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NOTICE BOARD

More news on the Finn Class Facebook Page and Twitter feed

January 2018
 
Major Events for 2018
Open Europeans • Cadiz, Spain • 9-17 March
Finn World Masters • El Balis, Spain • 18-25 May
Finn Gold Cup (World Sailing Championships) • Aarhus, Denmark • 30 July to 10 August)
Finn Silver Cup (U23 Worlds) • Koper, Slovenia • 25-31 August
Finn European Masters • Split, Croatia • 11-14 September
 
December 2017
 
December eNews published.
 
November 2017
 
Two new Finn books published.
 
Notice of Race published and Online Entry open for 2018 Europeans in Cadiz
 
The 2018 Finn Class Calendar is now available to purchase
 
cover2018
 
September 2017
 
2017 IFA Annual General Meeting - Agenda and Papers
 
August 2017 eNews
 
May 2017
 
For all news, reports, results and photos from the Finn European Championships in Marseille please go to the event website at 2017.finneuropeans.org
 
February 2017
 
Notice of Race Published and Online Entry Open for 2017 Open and U23 European Championship in Marseille. Event website here.
 
Major Championships for 2017:

Europeans - Marseille, France
Registration and Measurement • 5-7 May
Practice Race • 7 May
Racing • 8-13 May (Final Race 13 May)
2017.finneuropeans.org (coming soon) • www.ycpr.net

Silver Cup (U23 Worlds) - Balatonfured, Hungary
Registration and Measurement • 20-22 August
Practice Races/Rule 42 Clinic • 21 August
Racing 22-27 August (2,3,2,3,2,1)
2017.finnsilvercup.org (coming soon) • www.mvmse.hu

Finn Gold Cup - Balatonfoldvar, Hungary
Registration and Measurement • 1-3 September
Practice Race • 3 September
Racing • 4-10 September (Medal Race 10 September)
2017.finngoldcup.org (coming soon) • http://spartacus.hu

 

January 2017

 
Sailing World Cup Notices are posted here. For those wishing to receive invites to SWC Hyeres, please check Notice No 3.
 
 
New Documents:
Sailing World Championships Test Event Qualification System
7 –13 August 2017: Aarhus, DENMARK • Download

Aarhus 2018 Sailing World Championships Qualification System
30 July–12 August 2018 : Aarhus, DENMARK Download



All current news articles can be found in the menu on the left. Archived news can be found under the NEWS menu above.

 

2011 Finn Gold Cup - Perth Australia

2011 Finn Gold Cup, Perth Australia
 
 
 
1
 
Giles Scott
 
GBR 41
 
3
 
6
 
1
 
1
 
2
 
2
 
-10
 
1
 
2
 
8
 
4
 
30
 
2
 
Pieter-Jan Postma
 
NED 842
 
-20
 
1
 
2
 
2
 
1
 
1
 
5
 
9
 
1
 
7
 
2
 
31
 
3
 
Edward Wright
 
GBR 11
 
8
 
2
 
(bfd)
 
1
 
1
 
4
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
10
 
10
 
45
 
4
 
Jonas Hoegh Christensen
 
DEN 2
 
4
 
7
 
4
 
7
 
4
 
-12
 
4
 
12
 
3
 
3
 
6
 
54
 
5
 
Rafael Trujillo
 
ESP 100
 
1
 
3
 
(bfd)
 
2
 
4
 
19
 
6
 
5
 
8
 
1
 
16
 
65
 
6
 
Jonathan Lobert
 
FRA 112
 
-13
 
4
 
1
 
3
 
2
 
5
 
9
 
13
 
11
 
4
 
18
 
70
 
7
 
Andrew Mills
 
GBR 85
 
4
 
7
 
5
 
(ocs)
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
4
 
21
 
5
 
14
 
81
 
8
 
Deniss Karpak
 
EST 2
 
6
 
5
 
4
 
4
 
3
 
10
 
17
 
-19
 
13
 
14
 
8
 
84
 
9
 
Zach Railey
 
USA 4
 
2
 
5
 
(bfd)
 
7
 
6
 
14
 
14
 
6
 
12
 
2
 
20
 
88
 
10
 
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic
 
CRO 524
 
3
 
6
 
(bfd)
 
5
 
7
 
15
 
13
 
11
 
5
 
16
 
12
 
93
 
 
 

