Yesterday, day 3 of the 2002 Test Event, was cancelled due to a rainstorm that hit the course areas just prior to the opening races.
The rainstorm was forecast to get worse, and under advice by the Greek Meterological Service, it was decided to bring all the competitors off the water. The competitors were notified in time, upon instructions given by ATHENS 2004 Executive Director, Marton Simitsek. Thanks to the immediate and effective mobilisation, the boats were moored without any problems and the venue operations under stormy weather were successfully tested and proved flawless.
"We came ashore safely and found out that the workforce and organisers are ready to face such conditions as well",
stated Finn champion, Clifton Webb (NZL). As Kostas Trigonis, runner-up European champion in the 470 class, pointed out,"We expected the ramps to be crowded and to face difficulties as usual, but to our great surprise, all staff moved with great speed and efficiency and the boats were taken out quickly and safely."
The first temporary postponement came at 11.00 a.m. At 12.30, the boats entered the racing zones and the starting signal was given for the following classes: women's 470, the 49er and Finn. However, after EMY's notification, all classes were called to return, an operation which was concluded in the record timespan of 17 minutes. Sixty-one gear, rescue and security boats were used, in order to ensure the safe return of 240 racing boats. The volunteers also contributed highly to the operations. The cancellation of all further racing was determined at 15.00 p.m.
"Bad weather will continue tomorrow, but it will not be as bad as today."
stated Vasilis Halkis, the responsible official on duty at the Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Centre.
Today's competition programme has been modified and now includes races in all classes, with tracing due to start 1at 1200 hours local time:
Racing zone "Á": Europe, Laser
Racing zone "Â": Mistral men and women; 49er
Racing zone "C": 470 men and women; Tornado
Racing zone "D": Yngling, Finn
Mistral Men (4 races)
1.Kaklamanakis Nikolaos (GRE)
2.Wells James (NZL)
3.Fridman Gall (ISR)
Mistral Women (4 races)
1.Jian Yin (CHN)
2.Lee Lai Shan (HKG)
3.Sensini Alessandra (ITA)
470 Men (4 races)
1.Marinho Alvaro/Nunes Miguel (POR)
2.Bonnaud Benjamin/Bonnaud Romain (FRA)
3.Braslavets Yengen/Matvienko Igor (UKR)
470 Women (4 races)
1.Bekatorou Sofia/Tsoulfa Emilia (GRE)
2.Petitjean Ingrid/Douroux Nadege (FRA)
3.Milona Dimitra/Kourkoulou Aliki (GRE)
49er (3 races)
1.Lantermans Pieter/Nieuwenhuis Pim (NED)
2.Mack Andrew/Lowry Adam (USA)
3.Sundby Christoffer/Bowim Frode (NOR)
Finn (4 races)
1.Ainslie Ben (GBR)
2.Nossiter Anthony (AUS)
3.Zielhuis Jaap (NED)
Yngling (4 races)
1.Dennison Melanie/Aders Caroline/Herbert Fiona (AUS)
2.Swett Hannah/Touchette Joan/Purdy Melissa (USA)
3.Le Helley Ann/Duby Emmanuelle/Lesaffre Elodie (FRA)
"The recipe for success is simple: realistic choices, the right tactics, a clear and calm mind".
Nikos Kaklamanakis, the Greek gold medallist at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, who leads the fleet overall.
"In sailing there aren't any magic recipes. You must be ready to change your mind every thirty seconds",
continued the so-called 'Son of the Wind', for whom the Test Event is a preparatory stage ready for his participation in the European Championship taking place September 8-15 in Austria.
About a year ago Greece's 34-year old Atlanta Olympics gold medallist was being proclaimed world champion for the third time in his career, at the event staged in Varkiza, Athens.
"My basic aims in this test event are to prepare for the European Championships and to acquaint myself with the racing area. I decided to compete in the Test Event on condition that it would not affect my preparations. I do not want to risk injury under any circumstances and, if I happen to find myself on the verge of such a situation, I will abandon the event".
Other Greek sailors at the top of standings, apart from Kaklamanakis, are European champions Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa, who finished 5th in the fourth race in the 470 women's class.
Said the 2002 European champions (in Tallinn) Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa: "So far the conditions under which the event is being staged are perfect at all levels, and that applies for all men and women athletes. This Test Event is an important test for all of us, especially for us who are preparing for participation in the world championships".
Andreas Kosmatopoulos and Kostas Trigonis, who after four races are in 6th place in the 470 class, are also preparing for the World Championships taking place September 5-11 in Cagliari. "This test event is developing at very high standards",
commented the 1995 World champions.
Since Race 2, the Finn Class has been dominated by Britain's Ben Ainslie. The English sailor, who has only sailed the Finn for 6 months has already been crowned European Champion (in Cesme, Turkey) and World Champion (in Piraeus, Greece) within 2002, praised the conditions at the test event: "The organisation is fantastic from all points of view. I have not noted a single flaw and everything is going very well".