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Windy Medal Races at Delta Lloyd Regatta 2008

On Sunday May 25 2008, the remaining top ten sailors at the Delta Lloyd Regatta met windy and wet conditions in the Medal Races. The strong breeze and choppy IJsselmeer were challenging. The competitors showed spectacular battles with lots of capsizes around the course. The leaders tried to stay out of troubles and others had to take extra risks. Some gained and some lost. According to many Olympians, this year’s Delta Lloyd Regatta has been a good training for Beijing with an interesting end.

“Today was a different competition”, said overall winner Julien Bontemps (FRA). “It is interesting to finish the series like this. I had a good start with Dorian. Of course I was covering him, but my upwind speed was bad and he was in front of me.”

The two Dutchmen Dorian van Rijsselberge and Casper Bouman, both coached by McIntosh (NZL), like the heavy weather conditions and were flying. Going into the Medal Race, Bouman was in ninth position. He needed to finish top six in order to qualify for Beijing. He took the bullet, but missed the sixth position by just one point. He has one more chance in Kiel. If he fails, Van Rijsselberge will go.

Despite the fact he has a full nomination of NOC*NSF, he lost the national selection to Bouman, who still needs to complete his nomination. Today, Van Rijsselberge sailed in second position as he saw Bouman making a small mistake at the bottom mark:

“I was eager to catch him and wanted to make a smooth gibe, but I accidentally hooked into my harness and made a catapult.” Bontemps passed him and secured his overall victory, followed by Van Rijsselberge and Tom Ashly from New Zealand.

Marina Alabau (ESP) did not take any risks in the women fleet: “I already had a big lead, so I took it easy. It was heavy going downwind in these choppy conditions. I did not have much control.” But the Spanish European Champion finished third and won the regatta, followed by Barbara Kendall (NZL) and Blanca Manchon (ESP), who took the final bullet.

Results at:

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