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France wins World Sailing Games

Eight of the world's top 10 ranked sailors competed  

MARSEILLE, France -- France has dominated the World Sailing Games, winning nine of the 30 medals, including four golds.

The games, hosted by the International Sailing Federation, are held every four years, halfway through the Olympic cycle.

All boats are supplied by the organisers in a bid to encourage as many nations as possible to participate. The competitors change boats each day to ensure that the racing is as fair as possible.

The French female sailors won gold medals in the Laser single-handed class, the Hobie 16 multihull class and the J22 keelboat class. The French men won the J80 keelboat class gold medal.

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Australia, finishing second overall, took three medals of which two were gold. 2000 Olympic Silver medallist Darren Bundock in the catamaran Tornado won the gold in the Hobie 16 race, and Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell won the female double-handed gold in the 470 dinghy.

The Italian team claimed third place overall with four medals, two of which were gold. Alessandra Sensini and Andrea Cucchi both won their respective female and male boardsailing events on the Bic Techno.

Sensini was particularly impressive taking first place in all eight of her races, and Cucchi, a highly experienced funboard professional, won seven out of the nine races he entered.

The keelboat classes saw a double French win with François Brénac and his crew of Xavier Rohart, Thierry Fouchier and Eric Ferran winning the male class, and Christine Briand and her crew of Pascale Dentraygues, Claire Pruvot, Elodie Bour winning the female class.

In the 470 male class, the racing went to the wire. Finally Israel's Yosef Yogef won over French brothers Benjamin and Romain Bonnaud, with the bronze medal going to the Spanish team helmed by Gustavo Martinez.

Sydney gold medallists, Armstrong and Stowell dominated proceedings in the female class.

Experience clearly made the difference and the Aussie duo ended up with an 11-point lead over their competitors -- the French crew Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux. Spaniard Natalia Via Dufrene finished third.

Sophie de Turckheim from France won the gold in the single-handed dinghy female class, and Brazilian Robert Scheidt won the gold in the male event.

Australian Bundock won the gold in his first regatta in a multihull open catamaran. The race for the gold in the women's event was a battle between the two French teams entered. Marie Duvignac and Claire Japhet eventually won out.

Top-ten overall leaders by nation

1. France - 40 pts

2. Australia - 36 pts

3. Italy - 36 pts

4. Great Britain - 28 pts

5. South Africa - 22 pts

6. Puerto Rico - 20 pts

7. USA - 19 pts

8. Spain- 19 pts

9. Brazil- 19 pts

10. Israel - 17 pts


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