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21 July 2003, 02:56 pm
Gold and Silver Fleet Decided
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420 World Championship
Hayling Island

The second day of the International 420 World Championships saw perfect sailing weather continue. There was an extra incentive for the sailors today, as prizes were provided for the best results.
With a steady force 3-4 from the south south west and good waves, the conditions provided a perfect challenge for the world class sailors assembled.

In a change from Saturday, the ladies fleet started first, causing some confusion on the start line when one of the men's fleet, not realising the alteration, decided to join them. His appearance, although surprising, didn't seem to affect any of the ladies unduly, although it did provoke a few choice words from some of the less than ladylike competitors!

The Race Officer, however, expressed approval at the generally orderly manner of starting amongst the competitors. Only a small number of recalls were required during the day and very few black flags were issued. A number of sailors were, however, deemed by the jury to have infringed rule 42 (illegal propulsion by pumping) in trying to gain an extra edge; they were required to do penalty turns at the start.

In both championships, one boat proved dominant yesterday. The slightly fresher winds suited Isabel FLICKER and Laura ZANNI who romped home in both races to leap up the overall rankings to third. Winning by a large margin, this classy Brazilian pair look sure to contest the medals with overnight leaders Dorothea GEBERT and Natascha LORENZ of Germany, and top British team Charlotte SAVAGE and Maia WALSH who remain third. Both leading pairs were required to employ their discard today, but turned in a second consistent result to remain ahead. With a second and a fifth, German pair Silke HAHLBROCK and Marion ROMMEL showed their form to lie fifth, behind the consistent Virginia Morales PAEZ and Elena Barambio HURTAOO of Spain. These 5 pairs are now 11 points clear of the rest of the fleet and, if they are able to retain their form, look likely medal prospects.

For the men, Greek pair George VASSILAS and Evangelos MITAKIS stamped their authority on the flights competition with two wins and a third place. Two beautiful starts won them their races; choosing the less popular port tack, they showed great boat speed to emerge ahead of the pack and take the lead. Coupled with a first yesterday, today's great performance was sufficient to see them emerge the winners of the round robin competition.

From Tuesday (when racing resumes after today's lay day for the Francis Mouvet Team Racing Championship) the fleet will be split evenly into a Gold and Silver fleet with the top and bottom halves of the current rankings respectively. The other results were more evenly shared between the competitors, with French pair Alexandre ROSSIGNOL and David BOUDGOURD doing enough to stay second, whilst two second places from Max DZEMBRITSKI and Fabian BAUMGARTEN of Germany saw them jump up the rankings to 3rd.
The dominance of the French ebbed slightly today; they still have a number of boats well-placed for the coming championship, but their monopolisation of the higher places has given way to a more widely spread fleet. Their consistent, and at times outstanding, performance, however, seems to ensure that a number of the French pairs will challenge for medals.

The British team, after a slow start, appeared to recover their form today. In the final race in flights, four British boats, headed by Luke Patience and Adam Wagner who eventually took first by almost a leg, led at the windward mark, and eventually took four of the top five places. Some consistent results from winners of Flanders Regatta Laurie FITZJOHN-SYKES and Jonathan FRAZER have jumped them up the rankings to finish this stage seventh. They will have stiff competition from a very strong field, as the flight races have proven the depth of ability in the men's fleet.

Duarte SANTOS and Duarte SILVA of Portugal were unlucky not to be higher ranked tonight. They led their last race from the start and were set for victory when, at the final mark, their boom broke compelling them to finish the race with Silva on the transom holding their main. A valiant effort saw them cross the line in 19 place and, having qualified for the gold fleet, they will have a chance to challenge for the medals.

A brief prize giving at the end of the day saw many of the sailors go home with Maui Jim sunglasses, an enviable memento of a highly successful day of racing.

Full results are on the event website at the address below

Top Ten Men

Nation Crew / Helm Place Points
GRE George Vassilas 1 11
Evangelos Mitakis
FRA Alexandre Rossignol 2 18
David Boudgourd
GER Max Dzembritzki 3 22
Fabian Baumgarten
ESP Jose Antonio Medina Ruiz 4 24
Onan Barreiros Rodriguez
ITA Giovanni Pizzatti 5 25
Michele Pavoni
POR Goncalo Ribeiro 6 27
Fausto Neves Briosa
GBR Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes 7 31
Jonathon Frazer
USA Mikee Anderson-Mitterling 8 38
Andrew Lam
FRA Morgan Lagraniere 9 39
Nor Delpech
GBR Oliver Dix 10 39
Philip Lasko

Top Ten Women

Nation Crew / Helm Place Points
GER Dorothea Gebert 1 9
Natascha Lorenz
GBR Charlotte Savage 2 17
Maia Walsh
BRA Isabel Flicker 3 19
Laura Zanni
ESP Virginia Morales Paez 4 20
Elena Barambio Hurtaoo
GER Silke Hahlbrock 5 22
Marion Rommel
FRA Delhia Seurin 6 33
Lorraine Manlay
GBR Lucy Macgregor 7 33
Nicola Macgregor
GBR Joanne Macdonald 8 37
Laurie Marsden
GBR Laura Wade 9 40
Jessica Makey
GER Lydia Koppin 10 44
Kristina Kummer
Catherine Dodds (As Amended by ISAF News Editor)
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