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8 August 2005, 11:58 am
SCHEIDT Heads The Field
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Laser European Championship 2005
Cartagena, Spain

The opening two races of the ISAF Grade C1 Laser European Championship in Cartagena, Spain yesterday saw Olympic Champion Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) take an early lead, but he has Athens' silver medallist Andreas GERITZER (AUT) right behind him in second.
It was a long day for the 242 participants after a lack of wind delayed the start of racing. However the scheduled two races for the standard and youth divisions were completed.

Both standard and youth events are divided into yellow and blue groups and will race eight qualifying races before a gold fleet is formed to contest a four race final series.

The European Championship 2005 started off with the youth class, delayed by an hour and a half. The tension could be felt during the preparation and because of this several participants were found over the line at the starting point and the committee were forced to make a general recall. The fleet got underway after the second start with the race carried out over a quadrilateral course, the established time for each division of youth class being 90 minutes.

In division A of the youth class, the Michael BORDE (FRA) triumphed in the first race with little difficulty, while his fellow countryman Corentin PRUVOT took second place. Behind him, the Dutch sailor Douwe BROEKENS took third place, followed by Estonians Dennos KARPAK and George MARKOGIANNIS. In division B Croatia's Daniel MIHELIC took the bullet, followed by three Germans, Maite KAMRATH, Steffen NAUMANN and Simon GROTELUSCHEN.

The second race in youth event started at 1654, with a steady wind, although small gusts were noticed in the racing area.

BROEKENS improved on his third place in race one to take the bullet in division A with PRUVOT again in second place, whilst Luke BREEN-TURNER (GBR) claimed third. MIHELIC took his second bullet in division B whilst second place went to Jean-BAPTISTE BERMAR (FRA), followed GROTELUSCHEN in third.

The senior sailors got their first race underway at 1350 with the wind steady at six to seven knots.

Olympic Champion, SCHEIDT, was placed in division B, where a duel which lasted the full 80 minutes of the first race took place between the Russian Dimitri BONDARENKO and Michael BOLLOTT from New Zealand. BONDARENKO came out on top to take the bullet with BOLLOTT second and SCHEIDT coming in behind the leading battle in third place. In division A Roberto OSTUNI (ITA) took the bullet with Alexander SCHLONSKI (GER) second and Aron LOLIC (CRO) third.

In the second race started at 1800 with ten knots of wind, proving unstable and gusty, especially at the halfway mark where the wind dropped, registering at just five knots. In the last stretch the committee cut the race short, making the official race time for each division 75 minutes.

SCHEIDT claimed his first bullet of the Championship, and with the rest of the field struggling to find consistency in the conditions, takes a six point overnight lead. The second bullet also went to Brazil in the shape of Bruno FONTES, who lies fourth overall. Leading European is Olympic silver medallist GERITZER in second place overall after an eighth and a second. LOLIC is tied with him on ten points after following his third place with a seventh. Australia's Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) completes the top five after two seventh places.

Amongst some of the other leading contenders number two in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, Paul GOODISON (GBR) is 16th, 2003 European Champion, Olympic bronze medallist and number three in the Rankings, Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO) is 27th, other top ten Ranked sailors Mate ARAPOV (CRO), Matias DEL SOLAR (CHI) and Gustavo LIMA (POR) are sixth, eighth and twelfth respectively whilst Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion, Giles SCOTT (GBR) lies 33rd.

Top Ten After Two Races

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 Pts
1 BRA Robert SCHEIDT 3 1 4
2 AUT Andreas GERITZER 8 2 10
3 CRO Aron LOLIC 3 7 10
4 BRA Bruno FONTES 10 1 11
5 AUS Tom SLINGSBY 7 7 14
6 CRO Mate ARAPOV 12 3 15
7 NZL Andrew MURDOCH 5 10 15
8 CHI Matias DEL SOLAR 9 8 17
9 POL Maciej GRABOWSKI 13 5 18
10 CRO Luka RADELIC 7 11 18
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Cartagena:©
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