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Displaying items by tag: Laser

Trading a few years of experience on your rivals isn’t a major problem when you’re on a run of form like George Kingston.

The Royal St George sailor gave a masterclass in race management and consistency last weekend when he strolled to the Laser Leinster title in the waters off Rush.

And the return to Dublin Bay clearly hasn’t broken his stride - finishing Day 2 of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta with three bullets out of three in the standard rig class.

Clubmate Ross O’Leary and Royal Irish’s Justin Maguire - both of whom were gearing up for a home challenge in the Master Worlds this time last year -  were left swapping second and third spots.

Justin Maguire Laser 2743Justin Maguire of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Meanwhile in the Radial fleet, Marco Sorgassi tops a runners and riders list that he didn’t even appear on when it went to press, scoring a brace of race wins and a second place.

Rush’s Tom Fox - the only non-Royal St George-affiliated entry in the 10-strong fleet - lies second, with a comfortable five-point gap over next placed Sean Flanagan.

Published in Laser

There was disappointment for Ireland as Finn Lynch's 2019 bid for a Tokyo berth sank in the final races of the Laser World Championships in Japan earlier today.

Australia’s Tom Burton, the Olympic Gold medalist from Rio, took the title followed closely by teammate Mathew Wearn.

Ireland's Rio rep, Lynch (Bennekerry, Co. Carlow) was best placed to achieve qualification (the top five unqualified countries go through this week) but has ended the championship in 40th overall in the 148-boat fleet, 11th unqualified country and some 56-points off the tally required.  Results are here.

Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) placed a solid 50th for his debut at senior level world championship while Liam Glynn (Bangor, Co. Down) in only his second worlds made the top 100.

"For sure, the result is disappointing, especially after such a strong season," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director. "However, sport always has highs and lows, the key thing now is to bounce back and be ready for Genoa.”

Last Chance for Ireland in Genoa

Unfortunately, Ireland also missed out on qualification last year when the first 14 nation places were allocated at the 2018 World Championships in Aarhus. This represented 40% of the 35 boat Olympic Laser fleet.

The Laser Men’s European sailing teams who qualified in Aarhus 2018 were;

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Norway

Six non-European countries also qualified for Tokyo in Aarhus. Those were;

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • South Korea
  • United States

In addition, Japan as a host nation automatically qualifies for the Games meaning 15 of 35 places were already booked coming into the pre-Olympic season.

In Japan today, a further five berths were decided between the 44 unqualified nations from 58 competing. These are: 

  • Sweden 
  • Argentina
  • Russia
  • Hungary
  • Guatemala 

This leaves 15 places to complete the Olympic fleet.

These will be available at Continental Qualification events throughout the remainder of 2019 and moving into 2020. Full details of how these places will be distributed are in the Tokyo Qualification System document that is downloadable here but for Ireland, the news is that there are just two European places left and these will be decided next year in Genoa.

The following five European countries, (who have still not qualified their country) all finished ahead of Ireland today so Ireland will have to overhaul all but one of these to win a Tokyo berth in Genoa next April 13-19. 

  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium

It'll be a tough nut to crack especially as both Belgium and Spain beat Ireland at the 2018 World Championships too yet the Italian venue is where Lynch performed so well earlier this season.

Read Afloat's coverage of the 2019 Laser World Championships in one handy link here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Sixty five Laser Standards, Radials and 4.7’s from all four corners of Ireland gathered at the beautifully picturesque and recently refurbished Rush Sailing Club for what was a fantastically enjoyable weekend, both on and off the water writes Gavan Murphy

OOD, David Lovegrove and his capable crew had made the very wise decision to postpone racing on the Saturday by one hour to 12:30 pm to ensure boats were launching into a significantly weaker tide and deeper estuary.

Saturday started as an overcast, damp day with 3-4 knots out on the racecourse. George Kingston (RSGYC) showed superb race skills and consistency to take the overnight lead in the Standard fleet with two first’s and a second. Sean Craig (RSGYC), who wisely opted for the Standard rig in the lighter conditions, proved his mettle with a second and two thirds to take second overall going into the Sunday. Ronan Wallace, following his recent success in East Antrim at the Laser Northern Championships, continued his fantastic run of form going into Sunday just one point behind Craig in third place. Local Rush sailor, Aaron Rogers, was never too far behind the leading pack and was sure to cause an upset come Sunday based on Saturday’s form following a second-place result to his name.

