Whilst the Gold Medal position only changed between only two sailors, the World's number one and two, Sari MULTALA (FIN) and Siren SUNDBY (NOR) respectively, there was always the possibility that others could get in there if either made a slip.
Sari's mistakes came early. Having tied with Siren on equal points, both winning the opening races 1 and 2 of their respective fleet group, Siren was in the overall lead after race day two and races 3 and 4, but her gain was very soon her loss, when she placed a 33 and 53 in races 5 and 6, letting Siren through. Having been split into two groups and reseeded at the end of each day's racing, race 6 saw the end of the qualification series, and the fleet split into the Gold and Silver for the finals. This brought Sari and Siren head to head, as up until the finals they had been in different fleets. The opening day of the finals, saw them post virtually the same places, but Sari was adrift of Siren by seven places and was going to be hard pushed to make up any gain.
Tuesday, the first day of the finals was a day to be remembered. With Sari out of the picture, it was the turn of some of the other frontrunners to have a go at a medal with Sarah MACKY (NZL) moving from third up to second enjoying the big breeze, and behind her Lenka SMIDOVA (CZE). But the first race of the finals saw Sarah's dreams shattered with a 29, compounded by more double-digit results in races 8 and 9. At this stage Lenka was looking good, having only posted top 10 results, but her keenness in race 9 gave her an OCS and no margin for error in the rest of the series. But for Lenka an incident in the final race of the series, scoring her DSQ, saw her hold on any medals lost.
Combined with some consistent results, Lenka's demise gave way for the upward climb of the rest of the frontrunners, and it was Trine Julie ABRAHAMSEN (DEN) who looked in with a chance initially as she climbed into the Bronze medal position after race 8, but similar to the others she just couldn't maintain the form. But, moving through the ranks was Meg GAILLARD (USA), who had steadily climbed up the fleet, and with a tenth in the final race, took the Bronze medal position.
Over the final series of 5 races, there were seven different countries claiming top three results, out of a fleet containing thirty-six nations.
The defending World Champion did not fair well in the Bay of Cadiz, finishing 20 overall, only placing one result in the top ten. With the Gold and Silver Olympic medallist from Sydney now competing in different events, it was left to the Bronze medallist Serena AMATO (ARG) to demonstrate her medal winning ability. But for Serena, an absence from competition for several months, did not bode well and she ended the series in 36, but showed she can still lead the fleet having placed a 4 and 2, but these results were not able to be repeated in a consistent manner.
Adding to the nine qualification slots allocated from the 2002 Europe Class World Championships, a further eleven slots have been allocated from the 2003 ISAF World Championship, which have gone to:
USA, Denmark, New Zealand, Slovenia, Spain, Belgium, Belarus, Mexico, France, Russia, and Great Britain.
To view the day by day reports for the Europe Class:
Races 1 and 2, 12 September 2003
Races 3 and 4, 13 September 2003
Races 5 and 6, 14 September 2003
Europe Lay Day
Races 7 and 8, 16 September 2003
Races 9 and 10, 17 September 2003
Race 11, 18 September
Medal Ceremony, 18 September
Nations Qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta