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25 September 2002, 10:50 am
News article - Style G 5054
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Antoine Albeau© PWA/Williams

Sylt, PWA Grand Slam

The third day of competition in Westerland began quietly with a 5-knot onshore breeze keeping racers and wave sailors on the shore and relaxing in the hospitality tent.

By 2.00 pm the wind had strengthened to 9 to 10 knots from the northwest. Time for the racing to commence. Race Director Klaus Michel sent the Women's fleet out first to complete their 6th race after missing one on day 1 due to the extreme conditions.

Race 6 Women
Out on the water alone for a change, the women's fleet got away to a clean start at the first time of asking. The leading pack quickly pulled clear and this time it was Christine Johnston (Starboard/Neil Pryde) who rounded the windward mark first with 50 meters to spare ahead of Lucy Horwood (AHD/Gaastra) and current leader Dorota Staszewska (Starboard/Neil Pryde). The long downwind leg saw no change and the leaders headed back upwind with Christine taking the right, Lucy the middle and Dorota the left side of the course. Dorota made the right choice and reversed the order once again at the top of the course, rounding 50 meters ahead of Christine. The downwind leg was frantic with some of the girls on 11m2 rigs in a solid 15 knots. The first four stayed the same all the way to the finish flag.

DOROTA STASZEWSKA (Starboard/Neil Pryde)
went to the left side for the second upwind leg, which was much better. I was lifted all the way and Lucy and Christine both overlaid the mark. My start was not so good but I sailed well!"

Race 7 - Women
The wind had increased a little and stayed around the 15-knot mark. The women once again started cleanly and Dorota Staszewska made a great start and found the front of the fleet. Lucy Horwood was close behind at the windward mark but just could not gain on Dorota. The positions were unchanged for the rest of the race and Dorota comfortably took the win ahead of Lucy, followed by Christine Johnston and an improving Verena Fauster (Starboard /Gaastra) from Italy in 4th position.

After seven races from a possible maximum of 15 Dorota has once again built an impressive lead with 6 consecutive 1st positions! The two British sailors continue to fight for the number two spot, but there is plenty of time for everything to change.

After 7 races the Women's standings are:
1st Dorota Staszewska (Starboard/Neil Pryde) 3.5 pts
2nd Lucy Horwood (AHD/Gaastra) 9.7 pts
3rd Christine Johnston (Starboard/Neil Pryde) 11 pts
4th Jenny Le Bihan (Bic/Neil Pryde) 22 pts

RACE 7 - Men
The men's fleet got away after one general recall and this time it was reigning Formula world champion, Kevin Pritchard's (Bic/Gaastra) turn to fire off first to the windward mark followed by Phil McGain (Gaastra) and Virgin Islander Devon Boulon (Mistral/ North). The deep downwind leg saw the top three unchanged, but Steve Allen (Fanatic) crept up to fourth.

The second lap was much the same for Kevin Pritchard, cruising out ahead on his own and that's how he stayed right to the line. The battle of the Aussies carried on for second place with Steve Allen eventually getting the better of Phil McGain. Patrice Belbeoc'h (Neil Pryde) sailed a great lap to improve from 9th and pushing Wojtek back to 5th. Current leader Antoine Albeau (AHD/Neil Pryde) forced his way through the fleet after a shocking start to finish 7th, taking Devon Boulon on the line.

"I had a great port tack start with Devon, then just basically hooked in and held on. I pretty much sailed my own race and didn't even have to cover anyone. I only made one change to my whole set up but sometimes that's all you need to get that extra spurt and I just stroked the 12.0m2 for the home run."

"I sailed a really good second lap and had a great tussle with Phil but I under-laid the windward mark by 50m and it would have been so sweet to make it. I am happy though and it keeps me in the game. Everything is still to play for."

After 7 race the Men's Standings are:

1. Antoine Albeau (AHD/Neil Pryde) 7.1 pts
2. Kevin Pritchard (Bic/Gaastra) 14.7 pts
3. Phil McGain (Gaastra) 14.7 pts
4. Steve Allen (Fanatic) 16.7 pts
5. Wojtek Brzozowki (Starboard/Neil Pryde) 18.7 pts
6. Patrice Belbeoc'h (Neil Pryde) 24 pts

Vivienne Masters/ISAF Secretariat
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