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17 September 2005, 03:48 am
Crews Tied After First Day
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Match Race Brasil 2005
Rio de Janiero, Brazil

The Guanabara Bay in Rid de Janeiro, Brazil saw nothing but equilibrium in the first day of races in the third and final leg of the ISAF Grade 3 Match Race Brasil, a boat-against-boat competition that gathers some of the most prominent Brazilian sailors and special foreign guests. Six different crews claimed victories in Thursday's six regattas.
Another 14 matches will be sailed today, starting at 1400 hours local time as close as possible to the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club.

The crew led by two-time Olympic champion and back-to-back winner of Match Race Brasil in 2003 and 2004, Torben GRAEL (BRA), won their only regatta of the day, against invited skipper Bruno BETHLEM, filling in for injured Joao SIGNORINI, who broke three ribs in a collision between Brasil 1, the first Brazilian boat to ever take part in the Volvo Ocean Race, and a whale, during the 20 day Rio to Cascais, Portugal trip.

'I was glad with the result, but one regatta is too little. I'd like the chance to sail more,' said GRAEL, currently leading the table along fellow skipper Andre FONSECA (BRA). 'These kind of hard-fought regattas were expected'.

For the first time in the event GRAEL will have the company of his 16 year old son Marco, along with Andrea, the skipper's wife. 'It's very good to sail with my son. Too bad that we can't do it more often,' said the biggest Olympic winner in Brazilian sailing. 'Marco used to sail in Optimist and since last year has changed to Snipe.'

If Torben celebrated his win in his lone regatta, FONSECA regretted his defeat to Spaniard Josef CALAFAT even before the start. 'I lost control and suffered three penalties even before the starting gun. It's a tough situation, but I'm sure we'll overcome it,' said FONSECA , also a crewmember of the Brasil 1.

The round winds, toping ten knots, provided a lot of emotion in the regattas. In the match won by Alan ADLER (BRA) over Daniel GLOMB (BRA), the two alternated the lead many times, until ADLER crossed the finish line by half-boat.

'I think a lot of good people will be left out of the semi finals due to these equal conditions,' said GLOMB, who sailed in Poland last August. 'Everybody felt the lack of rhythm but I think the tendency is to improve the performances of the crews as the time passes,' added ADLER.

The competition is sailed by eight crews in identical Bénéteau 40.7s, assigned to each skipper through a draw made by the organization.

In the Nivea Sun Cup - Women's Sailing Cup, only three regattas were sailed. Adriana KOSTIW, Caroline BEJAR and Fernanda OLIVEIRA conquered one triumph each. BEJAR arrived directly from the airport, after competing in the International Match Race of Saint-Quay Portrieux, France.

Andrea GRAEL, BEJAR\'s J24 crewmember, also sailed in France. 'It was a sensational experience. It was great to compete among the greatest crews in the world', she said. 'The tiredness is the only downside. We couldn\'t barely stop and think in something else.'

Match Race Brasil is a Vela Brasil competition, with supervision of Brazilian Sailing Federation (FBVM).

Event Media. Image:© Hector Etchebaster
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