|BALATONFÜRED, HUNGARY-(12-6-2006) First two races took place today in a light but steady breeze at the 470 European Championships Men and Women at Lake Balaton. After day 1, the top of the leaderboard shows a mix of experienced 470 sailors and new names of upcoming talents.
The 470 Men’s fleet counting 112 teams are split up into three groups, the Women’s Fleet of 51 teams into two groups.
Racing got underway smoothly without any general recalls in a light Westerly breeze of 10-12 knots. Wind was quite steady in strenght, although it changed direction from time to time. In combination with the choppy waters it made sailing conditions challenging.
In the early afternoon the wind decreased a litte to 8-10 knots, still shifting direction now and then, making it more difficult for the sailors to choose side and calculate changes along the race.
The opening battle on this first day was hot, and so the jury interfeared for about six times giving penalties to individual teams.
After day 1 at the 470 Men, sailors from the Mediterranean region lead overall after two races completed in each group. Enrico FONDA/Marco GUERRA from Italy have not shown many exciting results lately, but they showed their value today. With a 2nd and 3rd place in today’s races they take 1st place on the leaderboard in the opening phase of the Championship. Slovenia’s Tomasz COPI/Aljaz JADEK follow by just 2 points difference.
At the 470 Women is was Germany’s team Stefanie ROTHWEILER with Vivien KUSSATZ that showed best ability to handle today’s conditions, ending the day with a 1st and 2nd place, followed by Christina BASSADONE / Saskia CLARK (GBR).
Notable are the new names of upcoming talents on top of the current leader board, among Medallists of International Championships of the last few years. This might not only ensure the quality and level of performance during this European Championship now, but also at future Championships of the Olympic double handed centerboard 470 dinghy.
This 470 Class European Championship is carried out for the first time in accordance with the Olympic Format, decided by ISAF last November.
For this European Championship it means that both the Men and Women’s Fleet will seperately race 10 qualifying races in six days, separated in groups changing every day to ensure equal chances. On the last day both the top 10 ten of the Men and Women’s Fleet will race the Finals.
Racing resumes tomorrow at 10:00 local time.
The European Championship qualifiers will conclude on Saturday the 17th, the finals will take place on the 18th of June.