Open Europeans 2011 are currently underway in Helsinki, Finland with the gold medal for the Star class now decided.
Star Class GRE PAPATHANASIOU Emilios - Open Europeans 2011
Spanish duo Fernando Echavarri and Fernando Rodriguez Rivero are the new European Champions in the Star class after winning Thursday's Medal Race and the entire competition ahead of their main opponents from Greece.
'I feel really good! The work we've done in the past months has finally paid off', said Rodriguez Rivero.
'Naturally we're very happy with our performance. It was very close, but in the end we had some luck also', continued Echavarri.
Emilios Papathanasiou and Alexandros Dragoutsis (GRE) were left fifth today, which was still enough for the silver medal. The Greeks were in fact leading the class until yesterday, when the Spaniards moved ahead by just one point.
'To go into the final race with such a small lead in points doesn't matter that much. Everything can change in the Medal Race', Echavarri said.
On Thursday morning the winds surrounding racing areas in Helsinki were very light, therefore, the Race Officer decided that it was best to wait ashor5e for more suitable conditions.
Stars finally got their Medal Race going at 13:30, one hour and a half behind the original schedule.
In the start, Echavarri and Papathanasiou chose opposite sides of the course. Echavarri was first to the upper mark and managed to hold the lead all the way until the finish line.
Japan's Kunio Suzuki and Daichi Wada placed fourth in the Medal Race and took home the bronze medals.
Sailors outside of the top ten in the Star Class didn't compete at all today due to a lack of wind.
Laser Radial and Standard classes also stayed at the harbour. Race Organisers waited until 5pm to make the decision not to send sailors out to sea.
Laser Standard and Laser Radial will have their Medal Races (for the best ten sailors in both class) on Friday, starting at 12 o'clock.
Open Europeans Helsinki website