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29 June 2002, 06:08 am
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Fitzpatrick/Brown (IRL)

Kieler Woche
Kiel

Yesterday, the Baltic dished up another round of squalls and heavy bursts of rain for day three of the Kieler Woche Regatta.
Only the windsurfers and the 2.4mR class completed two races before some particuarly tough fronts passed through and forced the rest of the crews back to the Olympic harbour for shelter after just one race.

Germany's Heiko Kröger was again unchallenged in the 2.4mR class. A windshift just before the start of the first race turned their course into a procession led by Kröger, the Paralympic gold medallist.

A slight increase in the wind strength before race two pushed the conditions to the limit for the minture keelboats, but again Kröger controlled his boat as well as the race and made it five wins from six starts.

Damien Seguin of France was second on both occasions although Denmark's Jens Als Anderson, the silver medal winner from Sydney, remains in second place overall, five points behind the German yachtsman.

Poland's Mateusz Kusnierewicz showed a remarkable turn of pace in the single Finn race that will concern his rivals prior to European championship and Gold Cup (world championship) next month. He led the 47-boat fleet for the first lap but was hit by a large gust on the second downwind leg that caused the Olympic gold medallist to tip in.

"I was leading comfortably but after I went around the top mark for the second time I was hit by a big front with showers. I didn't control my boat and capsized," explained Kusnierewicz.

"Sebastien (Godefriod) and Michael Fellmann past me. I got the boat back up and was able to pass Fellmann downwind. I wasn't able to get past Sebastien by the bottom mark but I got through by the next top (windward) mark."

A number of top Finn sailors, including European champion and world number two Emilios Papathanasiou are in Athens this week for the Greek National Championship, getting in some additonal training at the venue of July's Gold Cup.

Austria's Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher won the Tornado race after it was turned inside out by a major windshift. The race committee had problems setting a course and it took serveral attempts to get the fleet away.

Hagara was no higher than tenth at the leeward gate for the last time. He astutley opted for the left hand buoy (of the two) and sailed a short distance off to the right side of the course before picking up a shift, tacking and hitting the layline for the finish. Australia's Darren Bundock and Arie van der Plas were second.

The Austrian team retain their overall lead but the multihull fleet, like the Star and Finn classes, have only completed three races in three days.

The single Star class race was effectively won and lost on the start line, with Bermuda's Peter Bromby and Martin Siesse predicting the wind perfectly to seal the race in the first few minutes.

Bromby was the first onto port tack off the line, he picked up a big right hand shift and as he later said, "that was the race done." He led the entire way round the track and is now fourth overall.

US Olympic champions, Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl were 10th, but have a five point advantage over Denmark's Nicklas David Holm and Martin Leifelt in the overall standings.

Britain's Nick Demsey held onto his lead in the Mistal men's fleet depsite his closest rival for the Kieler Woche title, Poland's Przemyskaw Miarczynski winning both races. "I had a reasonable first race and finished second. I was a bit conservative and let the guy that won get away," said Dempsey afterwards.

"In the second race I got into fourth or fifth but took a few silly risks that I kind of knew weren't going to pay out and ended up fourth." His lead over the Polish world number one is now just three points with up to four races left.

Lee Shan Lai of Hong Kong leads the women's fleet on countback, tied on 20 points with France's Lise Vidal.

The top three sailors overall won their respective qualifying group races in the Europe fleet. Finnish world champion Sari Multala leads from Dutch sailor Carolyn Brouwer with Germany's Petra Niemann third.

"A squall came over and I thought I was back in the Southern Ocean," joked Brouwer, who raced on Amer Sports Too in the Volvo Ocean Race. After all three fleets completed one race, a front passed through that wiped through the boats who were lining up for their second start, capsizing them like a line of dominoes.

After a torrid time yesterday, Brower feels her game is again on the up. "Yesterday I felt like a beginner," added the former world number one. "I capsized once in every race, I hit the mark and broke my tiller extension so I was struggling, but today was alright."
Britain's Paul Goodison continues to dominate the Laser fleet and has a handsome six point lead over Australian Brendan Casey after winning his heat today.

Only one of the two 470 men's groups completed a race, which was won by series leaders Eugeny Braslavets and Igor Matvienko, the Savannah gold medallists. The second group will race tomorrow before the results are recalculated. The 470 women's crews did not compete at all.

Today the Laser, Europe, 49er, Mistral and 470 classes will divide into gold, silver and bronze fleets.

Ulrike Schümann, Wibke Bulle and Winnie Lippert continue to lead the Yngling series from German teammates Kristin Wagner, Aaan Hoell and Veronika Lochbrunner.
Racing continues tomorrow and finishes on Sunday.

All results are strictly provisional and subject to later change.

Kieler Woche is supported by Volvo and boot-Düsseldorf.

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