49er Europeans, Brest

Four or five British boats to make the Gold fleet at the end of today's qualification

Sunday May 13th 2001, Author: Lynsey Thomas, Location: United Kingdom
The third day of racing brings an end to the qualification series for the 49er European championships in Brest. The British team are performing very well, Stephen Park (Sparky), Olympic squad manager commented on the their performance so far, "At the moment we have four British boats who have come through the qualification to make the gold fleet. Alistair Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh won the qualification series and are sailing very well. They certainly deserve to be where they are.

"Paul Brotherton and Simon Hiscocks are currently lying in fourth position but on equal points with second and third place. They are also doing well but lost a little concentration this afternoon." Paul Brotherton told madforsailing: "I think the reason we had a bad result this afternoon was largely due to complacency, We had a bad start and didn't really ever recover from it. Having said that, I'm relaxed and overall happy that we've sailed a good solid qualification. I'm really looking forward to it."

Alex Tobart and Henry Clarke are currently lying in 26th place but on equal points with 25th. The cut off position for the gold fleet is 25th and are both said to be more than a little twitchy at the moment as some sailors continue with protests that may result in them getting an all important place. Chris Draper and Mark Asquith finished in 15th place and of their result Sparky added, "their performance is very encouraging and it's good to see that they are slowly getting to grips with the boat. With potentially another 16 races left in the series there is certainly a long way left to go."

The Spanish contingent is looking very strong. Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez have won their last three races and reigning World Champions Santigo Lopez-Vasques and Javier De La Plaza have won their last two races.

The racing for the finals has been delayed, but the fleet headed out at 1 pm local time for some racing in a moderate South Easterly.

Madforsailing's own intrepid reporter Andy Rice had an accident today which resulted in him missing his last two races. Sailing with Richard Bailey the pair had a pre-start collision and snapped their spinnaker pole. They're both set to be back on the water tomorrow.

Finally, the word on the street is that Paul Towers, ex-505 champion clearly thought it would be nicer to sail on the course closest to the shore rather than his own - all morning, perhaps purple is his favourite colour?

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