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10 August 2005, 11:05 am
Olympic Medallists Battle For The Lead
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Laser European Championship 2005
Cartagena, Spain

A complete lack of wind yesterday morning delayed preceding at the ISAF Grade C1 Laser European Championship in Cartagena, Spain with only one race eventually taking place. However that was enough for Austria's Olympic silver medallist Andreas GERITZER to topple the sailor that beat him in Athens, Robert SCHEIDT, from the top spot.
The Race Committee was obliged to hoist the stay ashore 'v' flag yesterday morning due to the complete lack of wind in the race courses. It was a decision well made by the Race Committee, who felt it was better to have the fleet ashore than floating on the courses.

Just after 1430 hours local time the Committee lowered the 'v' flag, allowing the 242 competitors to commence the third day of the Europeans. Once more, two races were scheduled in the youth and senior divisions, but as on Monday the wind would not oblige and with the second youth race abandoned and the seniors returning to port after their first race.

Tensions were high at the starting lines of each course, with several general recalls, black flack starts and OCS's, especially in the youth competition. The first attempt at starting was at 1541. Twelve minutes later, with one Spanish candidate disqualified, youth division A began the first race of the day, and their fifth in the Championship. Division B set off at 1601 with eight black flags. With a wind of around 14 knots the race lasted 70 minutes.

Jonathan LOBERT (FRA) and Steffen NAUMANN (GER) scored victories in divisions A and B respectively. The leader in the provisional results, France's Jean-Baptiste BERNAZ took fifth place, keeping him in first place in the for a second day, although he is now tied at the top on ten points with Germany's Malte KAMRATH. Croatia's Daniel MIHELIC is just one point behind in third.

The official start for senior sailors in division A was at 1616, after two general recalls. Division B, set off at 1625 in eight to nine knots of wind.

Overnight leader, SCHEIDT could only manage ninth place, whilst GERITZER came in second to score his third top three finish in a row and move three points above the Brazilian at the head of the leaderboard. Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) also finished second to swap places with Aron LOLIC (CRO) and move up to third, just a point behind SCHEIDT. Just five points separate these top four sailors and it looks as if consistency is so far proving the key with only one bullet scored between them so far.

Victories yesterday went to Anders NYHOLM (DEN), 15th overall, and Paul GOODISON (GBR). The win for the Brit, number two in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, moves him back into the top ten at number six, just two points behind Diego NEGRI (ITA). Olympic bronze medallist Vasilij ZBOGAR (SLO) came in fourth yesterday to move up to eleventh overall and both he and GOODISON look set to benefit when the discard comes into consideration after race five tomorrow.

Top Ten After Four Races

Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 AUT Andreas GERITZER 8 2 3 2 15
2 BRA Robert SCHEIDT 4 1 4 9 18
3 AUS Tom SLINGSBY 8 7 2 2 19
4 CRO Aron LOLIC 3 6 5 6 20
5 ITA Diego NEGRI 10 11 2 5 28
6 GBR Paul GOODISON 5 21 3 1 30
7 POL Maciej GRABOWSKI 15 5 6 4 30
8 CRO Mate ARAPOV 12 3 4 12 31
9 BRA Bruno FONTES 10 1 22 10 43
10 POR Gustavo LIMA 16 4 7 22 49
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Chile's Matias DEL SOLAR (left) in action in Cartagena:©
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