<
>

Hall slips in Finn class

8/16/2004

ATHENS, Greece -- A strong Meltemi wind that led to the
cancellation of rowing claimed the 49er event in sailing Monday
after sailors weren't able to get their boats in the water.

Elsewhere, a member of Denmark's sailing team was charged with
manslaughter after police said he struck and killed a British
pedestrian while speeding in his car on the way to see his
country's handball team play.

The sailor, Niklas Holm, was charged with manslaughter and
speeding.

The wind didn't help Kevin Hall of Bowie, Md., who finished 16th
and 14th in the two Finn races to drop to 14th overall.

He was buried in 19th at the first mark of the first race
because he was unable to gain from a wind shift.

Great Britain's Ben Ainslie continued his remarkable rebound
from a protest loss, finishing fourth and first to jump up eight
spots to first overall in the Finn.

Monday's wind averaged 21 knots, gusting higher at times, and
the swell was down from Sunday, when at least 30 boats capsized on
the wild Saronic Gulf.

While the conditions had the Finns flying across the waves, the
anticipated first three races of the 49er class were postponed
because of the stiff breeze that kept the flags at the Agios Kosmas
Sailing Center whipping toward the gulf.

Organizers didn't decide whether the 49er races will be sailed
Tuesday, a reserve day, or Wednesday. Races were also postponed in
the Europe, men's and women's 470 and Laser classes

The 49ers, two-man winged skiffs that are light and fragile, can
flip in 12 knots. Under the class rules, races won't start if gusts
exceed 25 knots for 30 seconds, or if gusts exceed 30 knots for any
duration.

The Australian-designed skiffs have little natural stability,
which would seemingly make them more at home in the X Games than
the Olympics. The crews sail standing up or hiked out in trapezes
to keep the boat upright when it's powered up. They were a big hit
when they made their Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000, when brothers
Jonathan and Charlie McKee of Seattle took the bronze medal.

The U.S. crew this time is Tim Wadlow of Boston and Pete
Spaulding of Miami. They were college rivals, with Wadlow sailing
for Boston University and Spaulding for Boston College, before
teaming up to clinch the U.S. berth in the Olympics.