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25 October 2002, 04:29 pm
Olympic Regatta Kicks Off With Two Races
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Enoshima Olympic Week

Starting Yesterday, two races were completed in four out of the five classes at one of the premier Asian Olympic Regattas held in Fukuoka, Japan.
Over 150 competitors are competing in the Laser, Mistral men and Women, 470 and Europe classes in the ISAF grade 3 event, which also encompasses the Japanese Mistral Class Championship.The Mistral fleet sees the highest number of competitors, with 92 competing in the Men and Women's fleets.

Currently leading the Mistral men after 2 races is Jon Paul Tobin (NZL) with two first places, whilst Ikuo INOUE with two second places is just behind going into the second day. Fresh from his silver medal at the recent Asian Games in Busan, Korea, Motokazu KENJO (JPN), Currently ranked 47 in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, is in third place on seven points.

In the Women's Mistral event, Yasuko KOSUGE (JPN) and Masako IMAI (JPN) are currently tied in first place with three points each. IMAI finished with a bronze medal for Japan in the Asian Games.

The 470 fleet, with thirty four boats entered, completed three races on the first day of competition. It is currently lead by Akira ISHIBASHI and Hiroki GOTO with two firsts and a second, closely followed by Hideki YOSHIMINE and Akihito NAKAMURA and Australians Matthew and Daniel Belcher in third.

The only other fleet to race yesterday was the Europe class. Currently ahead of the six boat field is Maiko SATO, silver medallist at the Asian Games and ranked at number 50 in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.

As an ISAF event, many of the sailors can use their results to improve their world ranking position. Sailing continues until Monday with a welcoming ceremony this evening at 1800 hrs local time. Full results are available from the event website.

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