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12 July 2005, 09:57 am
BREZELLEC Off To Flying Start
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Silva J/80 World Championship 2005
Falmouth, Great Britain

The 53 teams competing at the 2005 Silva J/80 World Championship hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth, Great Britain spent most of yesterday morning applying sun-block, sorting any last minute 'glitches' with their boats and waiting for the breeze to fill in.
With the first race postponed ashore due to the worrying lack of wind, the prayers of Race Officer Jeff MARTIN were answered at lunchtime and the fleet left the dock. A decision was made to take advantage of the four to eight knots of southerly breeze in Falmouth estuary and a windward leeward course was laid.

As the gun went to start the first race, J Suis helmed by Eric BREZELLEC (FRA) nailed the pin end but they were in good company with Kevin SPROUL (GBR) sailing Silva Dream Machine and Marie-Claude HEYS (GBR) in Jenga tacktick also vying for position with the German boat Needles and Pins of Peter HECHT and Ulrich MUENKER. The clever money went left to take advantage of the conditions on the St. Mawes side of the estuary and by the first windward mark J Suis had already established a significant lead. Needles and Pins rounded second, with Angus MCPHIE's (GBR) Wave Warrior in third.

As the big asymmetric spinnakers shot up at the windward mark it was clear that these light conditions would mean that this was going to be an extremely tricky race tactically and positions on the racetrack continued to change throughout the fleet, but particularly within the leading pack. That said, J Suis sailed intelligently throughout, taking maximum advantage of the clear air and control that a good start affords and maintained their lead through the next two laps to the finish line. Needles and Pins finished second and Jenga tacktick took third place.

BREZELLEC, helmsman of J Suis said, 'We killed the start and concentrated hard' and this was clearly no understatement. Time on the water in these boats is of paramount importance and these guys, obviously on a tight budget, sailed their boat (complete with all of their gear and their accommodation in the form of camping equipment!) from St. Malo to Falmouth to compete at the Silva J/80 Worlds. A decision had already been made to award them the 'Silva Endeavour Prize' for their efforts and a bullet for them today was a particularly poignant bonus. As a reward for their efforts, at the prizegiving this evening Adrian GRAY of Silva presented them with the key to the cottage that the title sponsor Silva have rented for BREZELLEC and his team for the duration of the championship. Big grins all round and a fantastic prize that sums up the spirit of our sport.

Becci Eplett (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The start of race one:© Lee Whitehead
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