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2 July 2002, 08:16 pm
Overview Report from Day 1
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© Gilles Martin-Raget

2002 ISAF World Sailing Games

Racing day was in superb conditions, good winds, sun and excellent race management. A few upsets, and clear early indicators in a few classes - but it is all open, with two races completed in each event.
The format

The scheduled time for the warning signal for racing each day is 11.00, with up to three races per day being sailed in each event.

There are eight scheduled racing days, and a reserve day if necessary, with all events scheduled to sail a total of 18 races.

The single-handed men's event - Laser, keelboat men - J/80, and keelboat women - J/22 will sail a qualification series of 12 races followed by a final 6 race series. For these events, during the first 12 races, boats will be re-seeded each day based on that day's total scores, and after the 12 races have been completed crews will be assigned to a Gold and Silver fleet.

All other events will sail in a single fleet to complete their 18 races.

The events are assigned to the five racing areas with each event men and women racing on the same area, but after each other.

Courses are either the trapezoid outer, trapezoid inner or windward/leeward.

Racing day was in superb conditions, good winds, sun and excellent race management.

So who performed out on the water?

There was clear early domination in some of the events, with double-bullets none more so than Italy's Alessandra Sensini, who took her first two bullets to achieve a comfortable margin already in the women's boardsailing event and demonstrate an expert transition to the Bic Techno from the Mistral board used for the Olympic Regatta. With 18 races scheduled and only 2 discards, there is no margin of error. This result, together with her teammates' top performance in the multihull open event and boards men event, should put Italy on the first step to climbing the ladder to defend the King's Trophy as the top overall performing nation, an accolade they have held since 1994.

Provisional Results - Subject to Protest Hearings.
Final Results are available on the event website

Single-handed men - Laser
With the fleet split in two, and you could therefore say the talent equally divided between two fleets, there were some relatively new faces taking the bullets in each race.

In race 1 for the Yellow Fleet, it was Evagelos Chimonas (GRE) who took the bullet, with Jim Taylor (GBR) taking the gun in the second race. Behind them in 6th and 4th for the two races was Brazil's Robert Schedit, the world ranking leader. A consistent performance was put in by Gareth Blanckenberg (RSA) who placed 4th and 2nd respectively to sit atop the yellow fleet.

Over in the blue fleet, it was current world ranked number 18 Daniel Birgmark (SWE) who took the first race ahead of Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Diego Negri (ITA).

However Zbogar's eighth place in the second race was enough to leave him leading the blue fleet after two races.

Single-handed women - Laser Radial
With 28 entries, much to their delight the French saw Sophie de Turkheim (FRA) take the gun in the first race, ahead of Katarzyna Szotynska (POL) and Gea Barbie (CRO).

A repeat performance for Turckheim (FRA) in race 2 to dominate this first racing day, winning the two rounds. But she will have to watch closely over her immeidate opponents, Katarzyna Szotynska (POL), Larisa Nevierov (ITA), Gea Barbic (CRO) and Nicky Muller (GBR).

Double-handed men - 470
No doubt wanting to reflect their country's reigning Olympic Gold Medal status, it was Australians Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page who claimed Race 1, in this 45 boat fleet. A disappointing start for the defending champions Petri Leskinen/Kristia Heinila (FIN) who place 17, but they showed similar form by finishing 17th in the second race of the day. The world number 3 pairing of Gideon Kliger/Udi Gal (ISR) came second in the first race.

Race 2 again saw the Wilmot/Page take the bullet to sit them in the lead - a great start to the first day.

The hosts, France will be pleased with both their entries finishing in the top 7 with a 3rd and 7th place respectively in race 1, followed by 4th and DNC, which sees brothers Benjamin Bonnaud/Romain Bonnaud (FRA) lying second overall.

1998 silver medallists and 1996 Olympic Gold Medallists Yehven Braslavets/Igor Matvienko (UKR) sit 4th overall.

Double-handed women - 470
It had to be. The reigning Olympic Gold Medallists continued their winning form from Kiel Week to take bullets at both of today's two races, to sit with a 5 point margin after two races over second placed Natalia via Dufresne/Sandra Azon (ESP).

A surprise result for Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE), the current world and European champions and world ranking leaders in the 470 class, as they took a 6 and OCS to lie 19th overall after two races. With only two discards in this 18 race series no-one is going to want too many OCS results.

Also looking good was Sweden's Theresa Torgerson/V Zackrisson who took a 3rd and 4th to sit in third place after today's racing.

Sister's Janja Orel/Alenka Orel (SLO) will be pleased with today's performance of a 5th and 8th place to sit them in 5th overall.

Women's Keelboat - J/22
The women's keelboat event is split into two fleets.

In the blue fleet, a dominating start by Cordelia Ellis (GBR) and crew with two bullets, although there was similar consistency with all the top three, so no room for errors. This result is most probably to be expected from Ellis as she is ranked 24th in the world, although this time a year ago was up in the world's top 10.

Second and third places overall are taken by Australia and New Zealand.

Over in the yellow fleet, the French team led by well-known sailor and keelboat world champion from 1994, Christine Briand took a 2nd place and then a bullet, to match the results of New Zealand's Karleen Dixon and crew who scored a 1st and 2nd. Of course this results draws them equal in first place overall, and could be an indicator for things to come. A tie also for third place between Dale Hudson (RSA) and Julia Conti (ITA).

Three of the world's top ranked women's match race sailors are here, but they didn't equal their match racing performance in the fleet racing all finishing mid-fleet.

Men's Keelboat - J/80

The J/80 makes it debut appearance at the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games, and living up to the pundits the French are dominating in the J/80 yellow fleet with Francois Brenac (FRA) taking two bullets, clearly indicating his intentions of successfully defending his 1998 world championship title.

A similar performance in the blue fleet, with Great Britain's Joe Llewellyn taking line honours in both races.

Multihull Open - Hobie 16

Matching team-mate Alessandra Sensini's place atop the women's boardsailing event, the pairing of Alberto Sonino/Adria Guarnieri (ITA) took a 1st and 3rd to lead the fleet after today's racing. Meanwhile the 1994 gold medallist in the multihull open event Enrique Figueroa/Car Malatrasi (PUR) is close behind with a 3 point deficit after a 6th and 1st placing respectively.

Hot on their heels in third are defending 1998 multihull open champions, Shaun Ferry/Alison Ball (RSA) who took a 9th and 2nd.

Other well known faces in this fleet include Olympic silver medallist in the Tornado Class Darren Bundock with crew Mark Padgett (AUS) who are placed 7th overall, with fellow Aussies and current Hobie 16 World Champions Gavin Colby/SimoneMatfiedl (AUS) lying in 4th.

Multihull Women - Hobie 16
With pretty strong winds blowing, only four of the 15 strong fleet completed both races, with the remaining crew either not finishing Race 2 within the time limit or not actually starting.

None of the 1998 medallists have returned to defend their titles, and it is the host country France with Marie Duvignac/Claire Japhet who are leading with a 1 point margin over fellow teammates Florence Delory/Laurian Le Gac (FRA). Better knowledge of the very variable waters and weather here - could be - we will see as the regatta progresses.

In third overall are Helen Scott/Kami Marshall (GBR) who took a 5th and 2nd.

Sailboard Men and Women - Bic Techno

In the male sailboard, three professional racers have comfortably taken the lead, led by Italy's Andrea Cuccchi, to match Alessandra Sensini (ITA) in the women's event.

One big surprise today was the excellent performance of China's Zhang Chujun who takes second place overall after today's races.

A report and results are also available on the event website.
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