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10 August 2005, 10:11 am
Two Bullets See Brits Take Control
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Ringhals Star European Championship 2005
Varberg, Sweden

Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL (GBR) have taken control at the ISAF Grade C1 Ringhals Star European Championship in Varberg, Sweden after bullets in both of yesterday's races. The number two team in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings now hold a 16 points lead with just two races in the Championship remaining.
The British pair will go into today's lay day knowing a high finish either race five on Thursday or Friday's final race will secure them their first Star European title and could well put them top of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings when they are next released on 5 October.

Current leaders of the Rankings and defending European Champions, Frederik LÖÖF and Anders EKSTROM (SWE) look set to provide PERCY and MITCHELL with one of their strongest challenges. They lie third overall after a seventh and a third place yesterday and they will further add to the pressure on the leaders if they can score a good result in race five, after which their worst result of 22nd will be discarded.

However before the Swedish pair can challenge the leaders they will first need to overcome the second place team of Hans SPITZAUER and Adi LUZLBAUER (AUT). Along with PERCY and MITCHELL they are the only team to have four single digit finishes and currently lie seven points ahead of LÖÖF and EKSTROM.

Day one leaders Afonso DOMINGOS and Bernardo SANTOS (POR) lost ground after finishes of 12 and 17 but are still just a point outside the top three. They in turn lead Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL) by just a point, after the 1996 Olympic gold medallist in the Finn and his new Star crew had a good day, scoring finishes of 5 and 6.

Yesterday was a mixed day for both World Champions Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA) and race one winners Mark MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE (USA). ROHART and RAMBEAU (FRA) could manage no better than 14th in race three but came back to finish behind PERCY and MITCHELL in the day's final race to move up to twelfth overall. MENDELBLATT and STRUBE meanwhile followed the Brits in to take second in race three and then came in ninth in race four. Both teams look set to gain greatly from the discard after race five with ROHART and RAMBEAU currently counting a finish of 43 and MENDELBLATT and STRUBE a score of 68 after going OCS in race two on Monday.

Top Ten After Four Races

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 GBR Iain PERCY Steve MITCHELL 5 5 1 1 12
2 AUT Hans SPITZAUER Adi LUZLBAUER 9 9 3 7 28
3 SWE Fredrik LÖÖF Anders EKSTRÖM 3 22 7 3 35
4 POR Afonso DOMINGOS Bernardo SANTOS 6 1 12 17 36
5 POL Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ Dominik ZYCKI 14 12 5 6 37
6 DEN Benny ANDERSEN Mogens JUST 4 27 9 4 44
7 GER Alexander HAGEN Kay FALKENTHAL 17 3 13 13 46
8 USA George SZABO Christian FINNSGÅRD 24 8 8 11 51
9 SWE Mats JOHANSSON Leif MÖLLER 7 20 18 8 53
10 GER Mattias MILLER Frithjof KLEEN 16 23 6 12 57
Lars Lantz (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL, pictured here in Athens, had a terrific day in Varberg to take the lead of the Star Europeans:© Clive Mason/Getty Images
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