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9 September 2008, 10:03 am
French Paralympians Pull Away Halfway Through Sonar Series
The Sonars racing in Qingdao
The Sonars racing in Qingdao

2008 Beijing Paralympic Games
Qingdao, China

Bruno JOURDREN, Herve LARHANT and Nicolaos VIMONT-VICARY of France stretched their overall lead in the Sonar fleet after three races on day two of the Paralympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao.
The French trio sailed to 1, 2, 8 scores in today's races three to five of the series held in light and shifty winds. With five races under their belts, the Sonar teams can discard their worst score.

The Sonar fleet will take the day off tomorrow and Bruno JOURDREN, Jerve LARHANT and Nicolas VIMONT VICARY go into the second half of the regatta with an impressive 2.5 point average in the 14-boat fleet. Counting their four best finishes, the French have eight points compared to their next closest rivals, Colin HARRISON, Russel BOADEN and Graeme MARTIN (AUS) who have 12 points.

Results are currently provisionally with four protests pending, including protests against the French, Australian and Israeli teams.

Despite their strong start, the French crew refused to get carried away. "We had two great starts and a late one as well as great racing, excluding the fifth race. We are leading by four points now, but it only matters if we are ahead on Saturday [the last day of racing]. There was nothing special about today's racing. Concentration was the key," said LARHANT.

Jens KROKER, Robert PREM and Siegmund MAINKA (GER) are in third place with 13 points, one point ahead of Jostein STORDAHL, Per Eugen KRISTIANSEN and Aleksxander WANG-HANSEN (NOR). Paralympic gold medallists in Athens, Dror CHOHEN, Arnon EFRATI and Benny VEXLER (ISR), are just one point further back in fifth place.

The German's upwind prowess put them in first place around the first weather mark in all three of today's races. While they won race four, they dropped to third and fourth in races three and five respectively. During race four, France, Australia and Germany finished nearly a leg ahead of the laggards in the fleet. However, the racing is close and there are overlaps at nearly every mark rounding.

The Australian team sailed a consistent 2, 3, 3 today allowing them to discard their eighth place finish in the series opener and pull into second overall.

The biggest gain for the day was made by Norway when they rounded the right hand gate at the bottom of the first run in the bottom of the fleet and leapfrogged into second by playing the shifts on the right hand side of the course.

Results - click here
ISAF Paralympic Games microsite - www.sailing.org/paralympics

Paralympic News Service (As Amended by ISAF)
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