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22 Jun 2010

A Light Breeze Returns To Kieler Woche

It was a bit of a nail biting day again in the morning of the fourth day of Kieler Woche, penultimate stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

By noon a light breeze filled in and all classes could finish enough races before the medal races begin on Wednesday.

"The forecast was really the opposite of what we saw later on the water. But to make sure enough races were completed for the Finn and Star classes, who had only raced two before, we relocated their course close to the shore. And it worked, they could sail three races," explained Jobst Richter, Chairman of the Kieler Woche

It was only possible to race one more race again today and it was a predicable sight as Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page chalked up a fourth bullet in a row in the 81 boat strong 470 men fleet. They seem to be sailing an immaculate series in all conditions but Page was respectful of the opposition.

"There has been very good competition at Kiel Week this year, we prefer stronger wind, which is what we had on the first day but we have been practising in the light so its good to know we are going well in light as well."

"The points are very close for the medal race tomorrow and the medal races are a different style of racing to the normal fleet racing so we have to sail with what we feel and see. It's a very short race with only ten boats, so tactics will be out of the window; the calibre of competition is very high."

Despite the Aussies domination of the fleet, which sees 27 nations jostlling for position, 2009 470 World Champions Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) are only five points behind with Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Ostling (SWE) another four points back in third so the medal race will still be close.

Over in the 38 boat 19 nation Women's 470 fleet, the British team of Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark go into the medal race as leaders. Sarah Ayton, double Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion, part of the 'three blondes' who sailed to victory in the Yngling class at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games, has teamed up with experienced 470 crew Saskia Clark, a former world championship medallist in 2005 and 2007. She is aiming for a third gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth.

Lisa Ericson and Astrid Gabreilsson of Sweden go into the medal race in silver position with Maria Gallego and Julia Rita of Spain currently in bronze.

Three German teams have found their way into the top ten after four races. Kathrin Kadelbach and Friederike Belcher, Annina Wagner and Marlene Steinherr, and Tina Lutz and Sanni Beucke will all start in the medal race. "We won the last race today and just made it into the medal race, which was not a sure thing before. We are very happy," stated Tina, former world champion in the Optimist.

More Information:
Event Website

Image: Sarah and Saskia in action earlier in the year at the US Sailing Rolex Miami OCR event © Rolex/Dan Nerney