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5 June 2004, 08:52 pm
Practice Day Today
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© Aline Siepmann

Mistral European Championship
Sopot

On a beautiful sunny day with 10-12 knots onshore breeze, sailors and coaches left the beach in order to prepare for the practice race at 2:00PM.
Almost on time the men fleet was started first and although the race committee decided for a general recall sailors pumped their way up to the windward mark which was just then also approached by the ex-Polish Americas Cupper MK CAFE under spinnaker.

Eventually the right side paid off and it was French Olivier GUIDE (FRA-928) to round the top mark with a respectable lead followed by Fabrice HASSEN (FRA-1) in second, Bimba aka Ricardo SANTOS (BRA-1) in third and Turkish Ertugrul ICINGIR (TUR-1) as well as German Toni WILHELM (GER-319).

Also the women started with little discipline on the favored pin-end and left for the course without returning after the generall recall flag was hoisted.

It was Sopot Local Marta HLAVATY (POL-124) who managed by half a board length to round the top mark in first position just before German Romy KINZL (GER-62) who lead the right wing. Australian Jessica CRISP (AUS-15) sneaked around the mark in third position and just in front of the rest of the fleet.

In order to save some engery sailors went back onshore after the bottom mark rounding and enjoyed food and company at the rigging area.

In the late afternoon a thunderstorm kicked in and brought rainy and cold weather to Sopot. Still sailors, coaches and friends are looking forward to the opening ceremony this evening.

Racing proper gets underway tomorrow.
Aline Siepmann (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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