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Sailing - 12. July 2011.

Pace of Racing Steps Up at 470 European Championships

Varying wind speeds challenged the 470 sailors today, ranging from 13-20 knots. Whilst some teams thrived in the conditions others felt they were not quite quick enough to respond to the change in pace.

470 Women
Race 6 was the first race of the day for the 470 fleets and it was Brazil's Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luisa Barbachan who dominated up the windward leg, with the Spanish team of Tara Pacheco/Berta Betanzos chasing hard. Brazil tacked to the right first off the start and the Spanish covered, keeping their target closely in sight. But the race was effectively just a procession behind the Brazilians, whose race win gave them the impetus to take the overall lead from the Spanish by the end of today's three races.

Smiled Oliveira after racing, “It was a great day for us. A first, fifth and seventh. The last race was so difficult, it was a completely crazy race. It was the same for everybody, but we were lucky to be at the front of the fleet, so it was easier to keep going. The wind shifted a lot and changed so it was crazy.”

On stepping up to first overall she added, “It doesn't matter for me that we beat the Spanish. We just worry about us, our work, and not for the others. We are sometimes training together with the Spanish girls so it is good to be together. They are very special sailors. We have a lot of races until the end of the event, so we are just concerned to keep going.”

Standing nearby, the Spanish helm Pacheco acknowledged the battle in race 6, “We were trying to catch them, but it was impossible!”

Friedrike Belcher's (GER) victory in race 8, with helm Kathrin Kadelbach, matched her husband Mat Belcher's race 8 win in the 470 Men and helps move the German team up to fifteenth overall.

With those at the front of the fleet happy, for Anna Stepanova and crew Nadezhda Gerasimova (UKR), “today”, as Anna put it “was a tragic history”. They delivered their worst races of the series, a 39, 32, 32. Explained Stepanova, “It was not good for us, there was damage and my crew may have broken her finger. It was on the tack and then something happened and then effected everything afterwards. You need your fingers for every tack, for everything. Our race today was very strange.”

Moving on up to join Brazil and Spain in the top three are Denmark's Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer after a consistent 7,4,8 posting.
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