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EURO CUP SILVAPLANA, DAY 4

11:49 22nd August 2002 by
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EURO CUP SILVAPLANA – BRITS TAKE GOLD IN BOTH FLEETS!

Day four of the Euro Cup event at Lake Silvaplana in Switzerland. Would this
be our lucky day with the wind? We only had today, or if no racing completed,
the reserve day on the Sunday to get a valid event in.

Sure enough at around 11.45am, much earlier than any other day, a distinct
line of wind appeared at the top of the lake, and began working it’s way down
towards us. This time it was moving faster down the lake than previous days,
the question was would there be enough strength in the Majola wind when it reached
us? We needed 9 knots on the lake at this altitude, because there is less denisity
and power in the wind for the same speed at sea level.

The answer was yes there was enough wind for racing, and the Formula women
would go first. There was a buzz of activity as people got ready. The spectators
also started to fill the grand stand looking right down the start and finish
lines.

With the lake being relatively narrow you had to tack more times than usual
to reach the upwind mark, and this also meant that it was much easier to see
where everyone was and cover people because there was no where for people coming
from behind to go!

I had a good first start and upwind leading around the top mark, with Dorota
second and Lucy Horwood third. At mark four suddenly Dorota was on me again,
either she had brilliant speed to catch me from so far away, or something had
gone wrong. It turned out she had accidentally missed mark three, and so at
the end of the race she retired. This moved everyone behind her up a place,
giving Lucy Horwood second, and the young polish windsurfer Marta Hlavaty third.

In the men’s race Jamie Lever had the best start from everyone and he lead
the race from start to finish. Euro Cup and Grand Prix ranking leader Steve
Allen finished second.

We then had a break whilst the Silvaplana Marathon consisting of four laps
of the lake took place. Jamie Lever felt like doing some extra racing (or maybe
there was prize money?) and so he raced and won the marathon as well as race
one.

Next was race two for the women. The wind was a little stronger now. Lucy had
excellent speed. Dorota made an error tacking off after the start, and uncharacteristically
rounded the top mark in fourth position behind myself, Lucy and Verena Fauster.
Lucy and I were having a close race on the first lap until at mark four there
was a wind hole which Lucy fell into and allowed me to get away.

Alex Grynis rounded the top mark in first position for the guys, with Steve
Allen hot on his heels. Alex lead for the first lap, but Steve got past him
on the second upwind and then lead to the finish. Jamie Lever came in third
position.

With almost no break we went out for race three of the day. The wind was still
quite strong down the middle of the lake, but getting more patchy around the
edges and especially at the top mark. I had very good speed and height up the
first beat and also took a nice shift near the mark, while Dorota went a bit
too far left and out of the wind, and so I rounded the top mark with a big lead.
Also to my advantage there was a big lull which the next girls behind got trapped
in at the top mark, while I was lucky and managed to stay in a gust on the first
reach and downwind. Marta, Dorota, Wendy Little and Lucy were changing places
all around the course, with the
wind getting increasingly unstable. We also had contend with all the men that
had one general recall around the bottom mark, which was rather interesting!
In the end Marta got second position, and Dorota third.

The men finally had a clean start, however the leader after two races Jamie
Lever was OCS and therefore disqualified and sent back to the beach. Arnon Dagan
was leading at the top mark. Fortunately for Jamie, with no discard until four
races, the race was abandoned because the wind was too light and unstable.

So that was it, the wind was fading, and racing was finished for the day and
the event. The Brits were in top form Jamie Lever first, and in the women me
first and Lucy Horwood second. Second in the men was Steve Allen, and after
a correction to the results Alex Grynis in third. Marta Hlavaty had a great
result and her first taste of the podium in third position in the women.

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