Rush2The fleet return to Rush Sailing Club

In the Radial fleet, recently returned 29er Nationals sailors, Chris Bateman (MBSC) and Atlee Kohl (RCYC) showed superb form with two top three results amongst them on the Saturday, leaving them in first and third overnight. However, French sailor Martin Kowalsaki (Usamvoile Brest SC) showed he wasn’t visiting as a spectator following a first and third in day one, which put him in second place going into the Sunday.

In the 4.7 fleet, Iseult Hogan (RSGYC), showed her class with a second, third and first on day one taking her into top spot going into the Sunday. However, with Michael Crosbie (RCYC), just one point behind Hogan, Sunday would prove to be a very competitive affair. Hugh O’Connor (NYC) was also biting at their heels with a first and third on day one, leaving him in third place overnight.

On Sunday, Rush turned on its charm as sailors were greeted to wonderful conditions with a 6-8 knots northwesterly in glorious sunshine. Again, the race committee had opted to start the fleets an hour later at 1:30 pm on account of the strong tidal streams and water depth launching into the estuary.

In the Standard fleet, George Kingston showed his superb race management and match racing experience to cover and keep the challengers at bay with a fourth, and two seconds, finishing first overall. Aaron Rogers came to the fore on Sunday with a second and first to his name and squeezed Sean Craig out by just one point to take second place. Craig took third, just one point ahead of Ronan Wallace in fourth.

With just 4 points between them, the twenty-nine strong Radial fleet went unchanged on the Sunday following a superb set of results from Bateman (first), Kowalsaki (second) and Kohl (third).

The 4.7 fleet turned out to be a major reversal of results and fortune for some on the Sunday. Michael Crosbie showed some serious class with three firsts to take a very well-deserved first overall. Hugh O’Connor continued on from his success on the Saturday with two seconds and a fourth to take second overall. Alana Coakley continued her recent run of form to take third overall following a third and fifth on day two.

Many thanks to David Lovegrove and his team for their race stewardship and to Austin Hughes and his team for their hospitality in what was a most enjoyable weekend in a superb venue. 

Gavan Murphy is Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain

Published in Laser
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With only two races left to sail at the Laser World Championships and Olympic Qualifier in Japan, top Irish contender Finn Lynch needs to move up 16 places overall in order to secure the last of the five Olympic berths up for grabs.

There's no doubt he'll rue some inconsistent sailing this past week that has put him in the same position as 2018 when, with some promising performances, he missed the standard then by 20 points and finished 31st place overall.

This week Guatemala's Maegli Juan Ignacio in 21st place will take the final qualification place as things currently stand unless Lynch, an individual race winner at the Japanese championships, can address the existing 40-point deficit and leapfrog four other unqualified countries between him and Juan Ignacio. Results are here

Tomorrow will be a big ask for the Carlow sailor but he can still do it, for two reasons.

Firstly, he has an uncanny, ruthless ability to finish regattas strongly (he finished ninth in the last race in the 2018 Worlds) and that is perhaps the greatest skill of all for an elite racer.

Secondly, this Gold Fleet in the Laser Worlds is of a ridiculously high standard. What this means in practice is that the overall results can flip dramatically on a single day, especially on a high-pressure final day!  World Champions and Olympic medalists are winning races and then coming in the 40s in the next race, for example, the current World Champion Kontides Pavlos is 19th overall.

The National Yacht Club man probably needs no more than about 20 points over the two races to do it, but if anybody in Ireland can, Lynch can!  

The penultimate day on Monday saw Lynch (Bennekerry, Co. Carlow) end in 37th overall (down four places from 33rd) as he was unable to repeat the race-winning performance he showed on Sunday.

Debutante Ewan McMahon

On his first-ever appearance at a senior-level world championship Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) had two back of fleet results that showed him pushing hard for experience including a 'Black flag' disqualification for early starting that masked an excellent top five position early in the race.

Laser worlds

“I just want to see the fighting spirit tomorrow," commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing's head Laser coach.

