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Brits still in the hunt at Kiel Week

Kieler Woche - Team GBR - Brits still in the hunt at Kiel Week
KIEL, GERMANY-(22-6-2006) Day two of Olympic classes sailing action at Kiel Week (21-25 June) brought its share of thrills and spills in the south-westerly 11-25 knot breezes on the Baltic Sea.

Experience and youth are still in the hunt for Skandia Team GBR after the second day's racing, with European Champion Paul Goodison, who finished the first day in twelfth place, picking his way through the Laser fleet with the help of a bullet in his opening race of the day.

Goodison, defending his 2005 Kiel Week crown, went on to score a 4,13,2 from the other races on Thursday to finish the day in ninth place overall, but the leaderboard should see a shake up once a second discard kicks in after race 8 on Friday.

Nick Thompson had another solid day on the water, posting 6,5,3,6 to see him in tenth at the close of play on Thursday, with fellow development squad sailor Stephen Powell also scoring a notable bullet in the sixth race.

On a blustery Tornado course, world silver medallists Leigh McMillan and Will Howden crossed the line seventh in their first race of the day, and in the second race had worked their way back into the top ten after a conservative first beat, only to be forced to retire with a snapped jib halyard.

By the start of the third race, a solid breeze of 20 knots punctuated by gusts of 25 knots saw several sailors go for an impromptu swim. World silver medallists Leigh McMillan and Will Howden managed to steer clear of the drama to finish the race in third and see them in fourth place overall.

'A frustrating day,' described Howden. 'Boat breakages are not acceptable - but we are happy with the third, and are sailing fairly well.

'Luckily the discard came in today so we are still in hunt lying 4th overall only six points off second with over half the series still to sail.'

Andy Walsh and Ed Barney are currently in eleventh, with Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley starting to make up for their two written off races on Wednesday due to a rudder gudgeon breakage with an 8,11,6 to put them in 18th place today.

Helena Lucas had a better second day in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, with two thirds and a fourth from the three races. She now moves up to fourth place overall, and has one eye firmly on the French series leader, Damien Seguin.

'The forecast is for lighter winds and the last few days have certainly been Damien's conditions,' Lucas explained.

'I think with the wind set to go lighter in the next few days it'll be interesting to see how he fares then, and also I think with lighter winds and similar sort of shifts it'll open things up a bit for the rest of the fleet.'

49er youngsters Dave Evans and Rick Peacock maintained their good form from the opening day, finishing in the day in fifth, while in the Finn fleet, Skandia Team GBR's Matt Howard is up to eighth.

In the Laser Radial class Harriette Trumble will hope to be back sailing again on Friday after retiring from racing today. She had a brief trip to hospital for treatment to a head wound after being struck during a gybe.

Olympic classes racing in Kiel continues through until Sunday 25 June.

Source: RYA

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