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10 July 2002, 06:40 am
Luca Devoti (ITA) Takes The Lead
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Finn European Senior and Junior Championships

After 3 races at the Finn Europeans, Italian Luca Devoti, 2000 Olympic Silver Medallist, is leading the fleet closely followed by Ben Ainslie, Michael Fellmann, Jafael Trujillo and Jaap Zielhuis, all within 3 points of the regatta leader.
Martin Misura (CRO) is still the first Junior sailor in front of Jonas Hoegh Christensen, with the Croatian in 12th place and the Dane in 15th . Junior champion, Chris Brittle is now 3rd Junior in front of 17 years old Tapio Nirkko from Finland.
The day's only race was started under the black flag rule after a general recall, with a wind that was stable in direction but uneven in strength over the course, varying between 12 and 18 knots.
At the top mark, 5 sailors were disqualified for premature starts (OCS), being French sailors Guillaume Florent and Mathieu Deplanque as well as Andrew Simpson and Christoph Burger who had to go back to the Yacht Club. Michele Marchesine today collected his second black flag.
After recovering from a bad start, Luca Devoti displayed some great upwind speed to lead for the third time the fleet to the top mark. The Italian was followed by Ben Ainslie who passed him on the reaches. The Laser Champion kept his lead, pushed all the way to the finish by Michael Fellmann and Mateusz Kusznierewicz who finished the race in second and third place. After the downwind legs, Luca Devoti regained more ground to cross the line in 4th position. Croatian Nenad Viali took fifth place in front of Rafael Trujillo who realised an amazing recovery, improving from 26th at the first top mark to 6th at the finish after passing 10 boats on the last beat.
3 boats were "yellow flagged" today, all on the beat at the start of the race: Junior Marin Misura, Sylvain Chtounder, and "Finn legend" American Henry Sprague for sculling!
Some special spectators were spotted on the racing area today: ISAF President, Paul Henderson and a school of dolphins!
Turkish National Judge and Finn secretary, Haluk Babacan, couldn't resist today's great sailing conditions. He swapped his place on the jury boat for the Finn of his friend, Arif Gurdenli…only to go back to the club after the race!
Two races are scheduled for Wednesday.

Corinne McKenzie/ISAF Secretariat
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