FORMULA WINDSURFING EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2005 AT FORUM BEACH HOTEL ­ IALISOS BEACH - RHODES - GREECE

Cucchi, Williams and Costa-Hoevel on even points in the lead

Ialisos/Rhodes, June 7th 2005. The Formula Windsurfing European Championships started with a big bang. Ialisos didn't disappoint the 123 competitors and brought excellent racing conditions with 10 to 15 knots of wind in the afternoon. Two races were sailed for every fleet which brought a total of 12 exciting races for the numerous spectators at the beach of the Forum Beach Hotel in Ialisos / Rhodes (Greece). In the men's fleet we have a head-to-head fight between Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG-3, F2, Neil Pryde), Ross Williams (GBR-83, Starboard, Gaastra) and Andrea Cucchi (ITA-1, Starboard, Neil Pryde). In the women's fleet Allison Shreeve (AUS-911, F2, Neil Pryde) dominated with two straight victories.

Due to the huge participation level the split fleet system is applied in the men's fleet: The fleet is divided in two groups. For the first two races the competitors were seeded according to their current position in the Formula Windsurfing Ranking. Then the groups will be re-arranged according to their current position in the result list of the regatta. After a qualification series of 8 races the split will be finally divided into a Gold Fleet and a Silver Fleet. Only the best 50% be able to fight for the European FW title and the prize money in the end. In the qualification series each group produces the positions from 1 to the last of the fleet. So after every race there are two first places two seconds etc.

After the first day the results in the men's fleet show the extremely close level of competition. Three competitors share the lead with equal points. The Argentinean Champion Gonzalo Costa Hoevel scored a first and a fourth place granting him 4,7 points as well as last years Rhodes winner Ross Williams and the Italian Champion Andrea Cucchi. Only 0,3 points behind is Antoine Albeau (FRA-192, AHD, Neil Pryde) from France followed by the reigning European Champion Wojtek Brzozowski (POL-10, Starboard, Neil Pryde, 6,7 points). Steve Allen (AUS-0, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) is also in an excellent position after the first day with position 6 and 7,0 points.

In the women's fleet Allison Shreeve scored two bullets which gave her the optimum points of 1,4. Marta Hlavati (POL-111, Starboard, Severne) is on her heals with 4,0 points. The fight for place three is on between Sarah Hebert (FRA-61, Starboard, Naish) and Zofia Klepecka (POL-8, Starboard, Gaastra). Both have 7,0 points and only in the tie break the French is able to sneak ahead.

For tomorrow the forecasts predict again good wind so the spectators can again enjoy racing action in front of the Forum Beach Hotel at Ialisos Beach. The skippers meeting is set for 11:00 with the first start at 12:00. The Formula Windsurfing European Championships will continue until Saturday, June 11th.

The event is covered on www.euro-cup.org, www.rwa.grand www.formulawindsurfing.org. Besides the reports and the results you will also find a live ticker on www.euro-cup.organd a live cam on www.rwa.gr. So check out the internet!

Hosted by: Municipality of Ialisos, Island of Rhodes Organized by: Rhodes Windsurfing Academy (RWA) Supported by: Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Aegean, Southern Aegean Region, Prefecture of Dodecanese (D.O.T.), T.E.D.K. ­ PRO.TOUR Main Sponsors: CONN-X, Hyundai, Oxbow, Bollé, Water Park Sponsors: Rodos Palace Hotel, Motorola, GA Ferries, Shandy Rock, Rodos Tour, Colorado Entertainment Center, Naftilos, E.N.AK, Extreme Sports Shops

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Comments:

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG-3, F2, Neil Pryde): "For me everything went perfect today. The conditions are perfect for me and I had excellent starts ­ especially in the second race. I hope to be able to continue on this level the next days."

Ross Williams (GBR-83, Starboard, Gaastra):"Good racing conditions, strong opponents, an extremely high level of competiton and great to watch. The split fleet system gives us the chance to have a look at the opponents"

Andrea Cucchi (ITA-1, Starboard, Neil Pryde): "The level of competition is extremely high. One mistake and you are lost. So far I did most things correct. Hopefully I will be able to continue this way."