11

Ben Ainslie

GBR 3

1

1

-3

3

3

3

1

2

dgm

dgm

91

12

Tapio Nirkko

FIN 218

8

13

6

20

-23

9

3

15

6

9

112

13

Vasilij Zbogar

SLO 573

11

8

2

8

5

13

15

-33

19

12

126

14

Daniel Birgmark

SWE 11

5

4

(bfd)

5

11

17

18

7

27

6

137

15

Thomas le Breton

FRA 29

10

2

3

10

9

-31

23

22

10

13

133

16

Christopher Cook

CAN 41

2

14

7

15

9

-18

12

17

16

17

127

17

Gasper Vincec

SLO 5

-22

18

8

6

5

11

20

14

9

21

134

18

Mark Andrews

GBR 88

9

8

7

9

14

6

-27

16

20

24

140

19

Brendan Casey

AUS 1

16

3

9

4

8

16

19

21

(ocs)

25

158

20

Ioannis Mitakis

GRE 77

17

9

(bfd)

11

10

21

11

8

15

20

159

21

Dan Slater

NZL 1

5

11

(bfd)

9

12

23

7

20

18

18

160

22

Oleksiy Borysov

UKR 1

7

12

13

8

11

28

16

23

-29

28

175

23

Bjorn Allansson

SWE 6

11

10

14

15

7

35

(dsq)

32

14

11

186

24

Filippo Baldassari

ITA123

13

9

(bfd)

6

12

8

33

26

25

19

188

25

Giorgio Poggi

ITA 117

6

17

10

17

20

25

-32

25

23

15

190

26

Caleb Paine

USA 11

9

19

16

-31

17

30

26

10

7

26

191

27

Gregory Douglas

CAN 5

15

11

5

16

8

-34

21

24

33

29

196

28

Matt Coutts

NZL 8

15

15

10

13

15

26

30

18

(ocs)

23

202

29

Anthony Nossiter

AUS 221

10

14

(bfd)

10

10

20

rdg

rdg

30

22

202.5

30

Oliver Tweddell

AUS 261

7

13

13

12

13

22

25

31

31

-34

201

31

Johan Tillander

SWE 736

23

10

15

13

18

-29

24

29

17

27

205

32

Joao Zarif

BRA 109

16

15

12

11

25

24

22

27

32

-33

217

33

Eudard Skornyakov

RUS 9

26

12

14

12

13

-36

28

34

22

32

229

34

Jan Kurfeld

GER 771

14

21

6

14

22

32

34

-35

24

30

232

35

Lei Gong

CHN 1226

17

18

17

26

14

27

29

28

26

-35

237

36

Michael Maier

CZE 1

18

22

18

16

16

33

-35

30

28

31

247

37

Tomas Vika

CZE 85

19

16

(bfd)

23

18

4

2

2

1

2

124

38

Timo Hagoort

NED 83

23

20

11

(ocs)

21

2

9

6

8

11

148

39

Lauri Vainsalu

EST 11

22

26

11

22

-30

5

7

4

5

9

141

40

Matthias Miller

GER 151

27

16

(bfd)

25

21

7

6

7

3

4

153

41

Martin Robitaille

CAN 110

-27

23

8

18

23

3

3

12

11

17

145

42

Brendan Wilton

CAN 902

25

23

(bfd)

dnf

30

1

1

3

2

1

160

43

Alexey Selivanov

RUS 1

14

-27

15

26

26

13

11

1

9

15

157

44

Hein Van Egmond,

NED 841

19

20

17

20

-27

18

5

8

16

13

163

45

Ali Kemal Tufekci

TUR 211

24

24

19

(dnf)

24

17

8

10

6

5

174

46

Nik Burfoot

NZL 21

26

25

(dnf)

18

22

12

4

16

17

6

183

47

Nachhatar Singh Johal

IND 11

21

-30

20

24

19

11

14

13

14

12

178

48

Florian Raudaschl

AUT 3

12

17

22

(dnf)

29

8

15

5

23

18

186

49

Tim Castles

AUS 235

20

25

23

14

-27

9

13

15

10

22

178

50

Rafal Szukiel

POL 7

18

21

(bfd)

24

16

14

ocs

9

7

7

190

51

Egor Terpigorev

RUS 57

12

19

12

(dnf)

dns

15

25

14

12

8

191

52

Alican Kaynar

TUR 21

30

24

18

21

17

6

(ocs)

21

13

10

197

53

Haris Papadopoulos

CYP 19

25

22

(bfd)

17

25

10

18

dnf

4

3

198

54

Gaszton Pal

HUN 6

-29

29

9

19

20

16

12

20

26

14

194

55

Anders Pedersen

NOR 1

29

29

16

(dnf)

