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2 September 2005, 09:22 am
LUKA And LEONCHUK Take Over At The Top
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49er World Championship 2005
Moscow, Russia

The final series of the ISAF Grade W 49er World Championship on Lake Kliazminskoye in Moscow, Russia got underway yesterday with Olympic silver medallists Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK (UKR) seizing the early initiative in the 25 strong gold fleet. A bullet in the day's second race helped them overhaul qualifying series winners Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR) who have so far struggled to get going.
With the final series leaderboard counting the team's respective qualifying series totals as their scores in race one, the Ukrainians had a 23 point gap to make up on the leaders. Whilst they scored finishes of 3,1,8, DRAPER and HISCOCKS slumped to 20,10,21 to leave the Brits third overall. It also proved a difficult day for the second place team after the qualifying series, Jan PECKOLT and Hannes PECKOLT (GER). A sixth place in the day's second race was sandwiched between finishes of 15 and 13, although with DRAPER and HISCOCKS's poor showing they manage to stay in second place overall.

The opening race yesterday was delayed by two and a half hours due to light winds. The nervous tension was increased when the first start was hampered by the appearance of other vessels on the racing area. For Nico DELLE-KARTH and Nikolaus RESCH (AUT) all these problems faded away when they scored the first bullet of the final series. Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) followed them in with LUKA and LEONCHUK claiming third place. DELLE-KARTH and RESCH were also right amongst the leaders in race two, eventually coming in behind the Ukrainians to take second place. An otherwise excellent day for the Austrians ended with a slightly disappointing 16th, but their opening two race results ensured the still moved up three places to sixth overall.

Marcus BAUR and Max GROY (GER) had an inconsistent qualifying series and yesterday continued in the same fashion. They followed finishes of 14 and 19 with a bullet in the day's final race to keep them seven overall. In contrast the SIBELLO brothers made a solid start and along with LUKA and LEONCHUK were the only team to score three top ten finishes yesterday moving them up to fourth overall. Alexandre MONTEAU and Damien GUILLOU (FRA) complete the top five with finishes of 17,4,14 dropping them down from the third place they held at the end of the qualifying series.

Two more day's of racing will decide the destination of the 49er World Championship trophy with a total of twelve final series races scheduled. Today's action can be followed in real time online as the boats have been attached with GPS units. The Championship website has further details.

Top Ten After Four Races
(*R1 score = team's points total at the end of the Qualifying Series)

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1* R2 R3 R4 Nett
1 UKR Rodion LUKA George LEONCHUK 54 3 1 8 66
2 GER Jan PECKOLT Hannes PECKOLT 39 15 6 13 73
3 GBR Chris DRAPER Simon HISCOCKS 31 20 10 21 82
4 ITA Pietro SIBELLO Gianfranco SIBELLO 64 2 8 10 84
5 FRA Alexandre MONTEAU Damien GUILLOU 53 17 4 14 87
6 AUT Nico DELLE-KARTH Nikolaus RESCH 73 1 2 16 92
7 GER Marcus BAUR Max GROY 66 14 19 1 100
8 GBR Stephen MORRISON Ben RHODES 69 5 22 4 100
9 ESP Alberto PADRON Javier DE LA PLAZA 79 8 17 3 107
10 DEN Allan NORREGARD CHRISTENSEN Jonatan PERSSON 79 9 14 11 113
ISAF (Source: Event Media). Image:© Event Media
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