold is France's Pauline PERRIN, with Bryony SHAW (GBR) just two points behind her in fourth and also right amongst the battle for medals.

Yesterday's Races

The same sunny conditions which have typified the regatta were again in force yesterday, but with a southerly push in the light breeze.

The men were off after a short delay. With the start boat situated very close to the shore spectators from the One Ephesus Hotel could be seen on all the balconies. DEMPSEY was buried off the start and had to endure a left side push for longer than desired. VAN DIJK was luckier and made the top mark clear of all comers.

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Joeri VAN DIJK was on top
of his game yesterday
© David BELL
The mark roundings were a hive of confusion with shouting and furious sail and board movements. Once around the sculling pumping motions had sailors at boiling point. VAN DIJK cleared out and DEMPSEY took the same line with the end result seeing the Dutchman first, the Brit second and Nicholas LE GAL (FRA) third.

FREY Struggles

The women's first race was started in similar fashion light breeze and lumpy seas. The results so far, have seen the top five positions super close with FREY taking a strong hold. However things did not pan out for the Greek in the first race. She scored a 19th on Wednesday and yesterday an 18th, which this time she cannot discard. Now she was only one point ahead of SHAW and PERRIN.

The shifty conditions and lumpy waters were taking their toll with sailors getting buried early and then looking for miracles to get back to the top spots.

PERRIN made the best of the conditions taking the bullet with Wai Kei CHAN (HKG) a close second and Olga MASLIVETS (UKR), normally a high wind specialist, scoring a credible third in very trying conditions.

DEMPSEY Slow Starter In Race Ten

The course was moved around for race ten to the west slightly due to the trend of shifts. And once again the DEMPSEY was caught behind the play. He was around 23rd on the first mark and just used shear strength to pump through the crowd. VAN DIJK continued his light wind blasting, stretching his lead to a good 200 yards whilst DEMPSEY battled on. In second place LE GAL kept the Dutchman honest keeping the lead gap to a minimum.

Heading towards the top mark for the second time DEMPSEY was on a mission. On every slight gust and every wave he gained an advantage.

DEMPSEY would get planing for 20 foot then, as the gust passed, would pump even more. By the time he reached top, he had pulled back another ten places. The whole fleet chose the left side to drive back down wind.

DEMPSEY went left and found that one stream of wind and planed all the way to the gate, picking off everybody except VAN DIJK and LE GAL. Either lucky or gifted, the goods were in the bag.

The Final Women's Race

The women were finally on to their last race with a good clean start, which saw MASLIVETS and Christine JOHNSTON (GBR) plane over to the left side in pressure and the rest of the fleet opt to the right.

Once again PERRIN was in a commanding position. The pressure lightened and the race committee sent the chase boat out. With the abandonment flags and whistles blasting they rounded up the sailors. Moments later the wind had shifted and the northerly kicked in. It then took the better part of an hour for the wind to settle down, this time from the west north west.

Hong Kong's CHAN took the gun from PERRIN with Flavia TARTAGLINI (ITA) in third. MANCHON moved up to take fourth, which was good enough to put her in first place overall. FREY had an eighth place, dropping her to second place - three points behind.

Men's Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Pts
1 GBR Nick DEMPSEY 2 6 1 1 2 (7) 4 1 2 3 22
2 NED Joeri VAN DIJIK (11) 9 3 10 3 2 2 2 1 1 33
3 FRA Nicolas HUGUET 4 12 1 5 4 1 18 5 (20) 4 54
4 UKR Maksym OBEREMKO 13 6 17 6 3 18 1 (33) 6 8 78
5 POL Piotr MYSZKA 5 15 4 4 4 1 17 17 (18) 14 81
6 FRA Nicolas LE GAL 10 (19) 5 23 8 24 7 6 3 2 88
7 NZL Jon-Paul TOBIN 2 5 11 (22) 1 17 19 20 9 16 100
8 NZL Tom ASHLEY 16 8 6 19 15 4 3 4 (37) 26 101
9 POL Przemek MIARCZYNSKI 10 7 19 16 5 2 16 (44) 23 6 104
10 HKG King Yin CHAN 7 (29) 2 23 10 5 20 27 7 12 113

Women's Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Pts
1 ESP Blanca MANCHON (17) 8 3 4 10 12 3 1 6 4 51
2 GRE Antonia FREY 6 3 1 6 5 3 4 (19) 18 8 54
3 FRA Pauline PERRIN 11 10 2 2 3 17 13 (18) 1 2 61
4 GBR Bryony SHAW 3 1 6 7 12 11 7 (24) 10 6 63
5 HKG Wai Kei CHAN (DNF) 23 7 20 6 1 9 8 2 1 77
6 UKR Olga MASLIVETS 1 20 4 3 13 10 20 5 3 (21) 79
7 ITA Flavia TARTAGLINI 12 (26) 14 13 1 19 1 9 12 3 84
8 ISR Maayan DAVIDOVICH 5 19 10 (22) 2 6 18 10 4 13 87
9 POL Zofia KLEPACKA 2 16 9 9 8 20 12 (27) 13 7 96
10 FRA Lise VIDAL (22) 18 5 14 4 9 16 12 9 16 103

For all the news on the RS:X European Championships CLICK HERE.

David BELL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Nick DEMPSEY leads into today's Medal Races:© David BELL
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