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Indian sailors still 'at sea'

August 24, 2004 21:44 IST

Continuing on their highly forgettable journey through the Mediterranean, the Indian sailing duo of Malav Shroff and Sumeet Patel remained anchored in last place after the 15th and penultimate race in the 49er (Mixed Open Double-hande Dinghy) Olympic regatta in Athens on Tuesday.

The Indian wild card entrants have so far accumulated 235 net penalty points and appear certain to finish with the wooden spoon in the gruelling event, which will end on Thursday when the last race is run.

The Indians are now 62 net penalty points adrift of their closest rivals Krzysztof Kierkowski and Marcin Czajkowski of Poland and a huge 175 points behind leaders Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez of Spain.

The Indians, who did not start the day's opening 13th race and conceded 20 penalty points, fared miserably in the next race, bringing up the tail in the 19-strong fleet.

Shroff and Patel had their fleeting moments in the race as they started on a promising note and were 12th around the first mark, before the usual downslide started and they ended 18th in the next four marks to ultimately take the last place.

The Indian team fared no better in the 15th race, but was fortunate to finish two rungs higher at 17th as Chris Nicholson and Gary Boyd of Australia were penalised for being on the course side while Germans Marcus Baur and Max Groy did not finish.

Martinez and Fernandez, who failed to win any of the three races during the day, remained on top with 60 penalty points, while Ukrainians Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk moved up to the second place, having accrued 69 penalty points.

The US pair of Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks, who were overall second yesterday, dropped to the third place with 71 net penalty points despite winning the day's opener.

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