In a steady Baltic breeze of 10 knots, Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh secured the 49er European Championship for 2010 in Gdynia, Poland. With a 6-point lead into the medal race, the duo was forced to the wrong side after the start but managed to climb back and round the weather mark 4th. With a 4-lap course, they slowly worked through the fleet to finish 3rd in the race and earn them the title.
Frenchmen Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis who were 4th going into the medal race lead the entire race only to lose to the Sibello brothers of Italy who slipped past on the 3rd lap. But second in the medal race was good enough for them to finish 2nd overall just 1/2 a point in front of Stevie Morrision and Ben Rhodes. Current ISAF World Cup leaders Nico Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch of Austria finished 4th overall in the Europeans.
The medal race was held just in front of the beach, which had approximately 5,000 spectators watching the races and enjoying a Saturday at the beach. The country flags on the 49er mainsails made the race spectator friendly and several teams were cheered on as they came ashore where the prizegiving was held immediately afterward. The sailors were congratulated and presented with prizes including Seiko Velatura watches to the top 3 in gold and the winners of silver and soon-to-be bronze.
The silver fleet was won by Axel Silvy and Ulysse Hoffman of France with bronze fleet finals still pending due to protests. Yacht Club Polski managed a fantastic regatta providing the sailors with excellent race management both on and off the water. All photos for this event can be viewed here.