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21 September 2003, 08:02 am
Morning Report - Medals To Be Decided in Mistral and Star Classes
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49ers

2003 ISAF World Championship
Bay of Cadiz

This morning dawns hazy with light winds. The forecast is light and variable, leaving many of the sailors wishing for a return of the Levante.
Whilst the Gold Medals have already been decided in two of the three events concluding today, Windsurfer Men and Keelboat Men, it remains to be seen how the rest of the podium places will be claimed for these two events and the Windsurfer Women.

In the Star fleet, the Gold was decided yesterday, with Xavier ROHART (FRA) and Pascal RAMBEAU, who have sailed an outstanding series of top 5 places, including three firsts, claiming Gold with a day to spare. Shattering what earlier in the series seemed a certain defence of their 2002 World Championship title, Iain PERCY (GBR) and Steve MITCHELL will now be hoping to oust Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM from their silver medal position.

Over in the Mistral fleets, Israel are hoping for a double medal performance from their top sailors Lee KORZITS in the women's fleet and Gal FRIDMAN in the men's. Whilst Lee only needs to finish in the top 6 to claim gold, the best Gal can hope for is Silver or Bronze, as the Gold medal was won yesterday, with a day to spare, by Przemek MIARCZYNSKI (POL).

The single-handed dinghy men's event in the Finn goes into their first final day, with Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) leading the pack, over the two British sailors Ben AINSLIE and Andrew SIMPSON, in second and third respectively. This good see an interesting situation developing when it comes to Olympic selection. Whilst yesterday the Royal Yachting Association and British Olympic Committee felt able to announce that Shirley ROBERTSON will represent Great Britain in the women's keelboat event, due her higher placing and points difference over the next placed British boat, will they be able to do the same for Ben if Andrew is so close to him. We will see.

Whilst many dreams are being made here in Cadiz, others are being shattered. But that is the nature of sport at the elite level.

With his Gold Medal in the windsurfer men event, Przemek MIARCZYNSKI (POL) is guaranteed selection for Athens. However, for most of the other medallists and top placing sailors here, they still have many qualification regattas to sail, of which this World Championship is one, and based on their performance across the appointed events, their National Governing Body (ISAF Member National Authority) for sailing and National Olympic Committee will choose the athletes who will take the country's qualification slot.

For other sailors, their performance here in Cadiz, and over the preceding and coming months counts for nothing. Their selection for Athens is purely based on a single qualification trials, where the winner takes all. The philosophy behind this approach being that the single event, best represents the Olympic Regatta environment.

Leading into what were scheduled reserve days today, the Tornado, 49er, Laser and 470's had class parties last night. But after the loss of wind yesterday evening, the Tornado and 470's will be back out on the race course today, to make up the races and complete their qualification series.

An interesting situation is developing in the 49er fleet, with Christoffer SUNDBY (NOR) brother of Siren, who won the Gold Medal in the Europe fleet, placing fifth overall. If he can hold this and achieve a podium place, this will surely make history.
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