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11 May 2003, 08:23 pm
Yesterday Afternoons Racing
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Mistral European Championship
Palermo, Mondello

The blue group was sent off first at 3:00 PM finally with planing conditions and smoked upwind with the right side towards the point surely the place everybody wanted to be.

The Michael LANCY (AUS) held the lead position for half of the first up wind then missed a shift to get back to the left side. The buoy was positioned close to the Shore line.

Towards the end of the upwind, the left side paid off well, and Alexander BARONJAN (GER) raced through the fleet rounding the top mark in third position behind Kongkong´s HO CHI Ho first and Curro MANCHON (ESP) second.

Meanwhile the first start of the women was a general recall.

Leeward the yellow group started their fourth race and same tactics that paid off in the blue group worked once again. The spectators on land were treated to a real show as the entire fleet short tacked the rocks. Beautifully coloured sails in full view to the amazed on lookers.

Nicolas BEUDOU (FRA) picked the gusts and the shifts perfectly and lead at mark one. Coming second was the overall leader Maksim OBEREMKO (UKR) followed by Nikolas AURIOL (FRA). The Palermians went wild when local favourite Riccardo GIORDANO (ITA) rounded ninth, showing that all he needs is just a little breeze to teach the fleet a few tricks.

At this time the women were also racing their fourth race and unfortunately had to face less wind than the men´s course.

French Faustine Merret again stamped her dominance with the women´s fleet coming 1st at the top mark leading all the way to the end. Second was Italian´s Alessandra Sensini who surely knows the gusts and lifts around her playground and Honkong´s Lee Lei Shan ( called " San San") coming third.

Germany´s Amelie Lux also made the top five showing a consistant performance at the European Championships after a tough year of physical problems.

Towards the end of the race the wind almost dropped to zero, patchy and shifty wind made the last women´s downwind rather gruelling to watch.

Due to the lack of wind again male competitors find themselves waiting onshore while the women finished their race and did not get to race again.

Fresh breeze at Capo Gallo convinced the male race committee to go for another try. Although the inside bay was glassy competitors found planing conditions as sneaking around the corner of the cape.

This time the yellow group went off first at 5.00 PM but due to gusty and light wind patches the first upwind became in the words to say a "windfall" project (pure luck of the draw).

As the blue group faced almost zero wind conditions at their start the yellow group were stopped about half way to the first beat due to shifty and 0 to 15 knot winds.

Although the high light of the first start was the 3 competitors who off the line from the boat end , found a gust of 20 knots for a good minute and streaked ahead in almost overpowered conditions.

Today is a lay day and racing continues on Monday.
Event Media (As Amended by ISAF News Editor)
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