RS:X EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
PRZEMYSLAW MIARCZYNSKI (POL) AND MARINA ALBAUA (ESP) CROWNED EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
Tight racing in the medal races today decided it all!
Limassol, Cyprus- There was all to play for in the medal races today. They were tough to watch and even tougher for the athletes. This was a straight fight for podium places in both the men’s and women’s 10 man starts. First off were the men at 1000hrs with around ten knots of shifty breeze in the early stages of establishing itself. There was huge drama as a result!
Nicolas Le Gal (FRA), was hosed at the start so was forced to tack off on port with no other place to go. He and Ivan Pastor (ESP) fought it out to the lay line. The other eight went out on starboard. Le Gal was super nervous about taking a lone flier. This was an all or bust strategy. This time it worked. He tacked back and crossed the bows of the whole fleet. Sweet joy, he made it!
Meanwhile, Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL), had a clear strategy. He just had to stay within 6 positions of Piotr Myszka (POL) to take the title. Le Gal was leading at the top mark. Piotr was in 8th with Pont just behind in 9th. Piotr blasted downwind, passing one board and on the next upwind he climbed three more places. Pont was making no progress, still stuck in 9th overall, he saw Piotr in 4th and Le Gal leading. He was safe as long as he could stay in front of 10th place man Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE). Pont clamped a ‘close cover’ on him and saved the day by the smallest of margins. Piotr takes 2nd overall and Le Gal takes the bronze.
Now off to the women’s Medal race, and Marina Alabau (ESP), was determined to stay in front of her nemesis Alessandra Sensini (ITA). Marina hit the start accelerating fast and chose the right-hand side. At the top mark, she was in second place, just behind Blanca Manchon (ESP), with Sensini languishing in 9th. Marina stormed downwind overtaking Blanca in the process to take the win and in so doing has vanquished the demons and secured her first RS:X European title. Now that’s racing!
Much fanfare was awaiting the new 2007 European Champions on the beach and after finally working thru the crowd to speak with winner Marina Alabau said “I was happy with my speed, and I knew that with a good start, I could win. This championship was very difficult for me, because my camber broke in my sail yesterday. This almost forced me to miss the last race of the day. I am now very happy and relieved it’s over!” Not only did she win, but she proved that she could step it up when the pressure is red hot. She’ll be one to watch in the world championship in Cascais next month.
Men’s 2007 European Champion, Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL), is no stranger to the top step on the podium, having won the European title in 2001, and the world title in 2003. His brilliant tactics and good speed made him the most consistent racer in the championship. He said “Coming off the back of the Polish National Championships a few weeks ago, I had renewed confidence in my light air abilities. I can now cut it in all conditions and am hungry for a win at the World Championship”.
The rest of the Gold Fleet raced after lunch as did the remainder of the women’s fleet followed, after a postponement, by two races for the silver fleet in perfect 15 knot planning conditions.
The Cyprus Yachting Association have done a great job. Many thanks to all the officials and volunteers who made this championship possible.