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6 July 2002, 10:56 am
Congratulations to Siri Chandler (THA) and Miranda Powrie (NZL)
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2002 ISAF World Sailing Games

Both these sailors are amongst the 38 sailors from 13 countries benefiting from support under the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme.
The programme was introduced for the first time at the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games to assist sailors in travel and accommodation costs and provide coaching expertise before and during racing.

The picture to the left shows all the Laser Radial sailors who are benefiting from the programme, together with their French coach Olivier. Left to Right: Siri Chandler (THA), Paula Douat (COL), Olivier Magne (FRA) - coach, Michele Jacobs (GUM), Miranda Powrie (NZL).

Siri and Miranda sailed fantastic races yesterday, clearly favouring the lighter winds, to take a bullet apiece in races 5 and 4 respectively.

Speaking to ISAF this morning, Siri who is benefiting from coaching support,said: "I don't feel as though I belong at the top of the fleet, with all these excellent sailors here." However, her coach Olivier disputes this saying: "Siri meticulously prepares herself prior to the race and has every ability to continue to sail as well during the rest of the regatta." Siri admits she favours the lighter winds, saying, "Back home in Thailand, when it gets windy, I sail a Hobie, not a Laser!"

Siri's 17, 4 and 1 yesterday, take her to 14th overall after 5 races.

Aged 32, Siri is a former Optimist sailor, having participated in the 1982, 1983 and 1984 worlds. In April this year she placed 6th overall (in the open fleet) at the Laser Radial Asian Pacific Championships held in Thailand, and was first woman overall, with results including three first places.

Miranda meanwhile had started the series better with a 6th in race 1, before putting in two results outside the top 10, to be followed by yesterday's bullet and an eighth, to lie 5th overall. She has had more exposure on the international sailing circuit than Siri, and recent results include 3rd woman at the Australian Laser Radial Nationals, 1st women in the Laser Radial fleet at Sail Melbourne and 1st in the Laser Radial fleet at Sail Auckland.

For Paula Douat, who is 22, being at the ISAF World Sailing Games is really her first international event outside of South and North American Championships. She can normally be found sailing a Sunfish, most recently having been first women at the Sunfish Nationals in Columbia, and placing 7th in the open fleet. Commenting on being in Marseille, Paula said: "I am not a full-time Laser Radial sailor so my goal is not to win or anything. Being here gives me the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from the experience and to learn as much as possible. I want to be able to take back to my country some of this sailing experience." Paula is the only sailor from Columbia here in Marseille.

Similar to Paula, Michele Jacobs from Guam is the country's only sailor at the ISAF World Sailing Games, and in fact Michele puts in Guam's inaugural appearance at any ISAF Worlds. To date her major sailing achievement was taking the Silver Medal at the 1999 South Pacific Games in the Laser Radial. Speaking on who has had the greatest impact to date on her sailing career, Michele says: "Brett Chivers, a friend of mine. All my years sailing in Guam I never had any training in race tactics and preparation, until Brett came back to Guam. He has given me a lot of knowledge and experience" [Ed Note: Brett represented Guam in the single-handed dinghy open event in the Laser Class at the 1996 Olympics.]

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