The series concludes in Sakaiminato on Tuesday before a break for a week when the women's Laser Radial World Championship begins with Aoife Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) and Aisling Keller (Tipperary) both aiming to secure a place for Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch scored an impressive win at the Laser World Championships in Japan today to move up 17 places overall.

The fourth day of the Championship (that doubles as an important Olympic Qualifier) has two Irish sailors in the Gold fleet final series for the top 52 boats in the 156-strong regatta.

On his first-ever appearance at a senior-level world championship Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) showed good boat speed but has dropped overall from 42nd to 50th. 

Finn Lynch (Bennekerry, Co. Carlow) won the eighth race with a 50-metre lead at the finish after starting-well and was with the top five boats at the first mark before pulling ahead.

Currently, Lynch lies 33rd overall having been 50th going into Sunday’s races of the event.

“He didn’t need to do anything special as he is sailing well,” commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing’s head Laser coach. “He just needed a spark to boost his confidence and that is exactly what he got.”

The win is hopefully a return to form for Lynch who has been in blistering form this season.  Lynch will be attempting to keep some consistent scores going over the remainder of the series and he will be cognisant of the fact that despite three top ten finishes at the 2018 World Championships he missed qualification by about 20 points. He will also be sure to recall that it was race eight last year that proved his undoing with a disqualification while today he celebrates winning it in Japan!

Despite the significant boost of the individual Irish race win, though, Ireland remains tenth of the unqualified countries seeking only five Olympic berths on offer at this event. 

Racing continues until Tuesday and with it the chance of an Irish Laser spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Although Ireland's Finn Lynch and Ewan McMahon have both made it into the top third of the Laser World Championship 158-boat fleet in Sakaiminato today, the main aim of this week's Japanese venture was always to secure one of five country berths on offer for next year's Tokyo Olympic Games because, if unsuccessful, Ireland will have to wait until Olympic year itself for the last and the slimmest chance to make the Tokyo startline.

It's very early days in the Championships, but in the overall standings after six races sailed, (results here) the last of those five-nation slots is currently occupied by Guatemala's Maegli Juan Ignacio in 21st place with 42 nett points. The first of the five nation places is held by Sweden in tenth overall.

As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland's top sailor in these championships is Ewan McMahon currently in 41st on 69 nett points, a score that represents the tenth unqualified country.

In an example of what needs to be achieved by Tuesday, the 20-year-old from Howth (competing at his first senior worlds) would need to move up 20 places in order to take the last qualification berth as things currently stand. That's a tall order by any yardstick especially given the quality of this fleet that, for example, includes the defending World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Kontides Pavlos currently in 22nd place.

Scoreboard JapanAll eyes are on the scoreboard in the closing stages of the Laser Worlds in Japan

But in such situations, anything can and regularly does happen and there are still eight races to be sailed. McMahon took silver at the Laser Radial Youth World Championships in 2016 and has been on an upward trajectory ever since but there's no hotter fleet than this one assembled in Sakaiminato so leapfrogging five nations into a Tokyo berth will be tough. What's more, there's a queue of unqualified countries biting at McMahon's heels. The Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland and Portugal, for example, are all within six points of the HYC man.

It has prompted Irish coach, Croatian Vasilij Zbogar, to bet heavily on the elements for Irish success; “It definitely depends on the wind; with lighter wind, anything is possible as the (overall) points are actually quite close. Many good sailors didn’t make the Gold fleet and now we have nothing to lose. For now, it’s not about the (final) result, it’s about sailing freely and having fun.”

Ireland Missed Out in 2018

Unfortunately, Ireland missed out last year when the first 14 nation places were allocated at the 2018 World Championships in Aarhus. This represented 40% of the 35 boat Olympic Laser fleet.

The Laser Men’s European sailing teams who qualified in Aarhus are;

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Norway

Six non-European countries also qualified for Tokyo in Aarhus. Those were;

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • South Korea
  • United States

In addition, Japan as a host nation automatically qualifies for the Games meaning 15 of 35 places were already booked coming into the pre-Olympic season.

Last Chance

After a further five berths are decided between the 44 nations from 58 competing this weekend, it will leave 15 places to complete the Olympic fleet.

