The 470 European Championships commenced yesterday in Tallinn, Estonia, attracting nearly 100 boats…

The 470 European Championships commenced yesterday in Tallinn, Estonia, attracting nearly 100 boats.

Racing got underway in fairly light breezes and clear skies, and due to the conditions, the race took longer than the time limit and therefore none of the competitors finished. The race committee and competitors had better luck in the second race of the day, and all of the boats finished within the time limit.

Matthias Schmid/Florian Reichstadter of Austria came out on top in the men’s yellow group winning the race from Olli Posti/Markus Hangisto of Finland. Team GBR sailors and Sydney Olympians Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield made a good start to the regatta finishing in fifth place, with fellow British sailors Clive Goodwin and Douglas Powell in sixteenth.

In the men’s red group 2002 Kiele Woche winners Nathan Wilmot/Malcom Page of Australia came out on top, taking the race win from Nicolas Charbonner/Stephane Christidis of France who were first Europeans. Team GBR sailors Graham Vials/Dan Newman finished in tenth place with fellow British sailors Mark Plummer/Oliver Hawkley in fifteenth place and John Pink/John Gimson in seventeenth position.

Vladeline Ilienko/Diana Krutskikh of Russia head up the women’s fleet after one race from Linur Kliger/Anatester Fabrikant of Israel in second and Janja Orel/Alena Orel of Slovenia third. Christina Bassadone/Katherine Hopson are the top placed British women in eighteenth place, with Helena Lucas/Jenny Heeley one place behind. Josie Gibson/Saskia Clark are in 29th position with the new pairing of Elizabeth Greenhalgh/Rozaline Bulmer in 32nd place.

The qualifying stage of the Europeans will take place over three days with six races scheduled for each group. After the qualifying round, race scores will be carried forward to the final phase and the competitors will be regrouped into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets with eight races scheduled over four days. Racing concludes on Saturday 3 August.