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ABN AMRO Optimist Europeans at Workum, Holland - Overall

by Diana Bogaards 28 Jul 2006 07:53 BST 22-28 July 2006

BORREGO (ESP) AND KAVVAS (GRE) WIN

On the final day of the ABN AMRO IODA Europeans 2006 in Workum / Netherlands, Elia Borrego (ESP) and Theofanis Kavvas (GRE) defended their lead and won convincingly the European title in the girls’ and boys’ Optimist discipline. The conditions on the IJsselmeer were light again with a variable wind, force one to two. Nevertheless, the race committee succeeded in putting in two more races. With a total of eleven results, the two worst could be discarded. In the evening, current 470 World Champions Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout (European Champion Optimist in 1994) from the Netherlands handed out the prizes. But prior to the prize giving, Hans Bouscholte gave a presentation about the Volvo Ocean Race.

Boys: Sportive winner

Yesterday’s leader Theofanis Kavvas finished eighth in today’s first race, which was enough to beat his competitors Tadeusz Kubiak (POL) and Papoutsoglou (GRE) definitely. Kubiak got a twelfth and Papoutsoglou a black flag. Kavvas: “This morning, I was a little bit nervous. As I knew I had won the championship, I wanted to continue and I took the bullet.” He did that in style by a closely fought match with Kubiak. “It is a great feeling”, said the quite fresh European Champion. For his fellow-countryman Papoutsoglou, it became exciting after his black flag: “I already had a bad result, so I could not permit myself another one. That made me nervous, but I managed to cross the line in third position, which secured my third overall. I am very happy now.” Especially, because it has been his last European Championship in the Optimist. He will continue in the 420. The Greek team celebrated its successes by jumping collectively into the Frisian water. Kubiak maintained his second place overall. Ole Dreyer Leif from Germany performed remarkable well with a second and a third. He climbed on the leaders board from a fifteenth to a fifth place.

Girls: Spanish class

The girls showed a fair battle today. All favourites were sailing in the top, but Elia Borrego from Spain was in the winning mood and very well focussed. She scored two seconds in row, which secured the European title by far. Borrego: “It was not easy, since the wind was light. I did not want to take any risks. I expected to win, but the moment itself was exciting.” The truth sank in as soon as her coach sticked the Spanish flag to her rigg. A big smile appeared on her face and never left it. Ewa Ilska (POL) won silver, followed by Sara Piasecka (POL). Annemiek Bekkering scored the first Dutch bullet in the very last race of the event and of her Optimist sailing career. She will try her luck in the 29-er with Jeske Kisters. Bekkering was thirteenth at the upwind mark and fifth in the gate: “I had a good boat speed and the gap with the leading boats was closed. In the last beat I choose for the middle and went further left than the others.” She got a shift and came in first position, which she defended towards the end: “It is great to finish my third and last European Championship with my only victory.”

Robert van Notten, Chairman of the Optimist Club Netherlands, looks back on a successful event: “After a long time of preparations and with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers, the European Championships went smoothly. Prior to the event, we warned for the surprises of the IJsselmeer and this year it was the tropical heat with changing wind conditions. Fortunately, we have been able to complete eleven out of twelve scheduled races.” After returning to the shore, a spontaneous water fight started. Participants relaxed by jumping into the water. Others were thrown in. The last pictures from the Formule 1 Renault were taken in the tent and meanwhile the Optimists were taken away. Early in the evening, dinner was served for the last time.

Final top 5 boys after eleven races and two discards:

1. GRE 131 – Theofanis Kavvas, 32 points
2. POL 280 – Tadeusz Kubiak, 39 points
3. GRE 1526 – Vassilis Papoutsoglou, 51 points
4. BRA 3281 – Pedro da Luz Carlucci, 58 points
5. GER 10690 – Ole Dreyer Leif, 77 points (4th European)
6. SWE 4037 – Carl-Fredrik Fock, 89 points (5th European)

Final top 5 girls after eleven races and two discards:

1. ESP 1274 - Elia Borrego, 20 points
2. POL 1089 – Ewa Ilska, 30 points
3. POL 1155 – Sara Piasecka, 36 points
4. SWE 4140 – Emma Oljelund, 41 points
5. GRE 1495 – Maria Voulgaraki, 54 points

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