Three British boats in top five

Yesterday was the last day of qualifying for the gold fleet at the 49er European championship in Grimstad, Norway. Three races were sailed in a strong north easterly, gusting to 22 knots, which made for exciting racing.

RYA team GBR are showing good form and are the dominating nation, with three GBR boats in the top 10. Silver medallists at the recent world championship in Hawaii, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, have moved up one place overall into second, three points behind championship leaders, defending European champions Michael Hestbaek and Rasmus Terp van Hansen of Denmark.

Fellow team GBR sailors Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh made good gains in a day, scoring two first places and a second, which sees them move up from 12th position to fourth overall, two points behind Christoffer Sundby/Frode Bovim of Norway, who successfully seeked redress after a collision in race eight.

One place and one point behind Richardson/Greenhalgh are team mates and world bronze medallists Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith who scored a fourth place and two thirds to give them one of the best score lines in the fleet.

Racing will continue to be tight and the results show the level of competition as recent world champions Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez of Spain are in fifth place overall.

The finals will start today with 25 boats in the gold fleet fighting for the title of European champion.

Results (after 9 races and 2 discards)

1, Michael Hestbaek/Rasmus Terp van Hansen, DEN (1,(4),1,(6),2,1,2,1,2) 10pts

2, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR (1,(3),3,2,3,1,(DNS),2,1) 13 pts

3, Christoffer SundbySundby/Frode Bovim, NOR ((BFD),2,1,1,4,2,2,RDG,(DNS)) 14 pts

Other GBR

4, Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh((10),2,4,1,6,(16),1,1,2) 16 pts

5, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith (3,2,(12),2,3,1,(4),3,3) 17 pts

27, Steve Morrison/Ben Rhodes (9,9,(10),(10),5,9,1,5,8) 46 pts

34, Andy Rice/Harvey Hillary (10,14,3,13,(15),5,11,7,3) 52 pts

57, Alex Hopson/Phil Kennard (8,3,10,15,15,8,(DNF),(DNF),DNF) 82 pts