These will be available at Continental Qualification events throughout the remainder of 2019 and moving into 2020. Full details of how these places will be distributed are in the Tokyo Qualification System document that is downloadable below. However, from an Irish perspective, if a qualification is not triggered this weekend then only two European berths are still open for Ireland.

These will be decided at Genoa Regatta in Olympic year itself but neither Lynch or McMahon will want to be waiting in the last chance saloon.

Trials

If Irish qualification is achieved, the focus then shifts to a trial series to decide whether the rookie McMahon or Rio veteran Lynch will be Ireland's rep in Tokyo. Details of the Qualification System is available to download here.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Ireland’s Ewan McMahon (Howth, Co. Dublin) and Finn Lynch (Bennekerry Co. Carlow) made the Gold fleet for the top 52 competitors at the Laser World Championship in Japan that is an important qualification event for next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Six races over the coming three days will decide the finals standings and the next five nations to be included on the Laser Olympic start line next year.

Out of the 44 countries seeking a Tokyo berth this week, Ireland is currently ranked in ninth country position (moving up from 11th after four races). However, five other nations also seeking a Tokyo place are within ten points of McMahon, who counts a Black Flag Disqualification from race two as his discard, so the stakes are high.

See overall results here

While Lynch scored two top 20 places earlier today to stand 50th overall in the 156-strong fleet, it is McMahon who has the best overall Irish placing in 41st place following a 14th and 13th for the day in his first senior World Championship in the class. The 20-year-old rookie has already given notice of his intent this season with a stand out European performance in May, as Afloat reported here

If McMahon can maintain such form and qualify the nation this weekend, it sets the stage for a trial between him and Lynch for the single Tokyo 2020 berth

Liam Glynn from Bangor was unable to find his opening day form and lies mid-fleet in 77th overall.

“It definitely depends on the wind; with lighter wind, anything is possible as the (overall) points are actually quite close,” commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing’s head Laser coach. “Many good sailors didn’t make the Gold fleet and now we have nothing to lose. For now, it’s not about the (final) result, it’s about sailing freely and having fun.”

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Rio Olympian Finn Lynch did not get the start he had hoped for at the Laser World Championships in Japan earlier today.

Lynch is lying 78th, Liam Glynn is 35th and Ewan McMahon is 81st from 158 boats. Results are here.

The event is the second qualification opportunity for the Tokyo Olympics next year where five places are on offer among 44 countries.

The Carlow sailor has been in exceptional form at most of his major events this year but was cautious on the starting line for both races today and ended up finishing outside the top 20 for the first day.

Ewan McMahon Laser Worlds 2019 JapanHowth's Ewan McMahon takes a third place at the Laser Worlds 2019 in Japan

However, Howth's (Co. Dublin) Ewan McMahon placed third in his first race of the series that is also his first senior world championship. But he was disqualified in the second race for early starting and will endeavour to drop that score under the discard system later in the regatta.

Liam Glynn of Bangor, Co. Down made good on his pre-event training form by placing in the top ten leading boats in both of his races at the first mark before slipping down the ranks by the finish.

The championship series comprises qualification races until Saturday when the 150+ fleet is split into Gold, Silver and Bronze divisions. Ireland needs a finisher in the top five unqualified nations that will certainly be drawn from the upper ranks of the Gold fleet.

"Finn has everything he needs to perform but must look beyond the pressure of the event for the remaining races," commented Vasilij Zgobar, the Slovenian triple Olympic medallist who is the Irish squad head Laser coach. "But I am very pleased with how the younger sailors did on their first day competing at this level." 

Racing continues at Sakaiminato-City, Japan on Friday starting at 0300 (Irish Time). The women's Olympic qualifier/Laser Radial World Championship begins in two weeks time at the same venue.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Rio Olympic solo sailor Finn Lynch leads Irish hopes at the start of the Laser World Championship that begins in Sakaiminato, Japan this morning (0800 - Irish time) with the stakes running high ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Ireland is seeking one of five Olympic berths up for grabs among 44 countries from 58 competing in the 160-boat fleet in Sakaiminato. 14 countries previously qualified at the first attempt in Aarhus in Denmark last year. 

