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9 May 2008, 10:36 pm
AINSLIE Closes The Gap At Finn Europeans
Rafa TRUJILLO
Rafa TRUJILLO scored the bullet in race 8 today

Finn European Championship 2008
Scarlino, Italy

At la Marina di Scarlino tension is building for tomorrow's Medal Race after Olympic Champion Ben AINSLIE cut the advantage of overall leader Guillaume FLORENT.
Ace Ben AINSLIE (GBR) will have to make up eight points to beat Frenchman Guillaume FLORENT. The international sailors are enthusiastic about Maremma's race course and weather conditions.

Tomorrow's Medal Race will be crucial to determine the European Finn Champion. The eighth race took place today under sunny skies and an 8 to 11 knot southwesterly breeze. Olympic silver medallist (Athens 2004) and main trimmer on +39 Spaniard Rafa TRUJILLO won, followed by Irish Timothy GOODBODY in second position and Swede Daniel BIRGMARK in third.

A large spectator fleet was a witness to yet another example of AINSLIE's extraordinary sailing: after rounding mark one somewhere after 40th, he wrapped up the race in eighth place capturing four points from French FLORENT, the provisional leader of the scoreboard. Yesterday AINSLIE had been disqualified after having won race 7.

Tomorrow's Medal Race will be a make or break one. The top ten will face off in the crystal blue waters of Maremma's sea beginning at 12:00. The course will be a short one, the race will last about 30 minutes, and there will be a double point system. The rest of the fleet will compete in race 9 after the Medal Race. The prizegiving ceremony will be held immediately thereafter, closing this fantastic European Finn Championship which saw the best athletes of this Olympic event race in Maremma just a few months before Qingdao.

The athletes are happy with the organization at la Marina di Scarlino and the race courses set in the Gulf of Follonica, considered by many among the best in the world.

Today's winner TRUJILLO speaks for everyone when he says: "I am truly happy to have raced here in Scarlino, Maremma. This is a perfect spot to hold races at the highest level and I hope that other events of this importance will soon be organized here. The surroundings are breathtaking and I really loved the food and the wine! Today I performed well and qualified for tomorrow's Medal Race, an important step that allows me to develop the consistency I need for the Olympic Games."

Medal Race participants:

Guillaume FLORENT (FRA), 32 points
Ben AINSLIE (GBR), 40
Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC (CRO), 43
Chris COOK (CAN), 50
Gasper VINCEC (SLO), 51
Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN), 54
Pieter-Jan POSTMA (NED), 61
Zach RAILEY (USA), 63
Daniel BIRGMARK (SWE), 68
Rafa TRUJILLO (ESP), 82

All racing can be followed live on www.sailrev.tv thanks to the support of Maremma Tuscany and Consorzio Etruria.

Results - click here

Robert Deaves
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