19

20

10

11

20

16

207

56

Andreas Axelsson

SWE 89

-32

28

26

21

26

24

19

18

18

21

233

57

Brad Douglas

NZL 7

24

26

(bfd)

28

24

23

17

17

15

dnc

248

58

Marton Beliczay

HUN 8

28

28

24

25

-33

22

20

19

29

24

252

59

Christoph Christen

SUI 5

-32

31

19

27

28

21

22

28

22

23

253

60

Miguel Fernandez

ESP 161

30

-35

28

23

31

19

16

22

30

27

261

61

Silvan Hofer

SUI 84

-36

32

25

22

28

26

23

27

24

19

262

62

Ross Hamilton

IRL 4

28

33

27

27

-34

25

24

24

21

26

269

63

Nanno Schuttrups

NED 787

31

30

21

-33

29

29

21

26

25

25

270

64

Rob Coutts

NZL 9

-35

34

29

28

32

32

28

25

19

20

282

65

Shaun Wells

AUS 11

21

32

20

31

31

31

26

30

32

-33

287

66

Akif Muslubas

TUR 7

-33

33

24

32

32

27

27

29

28

28

293

67

Rob Mcmillan

AUS 2

31

27

21

19

15

(dnc)

dnc

dnc

dnc

dnc

298

68

David Leigh

RSA 581

33

-34

22

29

34

34

29

31

27

29

302

69

Richard Hirschler 10

HUN

-35

31

31

29

35

28

30

33

33

30

315

70

Benjamin Leibowitz

USA53

(rdg)

36

30

30

36

35

31

23

31

31

319

71

Thomas Gautschi

SUI 63

34

-35

23

34

35

30

32

32

34

32

321

72

Dimitar Vangelov

BUL 855

34

rdg

25

30

33

33

(dnf)

dnc

dnc

dnc

339

 
 
 

