Barcelona Olympic Week

First major European Olympic classes-fest gets underway tomorrow

Friday April 4th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected
Barcelona Olympic Week will run from 5-9 April and will be the first major European contest for the Olympic classes with action hotting in a year which will see a majority of each country's selection process taken up.

In the 470 class, Team GBR's Graham Vials/Bevis Field (ranked 20th at present) and Mark Plummer/Oliver Hawkley will face tough competition for the Australian world no1 Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page and no3 Ukrainians Eugeny Braslavets/Igor Matviento. In the Women's 470 Britain's Christina Bassadone/Katherine Hopson, currently ranked 17th, will also face stiff racing in an another international line up that includes no2 ranked Australians Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell and no3 ranked Germans Stefanie Rothweiler/Monika Leu.

The 49er racing will see four British boats including Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith and Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh (but not Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks) up against the Spanish champions and world no1s Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez and the world no2 Ukrainians Rodion Luka/Giogiy Leonchuk.

Five British Europe sailors will be taking part including Kirsty Bonnar. They will be up against a large fleet including 30 boats from Spain plus world no2 Carolijn Brouwer and Czech no4 Lenka Smidova.

Most of Team GBR's heavy guns in the Finn class are standing down for this event, as it seems are most of top international player. Sole Brit representative will be Bosham Sailing Club's Rodney Cobb.

British Laser ace and world no1 Paul Goodison is not sailing, but Ed Wright is and is the top ranked Laser sailor taking part.

No Dominic Tidey or Nick Dempsey in the Men's Mistral fleet - in fact no Brits at all. But Brazilian no2 Ricardo Santos and no5 ranked Pole Przemek Miarczynski will be sailing. There is also a disappointing small Women's Mistral line up with no Natasha Sturges (current world no1) although No2 and No3 Poles Anna Graczyk and Agata Brygola will be taking part. The Star class is also thin with just seven boats entered.

There will however be top competition in the Tornado class. Seven British boats will be sailing including Hugh Styles/Adam May and Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley. They will be up against Australian champion Darren Bundock (entered in this event with Glen Ashby as crew) and the mighty Mitch Booth/Herbert Derecksen racing for Holland.

It will also be Team GBR showtime in the Yngling class between Shirley Robertson's trio and Cathy Foster's. They will be up against the team of Spanish no1 Monica Azon as well as Sharon Ferris' Kiwi team.

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