SPORTS

Greeks in Tornado triumph

Thessaloniki locals Iordanis Paschalidis and Costas Trigonis triumphed in the Tornado class of the European sailing championship, earning the gold medal thanks to their performance on the final day of the event. The Greek pair had been in third spot for most of the championship, held last week off the Thessaloniki coast, but on Saturday they edged ahead of the French crews of Bill Besson/Arnaud Jarlegan and Yann Guichard/Alex Guyader. They also finished first in the Open category. By Saturday morning Besson/ Jarlegan led by three penalty points, with Guichard/Guyader second, one point ahead of Paschalidis/Trigonis. Yet the Greeks finished fifth in the first race of the last day, Besson/Jarlegan were ninth and the other French pair were far behind. The final race therefore became a tactical one for the Greek crew as they only had to ensure they would end ahead of the French. The Greeks finished eighth, with their opponents ending in ninth and 12th positions, meaning all three crews could discard this last race as their worst one. As a result, the Greeks finally won with 28 penalty points, ahead of Besson/Jarlegan with 30, Guichard/Guyader with 32 and Italy’s Marcolini/Bianchi with 44. In the Open category, the Greek champions had 32 penalty points, in front of Besson/Jarlegan and Guichard/Guyader, both with 36. Paschalidis and Trigonis, who showed how well they know the Thermaic Gulf, will also represent Greece at the Beijing Olympics. «The win is dedicated to those who believe in us. In sailing everything is possible, but for us it was impossible to miss out on this win, that is the way we saw it,» said the two winners. ORCi in Greece Today is the first race of the ORCi offshore sailing World Championship off the coast of Piraeus, organized by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club. The championship concludes on Sunday.