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24 November 2006, 09:44 am
French Pair Lead The Way
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Tornado South American Championship 2006
San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Olivier BACKES and Paul Ambroise SEVESTRE (FRA) got off to a winning start at the ISAF Grade C1 Tornado South American Championship in San Isidro, Argentina. The French pair took the opening bullet in the 32 strong fleet, as they prepare for the ISAF Grade W Tornado Worlds starting on 5 December.
BACKES and SEVESTRE, the Olympic Test Event winners, took the lead early in the first race and never looked back, cementing victory by going left on the final upwind. 'They were just brilliant,' said Fletch, the legendary Australian coach. 'In control from the start to the finish.'

Iordanis PASCHALIDES and Kostas TRIGONIS (GRE) took second place in light and shifty conditions of around 6-12 knots. Recently crowned Argentinean Champions and Olympic bronze medallists Santiago LANGE and Carlos ESPINOLA (ARG) were third and the best placed of the South American teams.

Mischa HEEMSKERK (NED) came in fourth sailing with Mitch BOOTH's (NED) former crew Herbert DERCKSEN (NED). Behind the Dutch in fifth place were Olympic silver medallists Team Advanced Equities, John LOVELL and Charlie OGLETREE (USA).

OGLETREE described their race, 'We sailed a solid race to move up every leg to round the last leeward gate in second. We chose the right side on the last beat and then the wind shifted 30 degrees left ahead of a rain cloud and we lost three boats. A fifth is a 'keeper' in this tough fleet and we are looking forward to tomorrow.'

Race two was abandoned after the boats reached the first mark the wind shifted 180 degrees. It could not be restarted as the Navy sent out an alert of stormy weather and the Race Committee decided to bring the boats back to the club.

Top Ten
Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 Pts
1 FRA Olivier BACKES Paul SEVESTRE 1 1
2 GRE Iordanis PASCHALADIS Constantinos TRIGONIS 2 2
3 ARG Santiago LANGE Carlos ESPINOLA 3 3
5 USA John LOVELL Charlie OGLETREE 5 5
6 GER Johannes POLGAR Florian SPALTEHOLZ 6 6
8 ESP Fernando ECHAVARRI Anton PAZ 8 8
9 ESP Toni RIVAS Fabian ESCUDÉ 9 9
10 AUS Darren BUNDOCK Glenn ASHBY 10 10

For all the news on Tornado South American Championship CLICK HERE.

Patricia Kirschner (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Olivier BACKES and Paul SEVESTRE lead in Argentina:© Cancan Chu/Getty Images
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