2010 Finn Gold Cup - San Francisco, USA


1 4 GBR 11 Edward Wright 18 3 1 1 1 3 2 5 3 1 2 [18] 22
2 2 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 2 1 35 10 8 1 1 3 2 5 20 [35] 53
3 5 GBR 41 Giles Scott 10 2 6 5 4 7 3 6 1 4 18 [10] 56
4 3 USA 4 Zach Railey 5 5 7 4 5 10 5 7 7 18 4 [18] 59
5 10 FRA 115 Thomas le Breton 8 7 3 3 3 12 10 4 8 88/DNF 14 [88] 72
6 12 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 1 16 2 6 11 30 26 8 11 3 10 [30] 94
7 16 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 14 22 5 15 10 15 4 10 32 6 6 [32] 107
8 1 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 3 15 37 9 6 16 13 18 9 10 8 [37] 107
9 15 GBR 88 Mark Andrew 12 11 10 2 39 22 6 12 12 11 12 [39] 110
10 40 AUS 1 Brendan Casey 4 12 41 8 19 14 8 13 5 13 16 [41] 112
11 6 CRO 25 Marin Misura 26 4 8 14 22 8 7 9 15 16 3 [26] 106
12 18 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 11 20 17 17 7 11 17 1 23 7 1 [23] 109
13 8 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 19 31 14 7 2 18 11 15 10 14 4 [31] 114
14 41 DEN 2 Jonas Høgh‐Christensen 6 6 38 12 38 23 14 2 4 8 6 [38] 119
15 20 NZL 1 Dan Slater 32 17 28 11 26 4 9 11 13 12 15 [32] 146
16 47 ITA 146 Michele Paoletti 17 9 12 19 9 17 15 14 30 24 14 [30] 150
17 23 SWE 6 Björn Allansson 28 8 18 25 36 5 12 20 16 21 2 [36] 155
18 39 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 9 35 9 16 15 6 32 17 22 25 12 [35] 163
19 52 AUS 221 Anthony Nossiter 27 10 23 13 17 27 16 16 14 20 18 [27] 174
20 17 NED 842 Pieter‐Jan Postma 29 18 40 34 28 13 28 24 6 2 7 [40] 189
21 11 ITA 117 Giorgio Poggi 25 25 11 21 13 2 27 30 29 32 13 [32] 196
22 21 CZE 1 Michael Maier 20 19 27 23 23 20 20 19 17 17 35 [35] 205
23 14 POL 17 Piotr Kula 35 28 4 22 25 26 25 27 27 47 10 [47] 229
24 24 ESP 7 Alejandro Muscat 7 14 19 24 20 32 23 39 33 35 22 [39] 229
25 25 GER 771 Jan Kurfeld 43 26 21 37 27 39 19 25 21 15 5 [43] 235
26 9 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 36 13 34 28 14 19 22 49 34 27 20 [49] 247
27 7 RUS 9 Eduard Skornyakov 34 30 47 27 24 33 21 34 19 28 17 [47] 267
28 30 USA 619 Caleb Paine (J) 23 21 53 32 16 45 40 33 25 30 8 [53] 273
29 22 AUT 3 Florian Raudaschl 13 88/DNF 15 40 12 9 24 41 31 88/DNF 9 [88] 282
30 38 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis (J) 21 36 13 31 33 61 55 44 24 9 16 [61] 282
31 78 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell (J) 59 24 22 39 30 28 34 45 37 23 31 [59] 313
32 66 NZL 21 Nik Burfoot 24 33 42 30 34 31 36 31 39 22 33 [42] 313
33 49 CAN 5 Greg Douglas 48 27 63 18 43 24 29 51 26 19 30 [63] 315
34 59 CRO 11 Josip Olujic (J) 22 44 33 35 54 21 37 26 48 26 23 [54] 315
35 54 NZL 10 Matt Coutts 37 48 26 20 32 52 35 28 18 51 25 [52] 320
36 28 NED 83 Timo Hagoort 50 32 25 26 41 49 18 21 35 39 78/BFD[78] 336
37 27 UKR 1 Olexsiy Borysov 16 88/DNF 54 41 40 35 43 29 20 42 19 [88] 339
38 64 CAN 902 Brendan Wilton 46 34 29 36 45 25 39 56 38 49 11 [56] 352
39 13 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 47 29 24 42 21 34 31 22 88/DNF 29 78/BFD [88] 357
40 37 UKR 5 Andriy Gusenko 39 45 32 49 29 29 50 50 44 31 24 [50] 372
41 63 AUS 223 James Paterson 31 42 43 33 37 50 30 37 52 44 26 [52] 373
42 51 USA 505 Erik Lidecis 58 37 45 29 35 56 41 35 28 41 28 [58] 375
43 36 USA 5 Andy Casey 42 47 30 52 42 42 42 43 49 37 21 [52] 395
44 26 ITA 123 Filippo Baldassari 30 23 20 38 18 38 46 48 54 88/DNF 78/DNS [88] 393
45 58 AUS 2 Rob McMillan 54 41 49 46 49 40 33 23 43 34 40 [54] 398
