Greeks take control in the Stars

Going into the penultimate day of their competition at the Open Europeans in Finland

Wednesday July 6th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Finland

Weather continued to cause problems at the Open Europeans today in Finland. Competitors had to wait almost an hour for the first start of the day and even then it was in very calm wind conditions.

The gold and silver fleets in the Laser Radials didn't have as much waiting to do as the others. The class continues to be led by Belgium's Evi Van Acker, although she didn't have her best day. She finished 37th in the first race and 12th in the second. "I can't afford another day like this in the remaining fleets," she said. "I just have to find my previous form and keep myself calm."

Second in the Laser Radials is China's Olympic bronze medallist Lijia Xu. Tina Mihelic of Croatia is currently third, with just one day of sailing to go before the medal race.

In Laser Standards it was even more difficult. The sailors started their second race twice, but both of them had to be stopped when the wind died completely. In the end they could only finish the first fleets.

After seven races, Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic is in the lead before Poland's Jonas Stelmaszyk and Austria's Andreas Geritzer. "I had a good start today and was lucky to have chosen the right side. So it went well for me, as have gone the whole Championships so far," said Geritzer, who finished third in today's race.

"The waiting is familiar to all of us. And at least we had the opportunity to soak up the sun," said Finland's Pierre Collura. He is currently 26th overall.

In Star class the excitement builds up before the final day with Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Fernando Rodriguez Rivero squeezing their way past Emilios Papathanasiou and Alexandros Dragoutsis of Greece. Only one point separates the two. Japan's Kunio Suzuki and Daichi Wada are third, 11 points behind the Greek team. The medal race will be held on Thursday starting at 1200.

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