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8 September 2003, 02:41 pm
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Star European Championship
Cascais

It was 14h05 when the Race Committee started the fourth race of the 2003 Star European Championship on Saturday. With four of the six scheduled races completed and with the worst score discarded, a series is already constituted.
The course covered by the 62 crews was number 3, which accords to three upwind and two downwind legs. Although the wind always blew from the same direction - northwest - its intensity changed during the race: in the start it was 14 knots, in the second upwind fell to ten, finishing in 25 knots.

For that reason it was «a tough race» for Ross Macdonald and Kai BJORN, the Canadian team that shined in Saturday's race. In a rising performance, they were third in the first mark, second in the following one and first at the last two marks. Despite assuming this European as training for the ISAF World Championship, they hope to get a good result in Cascais, but every race is different and they prefer not to create big expectations for the final races. On what concerns to the Worlds, the goal is clear:"to qualify the country[for the Olympic Games]". And they are optimistic, after all they're going to Cádiz "to give the best", said Ross Macdonald.

The Austrians Hans SPITZAUER and Andreas HANAKAMP were the protagonists of the second best performance of the day. According to the crew, the biggest problems were the wind holes. After rounding the first mark fifth, they found the right way: "go by the left, where there was more wind," being second on the first downwind. After that, "it was almost match racing with MacDonald", finishing second. Until the end of the championship the team hopes to keep the rhythm, although they know that there's a high competitive level in this European Championship.

Looking at the overall esults, there are no changes in the top places, going into the next day of racing today. Mark NEELEMAN and Peter Van NIEKERK, from Netherlands, keep the lead, while Torben GRAEL and Marcelo FERREIRA and Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL are the holders of the second and third places respectively.

Action is back in Cascais today, when a further race is scheduled to start at 1400 hrs.

Overall Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm Crew Points R1 R2 R3 R4
1 NED Mark Neeleman Peter Van Niekerk 9 1 4 4 5
2 BRA Torben Grael Marcelo Ferreira 11 7 3 1 19
3 GBR Iain Percy Steve Mitchell 13 10 1 2 15
4 AUS Colin Beashel David Giles 18 6 63 8 4
5 BER Peter Bromby Martin Siese 21 4 7 10 12
6 DEN Nicklas Holm Claus Olesen 22 5 63 9 8
7 SWE Fredrik Loof Anders Ekstrom 23 11 10 3 10
8 CAN Ross Macdonald Kai Bjorn 26 17 8 18 1
9 POR Afonso Domingos Bernardo Santos 29 23 16 7 6
10 AUS Iain Murray Andrew Palfrey 31 12 6 13 14
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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