46 32 EST 11 Lauri Väinsalu 15 40 31 58 67 41 38 38 47 88/DNF 34 [88] 409
47 55 TUR 21 Alican Kaynar 63 39 48 43 31 44 54 32 42 46 32 [63] 411
48 42 CYP 19 Haris Papadopoulos 33 50 58 44 52 48 45 36 45 40 39 [58] 432
49 60 NED 841 Hein van Egmond (J) 49 52 59 59 50 36 44 42 41 33 78/BFD[78] 455
50 48 AUS 235 Tim Castles 88/DNF 43 68 55 53 43 49 40 36 36 44 [88] 467
51 67 AUS 243 Warwick Hill 45 46 51 54 55 46 58 63/ZFP 51 45 36 [63] 487
52 84 CAN 110 Martin Robitaille (J) 57 49 50 48 62 37 48 53 55 53 38 [62] 488
53 44 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif (J) 38 55 39 47 47 53 47 58 50 56 78/BFD[78] 490
54 61 TUR 35 Efe Kuyumcu 41 54 60 63 65 51 52 47 40 50 41 [65] 499
55 34 TUR 7 Akif Muslubas 44 51 46 45 44 55 59 54 60 54 47 [60] 499
56 57 CAN 26 Paul Brikis 52 59 61 51 46 54 51 57 63 55 27 [63] 513
57 96 IRL 4 Ross Hamilton 64 67 36 60 58 57 60 66 57 38 43 [67] 539
58 72 AUS 253 David Giles 55 63 67 56 56 47 53 63 53 48 50 [67] 544
59 29 HUN 6 Gaszton Pal 66 53 44 57 59 62 66 55 56 57 37 [66] 546
60 56 USA 74 Henry Sprague 88/DSQ 60 57 50 48 63 56 60 64 52 45 [88] 555
61 33 IND 11 Nachhatar Johal 40 38 66 53 70 88/DNS88/DNS88/DNS 46 43 29 [88] 561
62 50 USA 30 Forrest Gay 65 56 55 64 57 65 57 62 59 58 42 [65] 575
63 31 RUS 1 Alexey Selivanov 51 62 16 66 64 59 63 52 61 88/DNE 78/DNS [78] 582
64 68 AUS 260 Chris Caldecoat 68 61 64 65 61 67 68 68 58 88/DNF 52 [88] 632
65 65 FRA 99 Marc Allain des Beauvais 71 64 76 72 63 66 62 64 66 59 46 [76] 633
66 46 USA 12 R. Phillip Ramming 53 69 69 71 72 71 61 70 65 60 48 [72] 637
67 69 AUS 20 Philip Toth 70 58 62 70 71 88/DSQ 65 61 62 88/OCS 51 [88] 658
68 79 NZL 7 Bradley Douglas 61 88/DNF 52 61 51 60 64 59 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 662
69 70 USA 150 Louie Nady 67 66 56 69 60 70 69 67 67 88/DNF 78/DNS [88] 669
70 53 USA 8 Scott Mason 56 70 70 67 66 68 67 71 88/DNF88/DNS 49 [88] 672
71 81 SUI 12 Franz Buergi 69 72 73 73 75 76 71 74 68 63 53 [76] 691
72 83 SWE 740 Henrik Rydell 74 71 74 76 78 73 73 75 68 61 55 [78] 700
73 85 RUS 21 Vladimir Butenko 72 88/DNF 71 74 69 69 72 72 88/DNF 62 58 [88] 707
74 87 NZL 9 Rob Coutts 62 57 72 62 82 64 78 69 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 712
75 88 NZL 232 Ray Hall 60 68 65 88/DNF 68 58 88/DNF 88/ZFP 88/DNS 88/DNS 54 [88] 725
76 91 USA 88 Philippe Kahn 73 75 78 77 79 79 77 76 70 64 59 [79] 728
77 93 USA 81 Joshua Revkin (J) 75 65 75 68 76 74 70 65 88/DNF88/DNS78/DNS[88] 734
78 82 USA 975 August Miller 80 73 82 79 84 78 79 77 73 65 60 [84] 746
79 76 USA 1213 Andras Nady 78 74 81 78 77 77 76 78 72 88/DNF 57 [88] 748
80 94 USA 174 Bill Upthegrove 76 88/DNF 88/DNF 88/DNF 80 72 75 88/DNF 69 88/DNF 56 [88] 780
81 71 USA 100 Jose Oti 88/DNF 88/DNF 79 75 73 75 74 73 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 791
82 90 POL 691 Andrzej Skarka 77 76 77 88/DNF 74 88/DNF 88/DNF 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 822
83 95 USA 1214 Peter Connally 81 88/DNF 83 88/DNF 85 88/DNF 88/DNF 88/DNS 88/DNF 88/DNS 61 [88] 838
84 77 USA 32 Charles Heimler 88/DNF 88/DNF 84 88/DNF 81 81 80 79 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 835
85 89 FRA 126 Fabien Capeilleres 82 88/DNF 80 80 83 80 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 835
86 35 USA 40 Luke Lawrence (J) 79 88/DNS 88/DNF 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 78/DNS [88] 861
87 92 USA 27 Jeffrey Allen 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNS 88/DNF 78/DNS [88] 870

