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    Olympic Games - Friday 20 August - Men
    Posted On:  20/08/2004 22:31:43
    Windsurfer Men - Mistral - Races 5 and 6 Completed

    Despite posting his only double digit result of the series in today's race 6, Ricardo SANTOS (BRA) continues to lead the men's fleet.

    Victory today went to Gal FRIDMAN (ISR) in race 5 and Yuanguo ZHOU (CHN) in race 6, sufficient postings for Gal to maintain his second overall and Yuanguo to plump up his position from 12 to 8 overall.

    A light wind race saw the fleet using all their pumping and tactical skills to manoueuvre themselves around the track.

    Race 5 saw Ricardo SANTOS off first and leading up to the windward mark, but not for long as Gal FRIDMAN chased up behind to take the lead by mark 2 and extend it to a one minute victory, whilst Ricardo faltered into fifth.

    Yuanguo ZHOU posted two of his most consistent results to date, with his win in race 6 preceded by an 8 in race 5, a position he fought his way up to having rounded the first mark in 15.

    Overall, there were some unexpected fleet leaders heading up to the first mark, but it was the more experienced and higher ranked sailors who ultimately came through to post the results that count.

    As the wind decreased going into race 6, the athletes' pumping skills played a major effect on the outcome. ZHOU excelled to take the gun, leaving Lars KLEPPICH to follow behind in second. The race could have belonged to Lars, but a misdemeanour with ZHOU meant Lars had to take a 720 penalty, but better take the penalty on the water than a DSQ in the protest room.

    A disappointing day for Spain's Ivan PASTOR in race 6, with an OCS contributing to his plummet down the results from 6 overall yesterday to 11 today.

    Good moves up for past world champion Joao RODRIGUES (POR) who put in a consistent 3, 5 today to move up nearer to medal contention, whilst pre-competition favourite Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) has now managed to discard his DSQ in race 2 and is making his strike back to the podium, moving up to 10 overall from 14.

    Having used today's lay day to endeavour to get back on schedule, the fleet are keen for a rest. Add to that a frustrating morning waiting for the breeze to kick in which only adds to the tension and pressure, and all are hoping for a pick up tomorrow. Saturday sees the men's fleet scheduled to sail a further two races 8 and 9, which for sure will more clearly identify the medal contenders as the scoreline starts to settle down.

    ISAF, 20 August 2004, 21:06