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27 June 2004, 11:43 am
Final Day
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© Ian Bruce

Byte CII Euro Cup

The course for the final race was a double triangle in anticipation of some very heavy wind. Unfortunately, it never arrived and the competitors never saw more than 10 - 11 knots.
As he had done in day one, Thomas TANG (DEN), revelled in the conditions and was soon out in front. He arrived at the weather mark first, followed by Glen Cheang Heng Loong RUSSEL (SIN), Helena Lee Jia Hui (SIN), Marco GIANNINI (ITA), the second Dane, Emil BORRENSEN and Italian Bettina BONELLI. Morgan AUSSELL (FRA), was back in eighth.

By the end of the triangle, Thomas still held the lead but Helena had sailed into second ahead of her Singapore team-mate, Glen.

Much further down in the pack, the other contender for series second, Chao Loh Zhi (SIN), was struggling.

About half way up the beat, Helena saw her chance for series second evaporate even though she had started up the second beat four places ahead of her closest rival, Morgan AUSSELL (FRA). She needed only one boat between them to take second. However, she was the furthest right of all the front-runners and a shift to the left dropped her down into sixth place by the weather mark. Thomas (DEN), sailed a second very strong beat to maintain his lead at the weather mark but Glen (SIN), was right on his heels and Morgan had sailed up into third after a terrific beat. With the reputation of the fastest off the wind in the regatta, it was a pretty good bet that he would probably pass the leaders on the next two reaches.

The bet was a good one. Glen passed Thomas but, by the gybe mark, Morgan was through Glen into first place.

He held this position down the third leg of the triangle and started up the final beat to the finish in first. After sailing about 100 metres, he crossed Glen and tacked abeam of him with a loose cover so as not to force him to the left and get in a tacking duel. The wind freed everyone on port and the fleet sailed directly to the finish mid way up the leg with Morgan getting the gun, see below, and a well-deserved series second. Glen was second in the race and Thomas took third. In the end Aussell's OCS after having won the second race, may well have cost him the series.

Chao, meanwhile, really concentrated on his speed upwind and worked up to a final seventh, only one place behind Helena but good enough to take series third.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.

Ian Bruce
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