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Spanish crews continue to lead 49er Europeans

'49er European Championship 2008'    Tomeu Bibiloni /CNA    Click Here to view large photo

The two Spanish crews, Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández and the Alonso brothers are still at the top of the overall standings of the 49er European championship – Madrid 2016 after the fourth day of competition with even more advantage over their immediate rivals.

Today’s three races of the final series brought the consolidation of the first and second place overall for the two Spanish crews. 25 points seperate the two teams and 31 points from third team, Ukrainian sailors Rodion Luka and Geogiy Leonchuk.

With the beginning today of the final series the fleet divided into groups Gold and Silver. The top 25 teams sailed three races while the silver group sailed only two, all in strong SW wind conditions, 17 to 20 knots in the Bay of Palma and organised by Club Nàutic S’Arenal.

Martínez and Fernández, gold at the Athens 2004 Games and the Spanish representatives at the 2008 Beijing Olympics had an excellent day with a first, a third and another bullet in the third race. They were undoubtedly the best team of the day because most crews had inconsistent performances.

'It’s been another tough day again' commented Fernandez at the end of the day, 'Especially due to the waves, but things have gone well for us and we now lead the standings with a comfortable advantage. But we have to concentrate because there are still five races of the final series left and the Medal Race'.

The second team, Federico and Arturo Alonso had a more discrete performance with a fifth, fourth and a thirteenth, although they were going to finish third in this last race. 'We were third but at 200 metres from the finishing line we faced some strange waves that made us capsize and we lost ten places', the helmsman explained. 'If we hadn’t capsized we would have ten points less, we would have more advantage over the third classified team and would be closer to Iker and Xabi.'

Ukrainian team Rodion Luka and Geogiy Leonchuk, climbed from sixth to third place overall after finishing third, seventeenth and second today.

Paul Campbell-James and Mark Asquith remain top placed Brits, in eleventh place. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes motored nine places to be 19th after winning a race.

Finally Australian team Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin began to show their power and the reason why they were crowned world champions last January in Australia. With a fourth, ninth and sixth finishing places in today’s races they climbed up nine places and are tenth overall.

Three races of the final series – that will be sailed until Saturday- are scheduled tomorrow from 12:00 hours at Club Nàutic S’Arenal. On Sunday the top ten teams will sail the Medal Race, which scores double and cannot be discarded.

49er - Leading positions - Carried points plus 3 races

1 ESP - 7 Iker Martinez / Xabi Fernandez 19 1 3 1 24
2 ESP - 19 Federico Alonso Tellechea / Arturo Alonso Tellechea 27 5 4 13 49
3 UKR - 3 Rodion Luka / Geogiy Leonchuk 33 3 17 2 55
4 AUT - 10 Nico Delle Karth / Nikolaus Leopold Resch 27 14 8 8 57
5 ITA - 4 Pietro Sibello / Gianfranco Sibello 31 2 21 4 58
6 FRA - 31 Monteau Alexandre / Guillou Damien 40 6 10 16 72
7 USA - 5 Tim Wadlow / Chris Rast 37 8 23 5 73
8 CRO - 29 Kostov Pavle / Cupac Petar 40 7 16 15 78
9 DEN - 21 Peter Krüger Andersen / Dennis Dengsø Andersen 42 13 6 19 80
10 AUS - 1 Nathan Outteridge / Ben Austin 63 4 9 6 82
11 GBR - 9 Paul Campbell-James / Mark Asquith 49 DNC 5 9 89
12 GER - 6 Jan Peter Peckolt / Hannes Peckolt 52 11 7 20 90
13 FRA - 14 Emmanuel Dyen / Yan Rocherieux 47 10 15 18 90
14 SWE - 25 Jonas Lindberg / Kalle Torlen 27 DNF 18 21 92
15 FRA - 20 Lagraviere Morgan / Christidis Stéphane53 19 2 22 96
16 BRA - 11 Andre Fonseca / Rodrigo Duarte64 16 11 7 98
17 DEN - 8 Jonas Warrer / Martin Kirketerp 36 DNF 14 23 99
18 ITA - 24 Giuseppe Angilella / Pietro Zucchetti 67 12 12 10 101
19 GBR - 2 Stevie Morrison / Ben Rhodes 72 DSQ 1 3 102
20 POR - 12 Jorge Lima / Francisco Andrade 51 OCS 13 17 107

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7:19 PM Thu 27 Mar 2008 GMT

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