The 2003 ISAF World Championship is now at the halfway stage. The first Medal Ceremony took place last night, and who knows we might see some further medallists determined today in the Yngling class.
However, when talking to the top three crews at the post-race press conference yesterday, they are all sure it will be down to the last race on Saturday.
The Mistral fleets start their final series today. The men's fleet sees the seemingly unstoppable Przemek MIARCZYNSKI (POL) way out at the top, totally outclassing the rest of the fleet so far with a scoreline of 5 first places and an eighth. Ranked number 8 in the world, he is clearly trying to acquire the world's number one spot, which he held approximately a year ago. Based on the results making up his current ranking, he has only won one event, the 2002 Gdynia Sailing Days, so if he can keep the pace going, not only will he take his first major title, but should shoot up the world rankings when they are released on 1 October.
Over in the Women's Mistral fleet, it is the young Lee KORSITZ (ISR) who has taken the lead. Despite a result of 32 in race 6, which she would rather forget, with a series of top 10 results, she has developed an eight point margin over the second placed Allison SHREEVE (AUS). Lee commented, "I am surprising myself. I am really happy that I can do something so special."
Lee entered her first event last year, the 2002 SPA Regatta. However, her first result that gave her any ranking points was the 2002 Mistral Europeans where she placed 23. Predicting the likely outcome of the Championship, she commented: "I can't say anything - we are only in the middle of the regatta."
Rory RAMSDEN, Secretary of the Class commented, "She [Lee] seems almost unstoppable, and she's also good in the light breeze as well."
A viewpoint Lee affirmed, by stating her liking all conditions.
Speaking on the pressure the lay day fosters, she commented, "The lay day is not good for me. I have never been first on the water before, and I feel all the pressure."
Comparing the results at this midway point in the fleet to the world rankings, only two of the world's top ranked sailors are currently placed in the top 10 at the Worlds. With 5 more races to go, and extremely shifty conditions, a lot can still happen.
The Finn fleet will conclude their qualification series today, before the cut, with the top 41 sailors going through to the Gold fleet. Philippe ROGGE (BEL), who is competing in the single-handed dinghy men event in the Finn was in the boat park this morning, looking relaxed with a few days' of beard, and commented, "It's great. I don't need to shave every morning and I have no meetings to attend! Yesterday, whilst everyone else was complaining about the postponed start, I thought it was great, being able to just relax - I was very happy!"
Philippe is also President of the International Finn Association, and his father, Jacques Rogge is President of the International Olympic Committee.
Having completed qualification yesterday, the Star fleet will sail in the two Gold and Silver groups in their first day of final races.
The 49er, 470 and Laser fleets move into day two of qualification.
The weather forecast is similar to previous days, more of the same, which translates as a variety of conditions across the nine course areas, producing shifty and testing conditions.
On Monday, ISAF launched video streaming of the daily edited highlights from the 2003 ISAF World Championship.
The system is working well, and ISAF is delighted to have received some very positive feedback.
If you have not already accessed the Video streaming, click on the link below and you will be able to watch the latest highlights and archive footage.
Enjoy it and keep the feedback coming.
If you are not familiar with using an online video player, then please click on the Need Help? icon on the Video Streaming page.
'Excellent! This is the best regatta information!'
'Love the video! This is great for our sport!'
'Brilliant! Best coverage of a major regatta yet! Well Done...'
'The films are really great, keep going! Some suggestions:
- make the starting line visible with white line.
- give us the total length of the movie
- tell us what boats there an the movie'
'Will this happen for all ISAF events? Nice if yes.'
'Excellent way to get the blood flowing.'
'Coming from a mistral sailor these videos are unbelievable!!!'
'Having a video online is a great idea. I loved watching the interviews and seeing what is going on over in Spain.'
'Great innovation, well done. Editorially, I'd like to see shorter reports about regatta results (vs long interviews with sailors ashore). It would also be good to be able to select which class you want to watch (vs having to view the whole video). All in all, a great step in the right direction. Well done.'
Quote / Unquote
David CAMPBELL-JAMES (British Selector)
I arrived Wednesday night and from what I've seen so far I think it's fantastic. I just need to see some boats now."
Ben AINSLIE (GBR), just as launching yesterday.
"I think it's [the Championship] a great idea, I've been here quite a long time and it has been quite hard for us (FINNS), watching everyone sailing whilst we are waiting to start our regatta.
I did OK yesterday - and it's a bit windier today so I'll see what I can go out and get, I don't really have a preferred wind strength so I'll just go and see."
Morten JOHNSEN, Secretary General of Norwegian Sailing Federation, on Siren SUNDBY'S results.
"She's a great sailor and has been working very hard over the years. I've been with her a number of years and she just keeps winning, winning and winning. I'm sure she's going to do everything to be at the top in Athens."
Lenka SMIDOVA (CZE) on future plans,
"I am planning on having a couple of months off following the championship, and will then probably spend November, December and January in Florida training before coming back in February to Europe for the start of the season."
Sari MULTALA (FIN), Silver Medallist in the Europe Class, on her future plans,
"I haven't really finalised dates or anything yet, but I plan to come back here maybe in October, there are a lot of us who want to train here. I also have another boat so I will be training in Athens."
Mateusz KUSNIEREWICZ (POL) on Wednesday's first day in the Finns,
"My starts let me down today, they weren't beautiful and in a fleet of 82, it's very difficult to come back unless your name is Ben Ainslie, but I had really bad starts today.
The wind is strange, it varies so much in strength and direction, that the shifts are so unpredictable upwind, starts are very important."