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16 September 2003, 04:51 pm
Sundby Takes Commanding Lead
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Siren SUNDBY (NOR)© ISAF

2003 ISAF World Championship
Bay of Cadiz

10-15 knot easterlies, with as much as 18 on the Mistral course epitomised racing today for the five classes that sailed on the Bay of Cadiz today. Lighter than yesterday but enough to produce some close, hard racing.
The Europe fleet sailed the first two races of their final series, and it was a day that Siren SUNDBY could really call her own, despite a slip in the first race to 15. A win in the second race of the day, and the eighth of the series has given her 21-point lead over Lenka SMIDOVA (CZE).

Siren highlighted of her result in the first race Lenka is very consistent and as a result can be very difficult to beat. If I have a bad race, she just keeps being consistent". In the first race, Smidova scored a seventh, bettering Sundby's result, and now has a complete set of results in the top ten.

Sundby's friend and biggest rival Sari MULTALA (FIN), won the first race today, but a couple of bad results in yesterday's big Levante, puts her in fourth overall, ten points behind Trine ABRAHAMSEN (DEN).

Sundby is holding a commanding position in the Championship and oozes confidence more associated with sailors much older than her 20 years of age. "If I relax and get some top five or top ten results in the rest of the championship, I think I can win it"

Following Sydney, in an Olympic regatta that she admits herself she was only competing in to "see what the Olympics is about", she has strong feelings about what she wants from Athens. She was only 17 when she competed at those Olympic Games, and next year, four years on, she knows what she wants. "I am obviously going to Athens hoping for a Gold medal. There are 5 or 10 sailors who could be up there but if I train hard I hope I can get it, I am still the youngest of them"

Having spent a brief spell at the top of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings last month, Sundby dropped to second in the latest rankings release, but with 2002 Norwegian Sailor of the Year in the position she currently occupies, a victory here could well see her back at the top.

Both the Mistral fleets had a couple of races today, as did the Ynglings. Finn sailors got their first taste of what racing might be like for the rest of the championship with their practice race, qualification for them starts tomorrow.

News on the racing in all the other fleets will follow shortly. Full results are available on the event website and edited footage will be streamed to the web when it is available. For more details on the video streaming feature, click on the link at the top of the page.
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