In a steady Baltic breeze of ten knots, Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) secured the 2010 49er European Championship in Gdynia, Poland.
With a six point lead into the medal race, the duo were forced to the wrong side after the start but managed to climb back and round the weather mark in fourth. With a four lap course, they slowly worked through the fleet to finish third in the race and earn them the title.
Frenchmen Manu Dyen
and Stéphane Christidis
who were fourth going into the medal race lead the entire race only to lose to the Italian brothers Pietro Sibello
and Gianfranco Sibello
who slipped past on the third lap. But second in the medal race was good enough for them to finish second overall just half a point in front of Stephen Morrison
and Ben Rhodes
(GBR). Current ISAF World Cup leaders Nico Delle - Karth
and Nikolaus Resch
of Austria finished fourth overall in the Europeans.
The medal race was held just in front of the beach, which had approximately 5,000 spectators watching the races and enjoying a Saturday at the beach. The country flags on the 49er mainsails made the race spectator friendly and several teams were cheered on as they came ashore where the prize giving was held immediately afterwards. The sailors were congratulated and presented with prizes including Seiko Velatura watches to the top three in gold and the winners of silver and soon-to-be bronze.
The silver fleet was won by Axel Silvy
and Ulysse Hoffman of France with bronze fleet finals still pending due to protests.
Yacht Club Polski managed a fantastic regatta providing the sailors with excellent race management both on and off the water.
For more information, go to: www.49er.org
All photos for this event can be viewed at: http://photos.friedbits.com/201049ereuropeanchampionship