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    IMCO Europeans, Poland - Day One Report
    Posted On:  07/06/2004 10:41:47

    The European Championships started for the athletes when the wind picked up after 3 p.m. today. Every day's competition will be the real challenge for everyone who wants to check their sailing skills before Athens.

    Many incredible sailors have come over here to Sopot.  Lai Shan Lee from Hong Kong is not going to give any chance to anyone. Alessandra Sensini from Italy will try to repeat her European success from last year and Faustine Merret from France will try to cross their way.

    In the Men's Division, Ukrainian windsurfer Maxim Oberemko has the best chances in the light conditions . Strong winds could give victory to the best Polish sailor of the year – Przemek Miarczynski. Also, it could be very good for the French guy – Julien Bontemps.

    The wind from the beginning of the morning was too variable to race. The sea-breeze was fighting with the offshore wind and according to the weather-forecast it was expected from west.   Finally, Youths and Juniors sailed out. The race was very tough because it was on the edge of wind limit from steady east direction.  It's worth mentioning that the Youth Division is very strong as well and the best will be the next Olympic hopes for the windsurfing world.

    Unfortunately, the huge wind shift made the race unable to finish. The race committee cancelled the race which was unlucky for sailors from Italy and Argentina who were leading. This moment, when the race for Youths and Juniors was abandoned, was very important to take the decision about the race for Men's & Women's Divisions. The sudden wind drop with the unpredictable shift was a good sign that something could happen.

    Good sense of time! The wind picked up to 20 knots and turned a little bit to the south. By now seniors were already preparing for the first start. These gusty and shifty conditions were very demanding. First over the line in the Men's first race was Maxim Oberemko which surprised all his heavy opponents. In the second race it didn't go so well for him. He finished in 14th place. In this race, French sailor – Nicolas Beudou came over the finishing line on the first position taking the leader's overall place in the Europeans. Just behind him is Przemek Miarczynski from Poland.

    In the Women's Division Alessanda Sensini was disappointed to be in third place. First place overall is Spanish Olympic hope Blanka Manchon. She is very young sailor who was sailing with many troubles 7 years ago in the Europeans in Sopot.  Now, this same place can bring her all the best before the most beautiful moment for every athlete – Athens. In second position is Israeli Shiri Ron and she feels like in the fire! Her friend – Maayan Davidovich takes first place in Youth Girls' Division. These results hopefully may help to recover one of their coaches who was conveyed to hospital with a heart attack. We want to wish you a quick return to health!

    In the Youth Boys' Division is Byron Kakkalanis from Greece of course. Although he didn't win any race his good and equal sailing every is very real.

    Lukasz Gordzienski from Poland is first in Junior's Division standing. Sailing out there was difficult because of very gusty (to 24knts) wind offshore, so this made him incredibly happy tonight.

    Everything is possible.  Tomorrow wind is expected from the west with the same strength. 

    The reports from the sailing areas every 30min on the website: www.nora.pl/skz/