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9 September 2003, 11:36 am
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Star European Championship

Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM were yesterday's race winners, leading it from the beginning to the end. But the fifth race of the Championship begun with a little tribulation when two boats collided and one got a hole in the hull.
As the jury was informed, the incident occured when Rohan LORD/Andrew TAYLOR hit the boat of Claude BONANNI/Gennadly KOROLKOV (USA), causing a hole in the hull, on the left quarter, what made them leave the race. The New-Zealanders made a 360º penalty and followed the fleet. Also in the start the Race Committee gave an individual call that took to the disqualification of a Danish crew (DEN 7872 - Stig WESTERGAARD/Kasper HARSBERG).

The wind conditions were slight different to the last days. Ten/twelve knots in the beginning, falling during the race.

After a very good start, the double European champions - Loof/Ekstrom - were first round every mark, achieving their first victory in the 2003 Star European Championship.

According to the skipper, the secret was to "place ourselves in the right and close to Peter BROMBY". But Loof says that the victory wasn't easy because the tide was tricky. However, besides the victory they are conscious that they can't keep the European title because in this moment, although they're third overall, they have a disadvantage of eleven points to the first place. But that doesn't worry them much because the truth is that this European is just a training to the World Championship. Tomorrow they just want to have a relaxing race.

In his turn, Torben GRAEL and Marcelo FERREIRA were second crew across the finish line, that allowed them to achieve the top of the overall. Although they've hit in the first mark and have been forced to penalize themselves, they recovered since the first downwind leg, with Grael justifying why he's called "Turbina" ("Turbine"). After that they were third in the following round marks, finishing second. This was a good result because if it would have been third we couldn't rise to the first place». Tomorrow, the last day of competition, they "just" have to be in the first five and ahead of the Dutch team. But the skipper warns that Mark NEELEMAN and Peter Van NIEKERK are in a comfortable situation, however they've fallen to the second position overall. Now the dutch team is still the best european crew with the same points as the brazilians.

The 2003 Star European Championship leaves Cascais tomorrow with the beginning of the sixth race scheduled for 14h00. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.

Overall Top Ten

Place Nation Helm Crew Points R1 R2 R3 R4 R5
1 BRA Torben Grael Marcelo Ferreira 13 7 3 1 19 2
2 NED Mark Neeleman Peter Van Niekerk 13 1 4 4 5 4
3 SWE Fredrik Loof Anders Ekstrom 24 11 10 3 10 1
4 BER Peter Bromby Martin Siese 24 4 7 10 12 3
5 GBR Iain Percy Steve Mitchell 28 10 1 2 15 63
6 AUS Colin Beashel David Giles 31 6 63 8 4 13
7 CAN Ross Macdonald Kai Bjorn 44 17 8 18 1 30
8 AUS Iain Murray Andrew Palfrey 45 12 6 13 14 24
9 POR Afonso Domingos Bernardo Santos 48 23 16 7 6 19
10 AUS Ian Walker Nick Williams 50 8 21 14 20 8
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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