Big breeze continues

to blow dogs off chains and disrupt racing at Kieler Woche, reports Nigel Cherrie

Saturday June 29th 2002, Author: Nigel Cherrie, Location: none selected
A 25 knot breeze kept nine of the twelve fleets at the Kiel Olympic Classes Regatta in Germany ashore on Saturday. Only the Mistral, Laser and 470 classes sailed just off the Olympic Harbour.

Britains Nick Dempsey has had to hand the reigns of the Mistral mens division over to Polands  Przemystaw Miarczynski, who won all three races.

The Polish boardsailor led the first and third races throughout. In race two he was second to Toannis Chrisochow from Greece at the windward mark, but pulled into the lead on the downwind leg to ensure a clean sweep. That makes it seven race wins from eleven starts for the world number one.

It was difficult as the wind was so shifty, but Im happy. I like the strong breeze as Im heavier than Nick (Dempsey), he reflected afterwards.

With up to two races remaining on Sunday to decide the championship, Miarczynski has a four point lead and knows what he needs to do to guarantee the title. Ill try and stick with Nick so I dont lose points, he added. Expect an interesting battle between these two.

Meanwhile, it was get out of jail day for Dempsey who could of easily slipped lower in the overall results. He pulled back from disastrous starts in the first two races that saw him round the top mark in the 30s to finish a commendable second in both. But the young Briton  had to be content with fourth in series race 11.

Despite dropping to second overall, Dempsey is looking forward to Sundays showdown, Tomorrow is another day. Its still all to play for, he said cheerfully.

Another Briton,  Natasha Sturges has displaced Frances Lise Vidal for second place overall in the Mistral womens fleet. Vidal withdrew from the competition to take up a late opportunity to compete at the ISAF World Sailing Games in France. Sturges 3,1,2 meant though she was the class act of the day to secure second ahead of the chasing pack.

However, series leader Lee Lai Shan from Hong Kong is almost unbeatable. The Chinese 1996 Olympic gold medallist has a seven point lead over Sturges, some low discards and a maximum of two races remaining.

The Lasers and 470s were sent out late on Saturday for two races, but no results were available at 1900hrs.

The Tornado, Finn and Star fleets have only sailed three races in four days so will be on standby early tomorrow morning with the intention of sailing at least two races.

The 49er class could have up to five races to bring their series total to nine while the Europes and Lasers may sail three race each.

The 2.4mR and Yngling keelboat classes have two races scheduled.

All results are strictly provisional and subject to later change.

Kieler Woche is supported by Volvo and boot-Dsseldorf.

For full results click here

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