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18 August 2008, 10:23 am
ASHLEY Leads The Charge Men's In RS:X Fleet
Julien Bontemps of France and Maksym Oberemko of Ukraine
Julien Bontemps of France has moved up to challenge the leaders

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

New Zealand's World Champion Tom ASHLEY leads a group of five Men's RS:X competitors in the hunt for a gold medal with Wednesday's Medal Race looming.
The New Zealander maintained his consistent form in two races on Monday, although Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) cut his overall lead down to just three points. Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) is also right in the hunt for gold, just one point behind DEMPSEY in third place overall.

The RS:X fleets got off to an early start today to make the most of the breezier conditions in the morning. The first race began in full planing conditions with strong westerly of 20 knots, whilst race 9 was held in more margin planing conditions, with the wind around 8-13 knots. Tom ASHLEY (NZL), who posted scores of 6, 8, today, said from now on in he was going to have to be very watchful of his rivals, "The points are really close at the top of our fleet, so I have to watch my opponents and select my sailing lanes carefully," he said.

BONTEMPS said he was "having fun" and ready to fight for a medal.

Others in contention for a medal at this stage include Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) whose light wind superiority had him in the regatta lead until two days ago. Ricardo SANTOS (BRA) is fifth.

Tomorrow the Men's fleet will sail the final race of Opening Series from which the top ten will go through to the Medal Race on Wednesday.

Overall Results - click here

ISAF (source: Olympic News Service)
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