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26 February 2008, 09:28 am
France Takes The Lead At Tornado Worlds
The fleet at the start
Yann GUICHARD and Alexandre GUYANDER hit the lead at the end of day two in Takapuna

Tornado World Championship 2008
Takapuna Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

The French team of Yann GUICHARD and Alexandre GUYANDER have rocketed up the standings to take the lead at the end of day two of the Tornado Worlds.
This morning's cloudy skies cleared during the afternoon and a steady south westerly breeze of 18-23 knots with the occasional squall made for exciting and close racing on day two of the regatta.

Starting the day lying fifth overall, Yann GUICHARD and Alexandre GUYADER (FRA) led the fleet around the race track in the first race of the day winning race 3 from Aussies Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY who were second. In race 4 the top placed French pair placed third to sit at the top of the leader board two points clear of their nearest rivals.

While overnight leaders Roland GAEBLER and Gunnar STRUCKMANN of Germany relinquished the top spot they only slipped to second overall. In racing today they were fourth and then ninth.

Mitch BOOTH and Pim NIEUWENHUIS of the Netherlands hold onto third place overall and are now four points adrift of GAEBLER and STRUCKMAN.

The Canadian duo of Oskar JOHANSSON and Kevin STITTLE impressed today with a third in race 3 and then winning race 4 to move from eighth overall up to fourth place clearly signalling their determination to earn one of the final Olympic berths on offer. They are now the best placed of the ten countries fighting for four places.

Australian representatives BUNDOCK and ASHBY came out firing on day two and brought home two seconds to improve their overall standing after a poor first day on the water yesterday. At the outset of racing today they were back in 19th place but now feature well inside the top ten, in eighth overall after four races sailed.

New Zealand is the second best placed of the nations looking for qualification with Aaron MCINTOSH and Mark KENNEDY sailing well today and moving up into seventh overall. Race 4 was tight and KENNEDY recounts that the finish was close.

"That last race three of us went through the finish line at the same time, it was so close," said KENNEDY. "We were the third of those three."

Behind Canada and New Zealand in the race for Olympic qualification Russia is next best placed with Andrey KIRILYUK and Valery USHKOV currently in 13th place, while double Olympic Champions Roman HAGARA and Hans Peter STEINACHER of Austria are in 15th place.

Racing resumes tomorrow with a planned start time of 13:00 and a further two races scheduled.

Results - click here
Tornado World Championship - www.takapunaworlds.org

Jodie Bakewell-White (As Amended By ISAF)
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