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Sailing World Championships - Spanish 49ers disqualified

Spanish 49er crews disqualified from first race before racing begins

All three Spanish 49er teams are in crisis mode as they have each been disqualified from the first race of the Championship.

While training Friday afternoon, the three boats were lined up doing some speed testing and sailed through the local ferry channel.

The ferry is a fast catamaran, and they spotted it at a distance.

They attempted to sail out of it's way, but as it approached at speed they ultimately were in it's way, and it was required to alter course and slow significantly.

The maritime infraction was reported to the Organizing Authority, who decide to protest the three teams.

After a lengthy hearing, each of the three teams has been disqualified from the first race.

Additionally, their coach has been barred from the water for four days, which includes the first two days of racing.

The penalty has effected two major contenders for this championship. The Alonso brothers, were penalized, as was Diego Botin and Iago Marra who won the European Championship only three weeks ago.

The third boat was their young team mates Luis Arriola and Jorge Roman.

An appeal to the decision has been raised, and ultimately if the teams sail strong qualifying series the DSQ score can be dropped.

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