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4 August 2003, 10:27 am
Racing Starts Today
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Melges 24 European Championship
Helsinki

Registration is now completed and 56 Melges 24 crews are set to commence battle for the 2003 Jacob's Creek Melges 24 European Champion title, which begins this morning.
Yesterday, the teams took part in two practise races, giving everyone a chance to familiarise themselves with the race area and the competition.

Although the reigning European Champion, Cedric POULIGNY, is not here to defend his title several of his championship winning crew are, including Jean Francois CRUETTE (FRA) who has gone on to further success in the class helming "Scuttum". Also here is the very successful "Partner & Partners" team (FRA) which has a new helmsman for this event in the shape of Olympic Silver Medallist Morgan REESER from the USA, who makes a welcome return to the class after a couple of seasons out. Reigning World Ranking Series Champion Jamie LEA (GBR) is also here with Richard THOMPSON's "Black Seal" team hoping to finally add the European Championship title to their list of wins.

Olympic Silver Medallist Keith MUSTO has teamed up with Tim TAVINOR and Roman TEPLY, of the new Melges 24 European builder Devoti Sailing, who are racing in their first major Melges event. Other familiar faces include the legendary Alba BATZILL (GER) helming for Vittorio STROSEK in "Vito", Francesco BRUNI (ITA) helming for Preti ADRIANO of "Ale Ali 3", Luca SANTELLA helming for Giovanni MASPERO's "Joe Fly" team, Kristoffer SPONE with Nils HAUFF aboard "Fruen Maren" and Flavio FAVINI with Franco ROSSINI's "Blu Moon".

With ten races over five days ahead the crews are set for some exciting competition.

The IMCA thanks sponsors Jacob's Creek, Scandic Hotels and M3 for their support.
Fiona Brown (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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