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2 August 2002, 12:04 pm
French Teams Capture Top Spots
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Melges 24 World Championship
Travemunde

With moderate winds and a heavy sea, competitors of the Melges 24 World Championship set out to complete races seven and eight.

Even with the sun in full view and warm temperature, crews still needed their foul weather gear to take on the spray and large waves.

The first race was very good for the French who managed to give Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund (USA 409 "Star") a real run for the money. First day of the championship winner, Jean-Francois Cruette (FRA 321 "Scutum") rounded the top mark first, followed by Bruno Jourdren (FRA 472 "Pokemon"), then Jamie Lea (GBR 437 "Black Seal). Jamie was very strong allowing him to maintain a solid second position until the end, while Bruno took first place. Melges stayed further back in the beginning moving up gradually throughout the positions to take third.

Race eight in the series brought lots of competition from the French again. Francois Le Bourdais (FRA 375 "Voiles Performance") took control in the beginning, with Erik Arthur (NOR 341) right behind, then Jourdren, then Vincent Bodin (FRA 424 "Solea"), then Oliver Ponthieu (FRA 173 "Groupe Lucien Barriere"). The french stayed at the front of the pack only allowing limited stiff competition from Rob Smith (GBR 484 "The New Barbarians") and from Harry Melges later in the race. In the end, Le Bourdais captured first, Melges took second place and a fabulous finish for Smith with third.

Overall provisional results leave us with Harry Melges in first place with 14 points, Jamie Lea still in second place with 49 points, and Rob Smith with 55 points has moved up from fourth to third.

To add to a successful race day for the French teams Sebastien Col, helming for Philippe Ligot (FRA 475 "Ouistreham") moved from sixth overall to fourth. Bruno Jourdren moved up from eighth to fifth. Edigio Babbi (ITA 421 "Citta'di Cesenatico") had a productive day moving from twelveth to eighth.

Provisional Results

1. USA 409 - Harry Melges / Jeff Ecklund - 11, 1, 1, BFD/RDG, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 14 points
2. GBR 437 - Jamie Lea / Richard Thompson - 18, 7, 14,1,4, 3, 2, 18 = 49 points
3. GBR 484 - Rob Smith / Stuart Simpson - 10, 5, 4, 14, BFD, 8, 11, 3 = 55 points
4. FRA 475 - Sebastien Col / Philippe Ligot - 22, 9, 13, BFD, 6, 7, 9, 4 = 56 points
5. FRA 472 - Bruno Jourdren - 33, 23, 11, BFD/RDG, 7, 1, 1, 8 = 59.5 points
6. NOR 249 - Kristopher Spone / Neils Hauff - 9, 15, 3, 2, 1, 20 = 61 points
7. FRA 173 - Oliver Ponthieu - 7, 30, 5, 4, 5, 25, 16, 1 = 63 points
8. ITA 421 - Edigio Babbi - 19, 2, 24, 23, 2, 24, 4, 34 = 98 points
9. FIN 236 - Kenneth Thelen - 4, 31, 17, 8, 11, 9, 28, 23 = 99 points
10. MON 429 - Antoine Fickley / Benjamin Cohen -13, 19,9,17,15,12 = 100 points

Melges 24 Worlds Press/News Editor
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