Spanish come out on top

Match racing concludes at the Open European Championships in Finland

Sunday July 3rd 2011, Author: Soili Hirvonen, Location: Finland

Spain's Tamara Echegoyen and her team are the new European Champions of Women's Match Racing. Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofia Toro took the gold medal in Sunday's final in Helsinki, ahead of Russia's Ekaterina Skudina and her crew of Elena Oblova, Elena Syuzeva.

The conditions at Hernesaari were challenging due to the fickle wind. Early into the day the wind completely died near the shore, which is why the start of the finals had to be pushed back until 1230 from the original 1100.

Once the finals eventually got underway, it was Echegoyen who had the better start, winning the first match. Skudina came back in the second race but couldn't keep it up in the next two matches. Thus the Spanish team won best-of-five series 3-1.

Meanwhile, Silvia Roca Mata of Spain and Mandi Mulder of the Netherlands faced each other in the petit final. Mulder's team first took the lead, but Roca Mata and her crew evened the score in the second match. In the third and deciding race Mulder came out on top to grab the bronze.

The Lasers and Laser Radials also got underway on Sunday. They are by far the most popular classes at the Open Europeans: in total there are 251 Lasers competing, 140 Standards and 111 Radials.

Austria's Andreas Geritzer is leading the men's competition after two races, while Zhang Dong Shuang of China is in charge of the Radials Hometown favourite Sari Multala is currently 20th.

Leading Australian Krystal Weir ended the day eighth overall in the 104 boat fleet with a seventh and a sixth in the opening two races. “It was very tricky light wind sailing today with both races taking place in under five knots of breeze,” she said. “It was a tough day of racing today, the two fleets managed to converge on each other on the last lap on the way to the finish which made it very difficult to assess where you were in the fleet. Overall I’m happy with how I am going in the light winds and looking forward to building on it tomorrow."

The Stars had their second day of competition at the Open Europeans. Greece's Emilios Papathanasiou and Alexandros Dragoutsis continue in the lead after three races.


Women's Match Racing - Results
For gold medal, best-of-five series
Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) vs. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) 3-1
For bronze medal, best-of-three series
Silvia Roca Mata (ESP) vs. Mandi Mulder (NED) 1-2

1. Echegoyen (ESP)
2. Skudina (RUS)
3. Mulder (NED)
4. Roca Mata (ESP)
5. Le Berre (FRA)
6. Goncalves (POR)
7. Price (AUS)
8. Lehtinen (FIN)
9. Meldgaard (DEN)
10. Ru (CHN)
11. Bekkering (NED)
12. Pomerants (EST)


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