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49er - Cat and Mouse continues into Medal Race

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

The podium of the 49er Europeans – Madrid 2016, being held in Mallorca, will be decided tomorrow after the Medal Race, in which only the top ten will participate. None of the leaders shone enough today to assure a place on the podium. In fact, the Alonso brothers didn’t do well at all and are down to third overall with Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández taking the lead again. They are followed at only four points by Ukrainian crew Rodion Luka and Geogiy Leonchuk, who climbed from fourth to second overall.

Italian brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello were probably the stars of the day. SW winds blew today with 9 knots in the first race that increased to twelve in the second and last race of the day.

The Italians led the two races - the first one from beginning to end and led the second one until they decided to retire when they knew they were OCS. Despite their good partial results, the different penalties (they had another one yesterday) leaves the leaders of the world ranking lists away from the podium and are seventh overall.

None of the top crews shone especially today. The focus of attention was on both Spanish teams, at only one point from each other, but none of them performed well enough to guarantee a place on the podium.

The Alonso brothers finished 14 and 11 in today’s races. 'We took the left side of the course and were left with no wind', explained Federico Alonso about the bad result in the first race. This made them drop down to third overall, they were lucky because their immediate rivals didn’t do much better so they are still quite close in points.

With a six and ten, Martínez and Fernández regained the lead. The 2004 Athens gold medallists and Spanish representatives at the 2008 Beijing Games found it difficult to find a gap in the start so they sailed the first beats to windward and behind, although they later managed to climb places throughout the races.

Ukrainian team Luka Leonchuk, (12 and 2 in today’s races) follow the spanish champions by four points and are up from fourth to second overall. The Alonso brothers are in third place at eight points from the leaders and four points from the team from Ukraine.

Fourth overall, at only two points from third classified, are Austrian sailors Nico Delle Kart and Nikolaus Leopold Resch, who lost a place on the podium with finishing places 8 and 13.

The distance between fourth and fifth classified increased today, with 17 points difference. Fifth are US team Tim Wadlow and Chris Rast), who are followed, by a tough rival: Australian sailors Nathan Outteridge and Austin Ben, the current class world champions that climbed two places.

A similar improvement has been seen by German brothers Jan Peter and Hannes Peckolt, who also gained two places today, with a fifth and fourth and are now eighth overall.

The top ten of the 49er European championship – Madrid 2016 is completed with French team Monteau Alexandre and Guillou Damián in ninth place overall and tenth place is for Danish sailors Peter Krüger and Dennis Dengs Andersen, who today lost what they had gained yesterday.

Everything can change tomorrow when the top ten sail the Medal race, the final race that scores double and cannot be discarded. The places of the podium won’t be decided until the last minute and winners will be able to celebrate their results at the prize giving ceremony scheduled at 17:00 hours in Club Nàutic S’Arenal.

The 49er European Championship is sponsored by Fundación Madrid 2016, the regional ministries of Tourism, Sports and Youth of the Govern de les Illes Balears and Llucmajor city council. Firms Engel & Völkers and Cadillac are collaborators and Seiko is the class sponsor.

by Neus Jordi


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6:23 PM Sat 29 Mar 2008 GMT

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