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1 May 2003, 10:36 am
Capricious Winds on Day Four
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Semaine Olympique Francaise

The weather has been diverse for the Semaine Olympique Française. All conditions have been experienced so far and yesterday, the shifty and patchy wind made racing difficult for both the sailors and the racing committees.

The capricious wind had the greatest effect on the Europe and Tornado fleets. In the Europe fleet, the wind change affected lots of sailors in the second race, reducing the chance for a podium for many of the favourites: Sari Multala placed 34th, Marie Niemann 46th, Manon Borsi 44th, Carolijn Brouwer 41st… Siren Sundby acceded to the top of the rankings after winning a race and placing 7th. She is only 1 point in front of Sari Multala and Trine Abrahamsen (DEN) on equal points.

In the Tornado, the scenario was even worse. In the last race, only 7 boats finished within the time limit. Despite a course reduction by the sailing committee, when the wind started to die, 41 boats didn't cross the finish on time. Spanish team of Echavarri / Paz are conserving the lead of the Championship despite yesterday's incident. Second places are taken by French Backes / Voiron, while Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen placed third. They collected a win in the first race of the day and a DNF in the last.

Only one race was sailed in the Bravo racing area shared by the 470's and the Finns.
The racing committee had to wait for the wind to settle to start today's racing. Sydney Gold medallist, Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell are starting to show their talent after winning today's race. The Australians have suffered from the heavy conditions of the first day but are slowly coming back to the score. They are now in third place. The Greek pair of Sofia Bekatourou and Emilia Tsoulfa are still leading the 470 women fleet with a 28 points lead over Natalia via Dufresne and Sandra Azon from Spain. In the Men's division, the first place is also taken by early leaders, Australians Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page after winning today's race. The Swedish Molund / Andersson suffered in the last race after scoring a 40th place. They are placed second, 2 points ahead of Portuguese Alvaro / Nunes.

The Finn's only race was won by Ben Ainslie. The Brit also won a redress in yesterday's first race when the Jury penalised him on the downwind leg for pumping while the Flag authorising it was up. He is now in third position behind regatta leader Sebastien Godefroid and Mateusz Kusznierewicz.

No surprises in the Mistral class with Jon-Paul Tobbin remaining in the lead in the Men's division and the Chinese still claiming the top 5 places of the classification.

Australian Michael Blackburn has lost the top of the rankings in the Laser Gold fleet after scoring a 7th and a 12th today. Race winners Karl Suneson and Roope Suomalainen are the new leaders.

Tight results in the Yngling fleets, the Danish boat helmed by Dorte Jensen has claimed victory in the first race and accede to the top of the list in front of Germans Schuemann / Buelle / Lippert, winners of the second race. Early leader Melanie Dennison and crew are placed in third position only 2 points from 1st.

In the 49ers, Ukrainian team, Luka / Leonchuk are winning the scoreboard in front of British teams Draper / Hiscocks and Brotherton / Asquith. Race winners include, Norwegians Sundby / Bovim and Polish team of Kacprowski / Kuzmicki.

In the 2.4, Damien Seguin is keeping the control of the fleet.

ISAF are grateful to the organisers and participants of Semaine Olympic Francaise for the inclusion of hyperlinks direct to athletes ISAF Sailor biographies, from the event results. To view or update your biography, or to register for ISAF Sailor - Go to ISAF Sailor
Emmanuel Marty (Amended by ISAF Secretariat),
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