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8 August 2002, 11:24 am
Racing Finally Under Way
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Aloha Fleet off the start line photo:Marc Turner

Aloha and Raceboard World Championships

After two days of waiting for enough wind to allow competition, the 194 competitors from 14 countries finally took to the waters of the Clyde off Largs today as the Aloha and Raceboard World Championships finally answered the starters guns.
With the westerly breeze building gently throughout the morning to peak at 12-14 knots by mid afternoon, the key agenda for the day was to reach the minimum requirement of three races that constitute a World Championship regatta, and both the Aloha fleet and the Raceboard fleets passed thatcritical milestone up in the open Channel to the north west of Great Cumbrae.

The younger sailors in the Aloha one design class raced in the slightly more fitful, shifty breeze between the island and the Largs shore. Catching the best of the changeable breeze on the inshore course was important for top results. Scoring two first places and a fourth in the Aloha class means Italy's Enrico Collura leads overall. Local medal hope Peter Bird, 15 finished third in both of the first two races of the day, but dropped to an 11th when he sailed out of the breeze on the downwind leg. He lies third overall.

France's Kevin Festocq earned a narrow overall lead in the Aloha Minim's (Under 15) class after also scoring two wins today. The Raceboard fleet already see the very quick Chinese pair of Chen Zhe and Gao Chuanwei emerging as a force t be reckoned with. Zhe scored a first and second to lead the class, while Chuanwei lies second. Britain's Hugh Sims Williams made a good start, winning the first race, and then consolidated with two fourth places to lie third overall. The Masters and Ladies division may be set to follow the form book as New Zealand's defending champion Paul Page started strongly with a 2,2,1 for the day to lead overall. The Netherlands' Marga Stalman, who took two years off after failing to make Olympic selection, won the first race and lies third overall in this class.

Provisional Overall Results after 3 Races inc 1 discard:

Raceboard Men:
1 C Zhe (Chn) 3pts,
2 G Chuanwei (Chn) 4pts,
3 H Simms Williams (GBR) 5pts.

Raceboard Master and Ladies:
1 P Page (NZL) 3pts,
2 F Hastman (Ned) 4pts,
3 M Stalman (Ned) 6pts.

Raceboard Unlimited:
1 T Gibson (GBR) 2pts,
2 A Jackson (GBR) 4pts,
3 S Moore (GBR) 5pts.

Aloha Junior Girls:
1 P le Guibon (Fra) 2pts,
2 A le Page (Fra) 3pts,
3 M Noesmoen (Fra) 5pts.

Aloha Junior Boys:
1 E Collura (Ita) 2pts,
2 F Esposito (Ita) 6pts,
3 P Bird (GBR) 6pts.

Aloha Minim (U-15):
1 K Festocq (Fra) 2pts,
2 L Grodzicki (Pol) 3pts,
3 J Dziecielewski (Pol) 4pts.
Andi Robertson/News Editor
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