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23 September 2002, 12:50 pm
Final race changes overall Olympic Class rankings at Open Dutch
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Windy Final Day Conditions©Annemiek van Kinderen

Open Dutch Championship

Yesterday`s final race for each Olympic class had predictions telling that winds would be increasing from a Force 3 inland to a force 7 on the Dutch coast.
Finally, winds varying in strength and uneasy waters demanded sailors to use all their boat handling and tuning skills in differing conditions while racing.

These conditions caused exciting races in most classes where lots of changes in the overall rankings occurred.

In the 470 Class Marcelien de Koning / Lobke Berkhout (NED) claimed the Dutch Title as overall winner, and winner in the 470 Ladies fleet. Together with the brothers Coster, who are the new Dutch Champions in the 470 Men, they have dominated the event with some exciting races, exchanging first places and finishing only one point apart overall. There were no changes in overall position on the final day with all participants of the Dutch 470 Sailing Team getting a podium place, Marjon Kooistra / Petra de Goederen in third overall position.

As both the 470 Men and 470 Women are Olympic disciplines, the Open 470 fleet overall results were divided into Men and Women.

Men: 1. Sven Coster / Kalle Coster (NED), 2. Coen de Koning / Wilco Stavenuiter (NED), 3. John Stavenuiter / Robbert Baggers (NED).

Women: 1. Marcelien de Koning / Lobke Berkhout (NED), 2. Marjon Kooistra / Petra de Goederen (NED), 3. Karin Almquist / Teresa Enander (SWE)

"The event in this format, having all Olympic and Paralympic Classes together, has definitely been an improvement compared to Dutch Championships we have experienced in the past." said Marcelien de Koning. "Fortunately, Lobke and I had a few days to recover from the Athens 2002 Regatta and the 470 Worlds where we returned from just a few days ago. We were not really convinced of our results at these last events, so with a few days of rest we had the chance to start the event with a feeling that we didn't have anything to lose This gave us a great deal of strength."

Going into the final day in the 49er class, it was already quite obvious that Quinten Blondiau / Lionel Blondiau (BEL) would have best cards to take the Dutch 49er Title home. They were able to maintain their lead, followed by Dutch Sailing Team`s Pieter Lantermans / Pim Nieuwenhuis in 2nd postion in front of Eric Peron / Pim Peters (BEL), in 3rd place overall.

Carolijn Brouwer (NED) was ensured of the Dutch Title in the Europe class after the penultimate day. In the last race of the event Christiane Petzke managed to keep her 2nd overall position while Merel Witteveen (NED) managed to win back her 3rd place on the podium over Marie van Laer (BEL).

The podium of the Laser Class became a "Dutch thing". Eduardo van Vianen (NED) maintained his overall leadership and now carries the Dutch Laser Title followed by Michiel Peters (NED). Erwin Veldman (NED) who made a very promising start at the beginning of the event had to give up his place on the stage in favour of Rolf Bouwmeester (NED) who ended the last race in 4th position.

In the Finn Class some decisions still had to be made during the last final race yesterday. Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) dominated during the whole event and finally takes the Dutch Title to Belgium. Jaap Zielhuis (NED) had an exciting final race with Stefan de Vries (NED) who finally finished in first position which put him on the same points. However, Stefan had the favourable situation of having the highest number of best finished individual races.

In the Star Class the winner was also to be decided in the last race. Serge Kats / Jean Pierre Martens (NED) finished the race in first position, hoping that Germany's Marc Pickel / Tony Kolb would make a mistake. The Germans however showed their skills and finished in third position in the last race, with a difference of 2 points, good enough to carry the Dutch Title to Germany. Marc Blees / Bastiaan Kort maintained their third overall position.

Yska Minks / Marrit de Vries / Laurens Metz didn't give away their first overall position in the Open Yngling Class. As this team is mixed, the Dutch Title to the Olympic Yngling Ladies class was gained by Annelies Thies / Petronella de Jong / Annemieke Bes (NED) who ended up second overall. Denmark`s Jorgen Ring / Frederik Loppenthin / Christian Lund finished third overall in the Open Yngling class.

The Paralympic Classes have already completed their races yesterday and were honoured today in the following positions:

2.4 Metre: 1. Damien Seguin (FRA), 2. Peter Thompson (AUS), 3. Thierry Schmitter (NED)

Sonar: 1. John C Twomey and team (IRL), 2. Garcia Vives and team (ESP), 3. Rick Doerr / Tim Angle / Maureen Mc Kinnon-Tucker (USA)

The event served as an ideal warmup event for the forthcoming IFDS World Championship, also to be held in Medemblick, starting today.

The debut of the Open Dutch Sailing Championship Olympic & Paralympic Classes has been a success with highly appreciated participation of many foreign countries.

"I have made a proposal to have all Olympic & Paralympic Classes at one place, at the same time and that has happened" said an enthusiastic Henk Gemser, Technical Director of the Dutch Sailing Federation (KNWV) in front of Dutch television, "The event fits into the route to the Olympics in Athens 2004."

Next year the event will be held in October after the ISAF World Sailing Championship 2003 in Cadiz.
Rick van Wijngaarden/ISAF News Editor
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