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19 September 2005, 04:06 pm
GRAEL Wins The Series
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Match Race Brazil 2005
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

With the second place conquered in the third and final leg of Match Race Brasil, sailed in Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay, skipper Torben GRAEL celebrated his third consecutive title in Match Race Brasil, boat-against-boat competition that gathered some of the most prominent Brazilian sailors and specially invited foreign skippers.
Reliving last year's final leg, a foreign skipper secured the title. Repeating Polish Karol JABONSKI, this year's final stage was won by Spanish Jordi CALAFAT, member of the America's Cup Alinghi Syndicate, who won the final by 2-0.

With the best qualifying campaign (5-2), Torben GRAEL's crew win two of their three semi-final matches, securing the spot in the final with a 2-1 victory over André FONSECA. CALAFAT who was second best in the qualifiers, defeated Daniel GLOMB in straight regattas.

In the final of Rio's leg, Jordi CALAFAT won by a resounding 2-0 score (with a single meter to spare in the last one), while FONSECAsecured the third place also with a 2-0 triumph over GLOMB.

CALAFAT sailed aided by fellow Alinghi members Yann GOUNIOT and Bernardo LABRO (FRA) and Swiss Nils FREI, while GRAEL was assisted by BRASIL 1 crew members Marcelo FERREIRA and Kiko PELLICANO.

'I was pleased with the team's performance and the third championship', said GRAEL, owner of five Olympic medals. 'We made some little mistakes in the final and Jordi was in a great form. They got all right' added the sailor that travels to Portugal on Saturday, to complete the practice with the BRASIL 1.

41 year-old CALAFAT has been involved with the Alinghi for two years. Very experienced, has three world titles under his belt - one in the Optimist class and two in the 470, class which he sailed in the Olympic Games in Barcelona and Atlanta. 'It was very exciting and always is very good to defeat Torben, one of the great sailors in the world', said CALAFAT. 'I've known the Brazilians for more than ten years and they're very talented'.

The 2005 edition of Match Race Brasil was the most disputed of the three. The equilibrium started in the first leg, in Salvador, when Alan ADLER won with Torben GRAEL in third, trailing Andre FONSECA. Torben won in Ilhabela, with FONSECA in second.

Sunday results

Finals:

CALAFAT 2 x 0 GRAEL

Petite Final:
FONSECA 2 x 0 GLOMB

Semi finals:
FONSECA 1 x 2 GRAEL
CALAFAT 2 x 0 GLOMB

Rio de Janeiro leg - Final Standings

1) Jordi CALAFAT (ESP), 10 points and R$ 25,000 (US$ 10,000)
2) Torben GRAEL, 8 points and R$ 10,000 (US$ 4,000)
3) André FONSECA, 6 points and R$ 5 mil (US$ 2,000)
4) Daniel GLOMB, 5
5) Alexandre SALDANHA, 4
6) Simon MINOPRIO, 3
7) Alan ADLER, 2
8) Bruno BETHLEM, 1

Standings after three legs
1) Torben GRAEL, 24 points
2) André FONSECA, 22
3) Alan ADLER, 17
4) Daniel GLOMB, 13
5) Alexandre SALDANHA, 12
6) Jordi CALAFAT, 10
7) João SIGNORINI, 8
8) Simon MINOPRIO, 3
9) Santiago LOPEZ VASQUEZ, 2
10) Tino ELLEGAST, 2
11) Torkel BORGSTROM, Bruno BETHLEM, Cole PARADA, 1

In the Nivea Sun Cup - Women\'s Sailing Cup decision, Caroline BEJAR repeated her last result and won the Rio de Janeiro leg, conquering the overall title. As in Ilhabela, she defeated in the final the crew led by Fernanda OLIVEIRA.

The final was decided in one single regatta, instead of a best-of-three, due to inconstant winds and direction-changing lanes. BEJAR, part of Andre FONSECA's crew in Match Race Brasil , led a crew formed by Andrea Grael, Odile Ginaid, Cláudia Freitas and Vânia Lessa.

Before sailing in the waters of Guanabara Bay, BEJA and Andrea GRAEL disputed the International Match Race of Saint-Quay Portrieux, France, with the company of Larissa JUK and Cacau SWANwan. 'It was a sensational experience. It was great to compete among the greatest crews in the world', said Andrea, Torben GRAEL's wife. 'We didn't have a very good performance, since it was the first time we sailed in a Bénéteau 8, but it was worth the experience'.

Nivea Sun Cup - Women\'s Sailing Cup final standings

1) Caroline BÉJAR
2) Fernanda OLIVEIRA
3) Adriana KOSTIW
4) Isabel FICKER
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