Mixed results for team GBR

Sasha Oswald reports from the pre-Olympics in Athens

Sunday August 24th 2003, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: Mediterranean
The fourth day of racing at the Pre-Olympic test event proved fruitful for RYA Team GBR. Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie continues to lead the Finn class, fellow Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson moved up into silver medal position in the Yngling class and young guns Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley are currently in bronze medal position in the Tornado class.

After a day off yesterday, Ainslie returned to form today in the Finn class, scoring a second and a sixth to maintain his overall lead from Guillaume Florent of France. Sebastien Godefroid, the 1996 Olympic silver medallist from Belgium is currently in third place overall.

Ainslie explained how a little luck helped him, "one of our races today was abandoned and I was pretty lucky, I think I was over the line at the start but decided to carry on anyway and chance it, so I was pretty relieved when they abandoned the race." He continued, "so far it is going well for me and a second and a sixth was a good day but it doesn't take much in these conditions for it all to go wrong so I will have to keep working hard to stay in the game."

Out on the Tornado course young British sailors Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley were enjoying the conditions. Although the wind was ranging from 6-18 knots and gusting 20 knots at times, they managed to play the shifts well in the first race of the day and round the first mark just in front of Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen of Holland, this remained the order of the race and McMillan and Bulkeley managed to extend their lead to take their first race win of the regatta.

To prove it was not a fluke result, they remained on top of the game in the second race and crossed the finish line second, which gave them a big boost up the leader board from ninth into bronze medal position. Olympic silver medallists Darren Bundock and John Forbes from Australia currently lead the class by ten points from Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola of Argentina.

A delighted McMillan said, "we definitely feel like we are starting to get to grips with the venue and understanding what happens with the wind here, although I don't think anyone will ever completely understand it. We are delighted with how we sailed today, it is the nature of the sport that some days you are up and some days you are down, but today was definitely an 'up day' for us".

Sydney Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson sailing with Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton, also had a good day and posted a second and a fourth to move up into second place overall. Americans Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette and Melissa Purdy currently lead the fleet by ten points.

Team GBR sailors Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield returned to form in the second race of the day in the men's 470 fleet, they followed up a twelfth in the first race with their first race win of the regatta and are currently lying in fourth place overall. An eighth place in the second race for fellow team GBR 470 sailors Christina Bassadone and Katherine Hopson saw them move into sixth place overall.

Tomorrow sees racing for the 470 men and women, Star, Yngling and Finn, whilst all the other classes enjoy a lay day. Racing concludes on the 28 August.

Results, after day 4

1, Ben Ainslie, GBR (2,(6),1,1,2,6) 12 pts
2, Guillaume Florent, FRA (3,8,(18),5,1,9) 26 pts
3, Sebastien Godefroid, BEL (11,7,2,3,4,(16)) 27 pts

1, Piero Sibelo/Gianfranco Sibelo, ITA (2,6,6,4,4,(15),1,8,11) 42 pts
2, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP (8,1,9,(21),10,2,5,1,9) 45 pts
3, Chris Nicholson/Gary Boyd, AUS (3,4,18,1,11,1,(OCS),3,7) 48 pts
4, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith, GBR (10,2,7,2,(15),5,8,13,8) 55 pts

Star - Lay day
1, Peter Bromby/Lee White, BER (6,1,3,4,(10),1) 15 pts
2, Torben Grael/Marcelo Ferreira, BRA ((12),2,1,7,1,6) 17 pts
3, Paul Cayard/Philip Trinter, USA ((10),3,10,1,3,3) 20 pts
12, Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell (1,4,17,6,(DNF),DNS) 47 pts

1, Hannah Swett/Joan Touchette/Melissa Purdy, USA (3,1,2,(10),4,1) 11 pts
2, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Webb/Sarah Ayton, GBR ((10),4,9,3,2,4) 22 pts
3, Ruslana Taran/Svitlana Matevusheva/Ganna Kalinina, UKR (1,2,6,5,10,(12))
24 pts

470 Women
1, Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa, GRE (1,3,(OCS),2,8,4) 18 pts
2, Susanne Ward/Michaela Ward, DEN (3,11,2,10,5,(13)) 31 pts
3, Vesna Dekleva/Klara Maucec, SLO (2,10,(OCS),11,6,5) 34 pts
6, Christina Bassadone/Katherine Hopson ((OCS),4,16,3,15,8) 46 pts

470 Men
1, Gideon Kliger/Ehud Gal, ISR (8,3,4,(16),1,9) 25 pts
2, Alvaro Marino/Miguel Nunes, POR (1,4,(DSQ),11,6,4) 26 pts
3, Lucas Zellmer/Felix Krabbe, GER (10,6,(13),8,4,3) 31 pts
4, Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield (7,(12),6,6,12,1) 32 pts

1, Robert Scheidt, BRA ((15),4,2,1,3,1) 11 pts
2, Mate Arapov, CRO (8,6,3,6,2,(OCS)) 25 pts
3, Andrea Geritzer, AUT (3,(18),9,8,6,4) 30 pts
17, Paul Goodison (6,9,13,(DSQ),11,OCS) 74 pts

Mistral Men
1, Nikolas Kaklamanakis, GRE (8,5,(DNF),1,1,1) 16 pts
2, Gal Fridman, ISR (11,3,2,4,2,6) 17 pts
3, Yuanguo Zhou, CHN (6,7,1,9,(14),2) 25 pts
13, Nick Dempsey ((17),9,14,12,7,11) 53 pts

Mistral Women
1, Alessandra Sensini, ITA (1,(2),1,1,1,1) 5 pts
2, Lee Lai Shan, HKG (2,3,6,2,4,(14)) 17 pts
3, Faustine Merret, FRA (4,4,2,(8),7,5) 22 pts
9, Natasha Sturges (9,12,(OCS),5,3,8) 37 pts

1, Sarah Macky, NZL (1,(13),1,6,3,3) 14 pts
2, Siren Sundby, NOR (2,6,(DNF),1,2,6) 17 pts
3, Lenka Smidova, CZE (4,(7),7,3,5,1) 21 pts
22, Andrea Brewster (13,19,10,(24),18,23) 83 pts

1, Darren Bundock/John Forbes, AUS (1,1,3,4,(11),1) 10 pts
2, Santiago Raul Lange/Carlos Mauricio Espinola, ARG (2,2,1,(OCS),5,10) 20 pts
3, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley, GBR (6,(14),10,6,1,2) 25 pts

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