Wind arrives for Disabled Worlds

Racing gets underway for the competitors in Medemblik

Wednesday September 25th 2002, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: United Kingdom
Finally the wind was kind to the competitors at the 2002 Disabled Sailing World Championships, blowing a steady eight knots, to finally allow racing to get underway.

Three races were sailed in both the Sonar and 2.4mR fleet and it was a good start for RYA team GBR. 1996 Paralympic gold medallist Andy Cassell (Cowes, Isle of Wight), sailing with Brian Harding (Bursledon, Hampshire) and Ed Suckling (London), got off to a good start in the 23 boat Sonar class,sailing well to win the first race of the day.

In the second race the wind died to 4-5 knots of pressure, Cassell and his team did not get the best start, but sailed well and had good boat speed to move up to second place overall, which they managed to maintain to the finish. In the final race of the day, there was a major wind-shift causing the race committee to abandon and re-start the race. A couple of tactical errors for Cassell saw him round the windward mark in tenth place, but again he managed to move up through the fleet to finish in sixth place.

After a good first day, Cassell/Harding/Suckling are lying in second place overall behind last years bronze medallists, Jens Kroker/Hans Peter Reichl/Ludger Grother from Germany, who scored a 2,1,1 scoreline.

Fellow team GBR sailor John Robertson (Sunderland) sailing with Hannah Stodel (West Mersea) and Mike Hawker progressed as the day went on. Scoring a seventeenth, seventh and a fifth place to put them in seventh place overall. Team mates Dennis Manning (Great Yarmouth) and team of Martin Cheshire (Eastbourne) and Nigel Smith are currently lying in sixteenth place overall.

RYA Sonar class coach Mark Barron commented, "It has been a really tricky day today. The racing is very close and the standard of the fleet is very high. It is great to see this number of boats in the Sonar fleet and it will certainly guarantee some exciting racing this week."

Out on the 2.4mR course, French sailor Damien Seguin who has had a successful year so far, winning Hyeres Olympic Classes Regatta and taking a bronze medal at Kiel Week, continued his form and after three races came out leading the 41 boat fleet overall. 2000 Paralympic Gold Medallist Heiko Kroeger of Germany is currently lying in second place overall.

RYA team GBR sailor Andrew Millband (Ventnor, Isle of Wight) is currently in seventh place overall after scoring an 8,9,13 combination with team mate Allan Smith (Leeds) in tenth place. Fifteen year old Megan Pascoe scored three results inside the top half of the fleet to place her in fifteenth position overall.

Racing continues through until Friday 27 September with a total of nine races scheduled.

Preliminary results
1, Jens Kroker/Hans Peter Reichl/Ludger Grother, GER (2,1,1) 4 pts
2, Andy Cassell/Brian Harding/Ed Suckling, GBR (1,2,6) 9 pts
3, Noel Robbins/Jeff Milligan/Colin Harrison, AUS (8,5,2) 15 pts
other GBR
7, John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Mike Hawker (13,7,5) 25 pts
16, Martin Cheshire/Dennis Manning/Nigel Smith (15,19,13) 47 pts

1, Damien Seguin, FRA (2,5,1) 8 pts
2, Heiko Kroger, GER (1,2,12) 15 pts
3, Jostein Stordahl, NOR (3,10,2) 15 pts
7, Andrew Millband (8,9,13) 30 pts
11, Allan Smith (12,13,11) 36 pts
15, Megan Pascoe (20,14,16) 50 pts
32, Michael Cogswell (26,33,32) 91 pts
39, Val Millward (37,OCS,34) 113 pts

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