The regatta marks the start of an extended run of events in the 2020 Olympics host nation which also includes the official Olympic test event and the World Cup Series Enoshima, both in August.

As Afloat previously reported, the three-boat Irish squad this week was the first overseas team to become established at the venue and the trio have fully adjusted to the conditions, afloat and ashore.

“It's been much smoother than I expected,” commented Vasilij Zbogar, the Slovenian triple Olympic medallist who is the Irish Sailing head Laser coach. “We now have good knowledge of the local wind and currents in the race area."

Along with Lynch from Carlow, Liam Glynn from Bangor, Co Down and Ewan McMahon from Howth, Co. Dublin will be seeking to show their best performances of the year.

In terms of qualification for Tokyo 2020, the attention will be on Lynch who has had an exceptionally strong year to date apart from out of form result.

Lynch delivered top ten results at three consecutive regattas in Miami, Palma and Marseilles before slipping to 18th overall at the Laser European championships at Porto in late May.

"It was a little bit expected after four regattas in a row with not much chance to recover from the stress of previous events," said Zbogar. "We were also late getting set-up in Porto and the conditions were very strong so adapting took longer."

The late arrival for the Europeans partly explains the early arrival in Japan to ensure best preparation at the venue.

"Finn is ready, his boat-speed upwind and downwind is excellent," said Zbogar. "But the feeling of stress for the worlds is way more than normal. He has to understand and learn from it and then use it as a weapon."

Meanwhile, the Laser coach is pleased with the progress of the two younger sailors preparing for their first senior worlds.

"Liam has been sailing really well over the last ten days; I am super happy with him and it will be very interesting to see his results," said Zbogar.

"Ewan is quite solid. He’s still quite young and needs experience but he’s a big talent. The good thing here is that there’s no pressure so he can sail freely."

The series begins with two races daily in a qualification round to determine Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets before final rounds next Monday and Tuesday.

Ireland needs to be in the top five of unqualified nations to secure a berth for Tokyo 2020. Once qualified, a trials series will follow to select the best sailor.

Later this month, Ireland's Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller will commence their Laser Radial class World Championships, also in Sakaiminato-City aiming to secure a place in their event for the Olympics next year.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Last weekend, 57 Laser dinghies arrived at East Antrim Boat Club in Larne for the Ulster Championships writes Ed Rice. Glorious sunshine and a light breeze had competitors and parents in good spirits.

PRO Richard Doig and his very well organised team had set a great course in a 5/7 Knot breeze. The standard fleet started clean and headed off followed by the Radial and 4.7 fleets, alas the wind Changed direction and died completely. Race abandoned. we waited with optimism but at 15.00 cancelled for the day.

A club BBQ and a good evening followed.

Sunday arrived with a promise of 15-25 Knots and did not disappoint. Richard and his team again set a good race course and we got 4 races completed in a shifty 15-25 knot breeze.

16 boats competed in the standard fleet with the lead changing regularly. With a protest hearing deciding the overall result and 1st master.

Laser Ulsters11st Standard Rig: Colin LEONARD. BYC

Colin Leonard BallyholmeYC (not involved in the protest) was the winner, Ronan Wallace WHBTC 2nd and Conor Simms BYC 3rd. 1st master was Nick Walsh RCYC.

Laser Ulsters11st Master Standard Rig: Nick WALSH. RCYC

Laser Ulsters11st Radial Rig: Jamie McMAHON. HYC

25 Radials competed in a very competitive fleet with Jamie McMahon HYC coming out the winner ahead of current National Champion Aisling Keller LDYC and Tom Higgins 3rd.
1st master was Sean Flanagan RSGYC.

Laser Ulsters1 1st Lady Radial Aisling KELLER LDYC

17 4.7`s had great racing with Michael Crosbie RCYC winning followed by Tim Norwood RIYC 2nd and Hugh O`Connor 3rd.1st lady was Iseult Hogan RSGYC and 1st master was Mary Chambers RSGYC.

A big thank you EABC for a great weekend fun and sailing and particular thanks to Steven Kirby, Gordon Kane and the on the water team of Richard Doig.

Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1Laser Ulsters1

Published in Laser
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Page 3 of 45

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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