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9 June 2004, 09:05 am
Close Run In To Championship
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470 European Championship

Against predictions, Tuesday turned on great weather and a good breeze for the second day of finals here in Warnemunde for the 2004 470 European Championship.
Racing got underway for the women's fleet right on time at 11.00hrs with the GBR's Christina BASSADONE & Katherine HOPSON and World Champions Therese TORGERSSON & Vendela ZACHRISSON of Sweden making perfect starts at the pin end and sailing in clear air.

The Spanish Natalia VIA DUFRESNE & Sandra AZON were forced to do a couple of clearing tacks heading for the less favoured right hand side of the course while regatta leaders, the Ward Sisters found space on the Left with the initial leaders. The beat developed into a tussle between the pin end starters with Torgersson & Zachrisson looking the best half way up the work before Bassadone & Hopson found a groove that was higher and faster than the Swedes.

The first rounding saw the Brits in front; the USA's McDowell/ Kinsolving foul the mark boat and take the turn, the Swede's were second to round followed by Dekleva/Maucec (SLO) and overnight Second placer, Ilienko/Gaponovich back in the pack . Torgersson & Zachrisson sailed well down the first run to reach the gate first but suffered a kite malfunction letting Bassadone & Hopson back in. In the freshening 10-12 knot breeze the British team consolidated their lead and went onto win from the Swedes followed by the Slovenians and the regatta leading Danes in fourth after overtaking the USA Team.

The Men's fleet got away for the second race of the day under black flag with the Brazilian team BRA17 clearly across the line and out of the game. The Ukrainian Medallists Braslavets & Matvienko heading right in what looked like more breeze. The UKR team continued out left before tacking back and consolidating their lead on the fleet. Conditions became very tricky in the last 200 metres to the mark with the Lead swapping several times. The Ukrainians rounded first courtesy of the Swedes overlaying the mark on the starboard layline allowing the Spanish Martinez & Wood to round second and the Italians Fonda/Zucchetti in third.

The first run saw the Ukrainians increase their lead to 30 seconds sailing the rhum line rounding ahead of Moland/Andersson of Sweden followed by the Australians Mathew Belcher & Nick Behrens. The Overnight leaders, the Dutch Costers rounding an incredible second last. From there it was a matter of the Ukrainians covering Moland tightly up the next work in a fading breeze with the Spanish working their way into third on the water.

The leader board sees the Danish Women in front still with an increased lead now upto 16 points. A regatta win may be an early wedding present for Michaela Ward. With a 13 and 1 day the Russians Ilienko/Gaponovich move to second overall and 15 and 5 move Natalia ViaDufresne & Sandra Azon to third overall.

A bad day for the Coster Brothers drops them to third overall, behind Javier CONTE & Juan de la FUENTE of Argentina in first and past World Champions Gabrio ZANDONA & Andrea TRANI of Italy. But a pack is developing with the Swedes, and Brits Rogers & Glanfield just 3 points back from the major places.

Racing continues 11.00hrs Wednesday, full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Darren Dunkley Smith (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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