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13 May 2003, 10:44 am
An Awesome Day of Racing
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Michael Lancy (AUS) & Piotr Myszja (POL)© Aline Siepmann

Mistral European Championship
Palermo, Mondello

Sailors awoke with sunny skies and were finding light patchy breeze at Mondello Bay. he start was posted for 10:00 AM but due to the lack of wind the race committee hoisted the AP flag.

Competitors used the spare time to check their equipment, relax in the shade and get mentally prepared for the upcoming day.

Locals forecasted a day of building breeze indicated by the creeping fingers of clouds over the Capo Gallo cliffs. As anticipation grew on the Albaria chill area the race committee picked the perfect time to send men's Gold and Women's fleet to ever increasing north west breeze on the orange course. Then shortly after the Silver fleet was sent to the yellow course.

Helicopters, coaches, press and jury raced out to their prospective courses, ready for some hot speed action as winds further increased to 20 knots.

First start to the men's Gold fleet 12:50 PM, general recall due to over eager sailors at the pin end, which was favoured. Slight wind change and the AP flag was raised during the last minute of the second start and in turn a period of time was spent to reset the course and the starting line.

The fleet finally got away on the third start and the first men off the line were Nikos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) and Nicolas BEUDOU (FRA), blazing up wind towards the Capo Gallo cliffs.

Fresh conditions produced explosive, spray throwing turns and lightening speed manouvers.

The race was dominated by Joao RODRIGUEZ (POR), Samuel LAUNAY (FRA), originally from New Caledonia, and French heavy wind specialist Nikolas HUGUET (FRA).

At the end of the day Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) had an amazing record of three bullets in a row leaving his rivals well behind. He now holds the overall lead 9 points ahead of Nikolas BEUDOU (FRA) and 10 points ahead of Jon-Paul TOBIN (NZL) who recently won in Hyéres.

The Women were released on the course with the second start of the day. Lise VIDAL (FRA), newcomer Lee KORZITS (ISR), local Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) and Natasha STIRGES (GBR) were smiling ear to ear from the stronger conditions.

The young Lee KORZITS, only 19 years old and who was until a year ago crewing a 470, was later interviewed after the racing. She quoted that the conditions were not so shifty as earlier days but more gusty which made course placement very important. In general head towards the winds and stay planning. Speed being the essence of the fight today.

Whereas German's Amelie LUX (GER) was dropping to 9th position overall scoring an OCS and two bad results, Romy KINZL (GER) was climbing up the list with two top ten results, showing all her strong winds skills.

Lee Lei SHAN (HKG) took the bullet in race seven to take her to third overall on equal points with Faustine MERRET (FRA). Press and coaches witnessed match race like performance with Lise VIDAL, who showed an impressive performance with two bullets and a third, as both women raced well ahead of the fleet.

At the end of the day there were a lot of heroes on all the courses with extraordinary athletic performances from both men and women. A grueling three races for all divisions made it an exhausting day for all competitors. Great stories were told at the Albaria chill area.

Some protest's, some measurement checking and lots of satisfied sailors longing for their beds.

Best nation (men and women) of the day was France - eventually we had to stop counting their flag in the top ten - well done guys !!!

Top 10 Men's Results Overall


Pos Nation Name R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 R 5 R 6 R 7 Tot.
1 FRA Bontemps Julien 1 1 4 14 10 1 1 18
2 FRA Beudou Nicolas 10 4 2 1 7 13 3 27
3 NZL Tobin Jon-Paul 4 3 30 7 5 5 4 28
4 POR Rodrigues Joao 8 5 4 5 1 25 6 29
5 ISR Fridman Gal 7 6 1 9 29 6 5 34
6 FRA Huguet Nicolas 9 18 8 3 3 2 9 34
7 GRE Kaklamanakis Nikolas 5 15 1 12 12 3 10 43
8 POL Myszka Piotr 12 5 7 4 9 9 BFD 46
9 FRA Launay Samuel 15 8 10 8 2 BFD 8 51
10 UKR Oberemko Maksim 1 2 2 2 33 23 29 59

Top 10 Women's Fleet Overall

Pos Nation Name R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 R 5 R 6 R 7 Tot.
1 ITA Sensini Alessandra 1 4 4 2 3 16 6 20
2 FRA Merret Faustine 3 1 1 1 11 8 7 21
3 HKG Lee Lai Shan 2 9 2 3 4 19 1 21
4 FRA Vidal Lise 13 7 12 34 1 1 3 37
5 GBR Sturges Natasha 8 18 8 9 2 6 5 38
6 ISR Korzits Lee 26 11 7 24 5 2 2 51
7 FRA Gros Sinthia 10 23 16 10 7 3 8 54
8 FRA Mailhos Jehanne 6 5 20 20 10 9 28 70
9 GER Lux Amelie 7 2 13 5 BFD 29 21 77
10 ESP Manchon Blanca 15 17 DNF 13 9 18 9 81
Event Media (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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