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Sail-World.com : SECOND GOLD MEDAL TO DENMARK'S BANK

SECOND GOLD MEDAL TO DENMARK'S BANK

Rachel Nahum
Schuemann didn't succeed in his quest for a third gold medal. The German soling skipper lost 3 to 4 against Bank in a nail biting finish off the opera. Norway's Johannessen got the bronze.

The crowd gathered at the sea-walls of the opera house today to watch the Soling Match Racing final between Denmark's Jesper Bank and Germany's Jochen Schuemann.
The latter was looking for his third gold medal on the water today when Bank was in quest of his second one.
It was close Match racing's masters duel and it came down to the 7th flight to determine who was going too grab the gold.
Schuemann was leading in the first race but lost on the finish line when he had to do a penalty turn.
The German skipper was best at playing the shifty, gusty and tricky 10 to 15 north easterly breeze today but lost at the penalty game.
After his first loss he had two wins in a row but lost flight 4 when again he had to do a penalty turn just as he was going to cross the finish line ahead of the Danish boat.
The German supporters got really excited when Schuemann won flight 5 faster a long close port gibe in the second run which ended by a reach to the finish.
Flying proudly their black-yellow-red flag, Schuemann's supporters started a Mexican wave to salute the German boat as he came to salute them after the finish of that 5th race.
The three gold medallists was then only one race away from equalling Danish Paul Elvstršm 's four sailing gold medals record.
Bank had the best start in flight 6 and rounded the first windward mark ahead of Schuemann. Then the German skipper managed to roll him over downwind on a port gibe. By doing that he obviously sailed below his proper course as he got a penalty. Schuemann rounded the second mark first but lost a few boats length in the second beat after doing his penalty turn.
Race 5 was over for the German skipper and the score came to 3 all.
Excitement mounted among the many supporters. The German ones gathered on a jetty and the Danish ones sitting on the sea walls and flying huge flags.
The land wind that had picked up a lot in flight 5 had dropped again by the time that last race started.
Bank was best out of the start sailing and found more pressure on the right hand side of the course.
The Danish boat rounded the top mark with a good lead. Downwind the German boat came really close to the leader making him some dirty air but not quite enough to take over.
Bank rounded mark 2 ahead.
In the second beat Schuemann showed one more time his outstanding skill at reading playing the tricky wind as he took over and rounded mark 3 in front.
Schuemann lost gold in the last run when he got an ultimate penalty. He waited until the last minute to make his turn hoping that he could keep Bank far enough for that. But it didn't work out. The crowd was holding its breath when Denmark's Jesper bank surfed to his second gold medal in that nail biting finish.
Schuemann got silver and Norwegian Hermann Johannessen bronze after beating Dutch Roy Heiner 3 to 1 earlier on today.
Jesper Bank won his first one in Barcelona and got Bronze in Seoul.
Schuemann won his first gold medal sailing Finn Class in 1976. He also won the Soling class both in Seoul and Atlanta.




by Isabelle Musy

  

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7:03 AM Sat 30 Sep 2000 GMT






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