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27 September 2002, 05:58 pm
Germany Celebrates A Gold Medal Double
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Jens Kroker, Dietmar Steigeland Peter Reichl

IFDS World Championship and Paralympic Qualification
Medemblick

Germany are this afternoon celebrating a double victory at the 2002 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championship at the International Sailing Centre in Medemblik, Holland.
Jens Kroker, Dietmar Steigel and Peter Reichl in the Sonar and the apparently unbeatable Heiko Kroeger in the 2.4mR have both proved that in qualifying their nation in both events, Germany's sailors will be a force to be reckoned with at the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004.

Two races in both events were completed today, making a full compliment of a nine race series, a remarkable feat of race management after huge winds made racing on day one impossible.

Going into the last day in the Sonar Class, Sydney 2000 silver medallist Jens Kroker and crew had a one point lead over Atlanta 1996 gold medallist Andy Cassell sailing with Ed Suckling and Brian Harding. An emphatic win in the first race today for Kroker, with Cassell second, left it all down to the last race, with Cassell needing to beat Kroker by at least three places. The race was eventually won by Shimon BenYaakov (ISR), who took his first bullet of the series. Cassell again finished second, but a third place for Kroker gave him the overall Championship victory by one point. Brian Mackie (CAN), 2001 Disabled World Champion, although starting the regatta strongly and winning two races, finished in third place. Kroker won with a scoreline including four first places and only twice dropped out of the top three.

In the Sonar event, as well as Germany, 6 other nations have qualified for the 2004 Paralympic Regatta following their athletes' results in the 2002 Worlds. Those qualified are (subject to IFDS ratification): Germany, Great Britain, Canada, USA, Australia, Ireland and Israel.

Heiko Kroeger has also qualified Germany in the 2.4mR class for Athens 2004. With a 17 point lead over second placed Damien Seguin (FRA), Kroger added yet another World Championship title to his quiver. Although not as dominant as in last year's event, in which he won every race, Kroeger sailed a consistent series, winning four races and finishing second in two out of the nine sailed. Seguin, who won the preceding Open Dutch Championship, went into the last day with a discarded OCS and only a four point cushion from third placed Tom Brown (USA). Brown was a bronze medallist in Sydney 2000 and second at the worlds last year, but Seguin with two seconds against Brown's first and third, managed to hold off the danger from the American.

Commenting on his second World Championship win following the Sydney Paralympic gold medal, Heiko Kroeger said to ISAF; "Everything was tougher this year, especially the wind and the waves, it is very choppy. There are a lot of new and fast sailors and it was very close." Kroeger was trying out new sails for the regatta and was happy with the results they gave him saying, "it's been an exciting week, so close really."

Michiel Poulie, Chairman of the organising committee said. "We have had a splendid tournament" and continued, "Especially Tuesday and Wednesday were great sailing days, it was fantastic to see the Dutch sailors perform. Also all our foreign guests have had a wonderful week in Holland. They truly enjoyed the good sportsmanship and hospitality".


Again, seven nations in total qualify for the Paralympic Regatta in Athens from this event, they are (subject to IFDS ratification): Germany, France, USA, Denmark, Australia, Norway and the Netherlands. All entries are subject to ratification by the IFDS. The second and final opportunity for athletes to qualify their nation will be at the 2003 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championship, to be held in Piraeus, Athens.

Overall Top 10 (After 9 Races/1 Discard)

Sonar


Position Nation Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Points
1 GER Jens Kroker 2 1 1 -12 8 1 10 1 3 27,0
2 GBR Andrew Cassell 1 2 6 4 3 8 -11 2 2 28,0
3 CAN Brian Mackie 5 6 11 1 1 2 -14 12 10 48,0
4 USA Rick Doerr 4 (ocs) 8 2 2 11 9 4 8 48,0
5 AUS Noel Robbins 8 5 2 3 (ocs) 6 15 8 4 51,0
6 IRL John C. Twomey 10 (ocs) 4 14 9 10 5 3 5 60,0
7 ISR Shimon BenYaakov 9 12 10 -19 13 4 4 9 1 62,0
8 IRL Paul McCarthy 6 11 3 11 -17 7 3 10 12 63,0
9 GBR John Robertson 13 7 5 -18 11 3 12 14 7 72,0
10 SWE Carl Gustaf Fresk 7 8 -14 9 14 14 1 6 14 73,0


2.4mR

Position Nation Helm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Points
1 GER Heiko Kröger 1 2 -12 1 2 1 9 1 4 21,0
2 FRA Damien Seguin 2 5 1 2 (ocs) 22 2 3 1 38,0
3 USA Tom Brown 5 11 -22 3 7 2 10 2 2 42,0
4 DEN Jens Als Andersen 6 1 15 10 1 -17 11 4 8 56,0
5 AUS Peter Thompson 4 25 7 4 5 (ocs) 1 10 3 59,0
6 NOR Jostein Stordahl 3 10 2 7 6 6 -17 11 14 59,0
7 NED Thierry Schmitter 9 7 -28 9 3 8 4 15 9 64,0
8 AUS Michael McLean 13 3 20 17 4 3 5 8 -21 73,0
9 NOR Bjornar Erikstad 7 4 6 6 13 (ocs) 16 7 18 77,0
10 NED Ruud van Holsteyn 10 21 3 13 (ocs) 10 3 18 11 89,0



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