For daily reports check here - day1 - day2 - day3 - day4 - day5 - day6

 

2009 Finn Gold Cup - Vallenbaek, Denmark

 

1 DEN 2 Jonas Høgh-Christensen 20 (35) 17 1 5 7 4 1 2 6 2 65

2 USA 4 Zach Railey 10 6 6 6 (29) 4 7 13 1 7 6 66

3 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (31) 3 21 2 6 13 3 3 12 4 10 77

4 GBR 41 Giles Scott 6 16 1 13 (20) 8 5 2 13 1 16 81

5 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 17 2 13 (20) 8 5 20 12 3 3 12 95

6 GBR 111 Edward Wright 46 4 2 9 18 6 1 4 (bfd) 2 8 100

7 NZL 1 Dan Slater (33) 1 3 5 3 20 12 14 15 8 mdnf 103

8 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 22 19 16 4 4 (31) 2 6 7 11 14 105

9 CRO 25 Marin Misura 3 (21) 10 11 21 1 6 10 10 16 18 106

10 GBR 634 Andrew Mills 7 5 (32) 16 2 16 13 16 22 10 4 111

11 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 16 (52) 4 8 13 21 8 31 8 12 4 125

12 NED 842 Pieter Jan Postma 13 (56) 27 14 39 9 9 9 4 9 1 134

13 NOR 1 Peer Moberg 2 13 15 22 22 17 17 (24) 14 5 9 136

14 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 12 34 (47) 3 9 18 19 21 5 14 2 137

15 CZE 1 Michael Maier 28 (47) 7 18 19 10 14 5 17 13 10 141

16 FRA 115 Thomas Le Breton 5 18 18 25 12 14 26 8 18 (27) 8 152

17 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 9 28 5 15 (dnf) 25 22 7 23 19 5 158

18 AUT 3 Florian Raudaschl 27 23 14 10 10 27 16 (30) 6 20 6 159

19 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert (57) 9 19 35 53 2 10 11 11 17 3 170

20 RUS 9 Eduard Skornyakov 32 8 35 17 1 29 15 (dsq) 19 15 14 185

21 ESP 7 Alejandro Muscat (37) 32 8 23 11 12 18 22 21 25 16 188

22 POL 7 Rafal Szukiel 4 7 25 33 15 30 29 15 16 21 (bfd) 195

23 ITA 117 Giorgio Poggi 19 26 28 7 14 15 (dsq) 34 28 22 12 205

24 SWE 6 Björn Allansson 29 42 (44) 19 28 3 21 27 24 18 15 226

25 POL 17 Piotr Kula 8 29 12 28 31 45 11 17 25 33 (bfd) 239

26 ITA 101 Riccardo Cordovani 24 22 9 31 17 26 38 44 33 (63) 23 267

27 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif (J) 26 10 23 41 (60) 11 39 41 39 43 19 292

28 CZE 52 Tomas Vika (J) 34 40 11 26 26 42 (50) 19 41 32 22 293

29 GRE 8 Alexandros Dragoutsis 41 (57) 22 48 24 36 37 23 26 28 17 302

30 NED 64 Wietze Zetzema 18 39 50 24 (51) 22 24 38 40 29 24 308

31 POR 5 Frederico Melo 56 (60) 29 37 36 23 23 50 20 26 11 311

32 CAN 1 John Romanko 38 (59) 30 34 27 41 30 28 32 34 28 322

33 NED 839 Timo Hagoort 30 12 37 21 30 47 41 52 (55) 40 20 330

34 USA 1140 Bryan Boyd 1 30 24 29 7 54 27 26 (dnf) 51 bfd 337

35 ITA 123 Filippo Baldassari (J) (65) 53 26 38 54 34 34 29 27 31 25 351

36 GBR 99 Henry Bagnall 53 43 (70) 39 32 46 35 25 44 23 21 361

37 RUS 707 Egor Larionov (J) 48 27 38 43 (74) 35 25 62 31 38 26 373

38 NED 787 Nanno Schuttrups 23 14 51 42 55 (bfd) 36 45 36 42 30 374

39 UKR 1 Oleksiy Borysov 66 (dnc) dnc dnc 16 19 43 20 9 24 7 380

40 DEN 9 Thomas Mørup-Petersen 54 25 42 46 (bfd) 40 31 42 43 48 37 408

41 NED 41 Karel van Hellemond 49 33 39 30 65 49 28 59 29 30 (bfd) 411

42 IND 11 Nachhatar Johal (64) 15 31 49 50 44 53 54 38 41 40 415

43 DEN 46 Kaspar Andresen 39 24 20 59 45 32 49 53 50 44 (bfd) 415

44 RUS 1 Alex Selivanov 15 11 45 62 23 (73) 55 39 69 68 33 420

45 USA 5 Andrew Casey 50 (67) 59 27 35 59 33 49 51 47 18 428

46 HUN 6 Gaszton Pal (85) 41 36 51 34 38 66 65 34 35 32 432

47 BRA 5 Henry Boening (82) 74 49 40 40 61 47 48 30 37 13 439

48 BUL 24 Mihail Kopanov (69) 46 41 54 33 51 52 37 45 52 38 449

49 CZE 3 Rudolf Lidarik 44 50 34 45 41 39 58 (60) 56 58 27 452

50 AUS 235 Timothy Castles (87) 58 63 32 76 33 54 18 35 56 29 454

51 HUN 8 Márton Beliczay 35 54 (74) 53 25 72 48 43 52 46 35 463

52 NED 844 Gert van der Heijden 45 37 (64) 57 44 52 59 51 42 49 31 467

53 CAN 7 Adam Nicholson 59 51 67 47 49 (68) 42 35 37 53 36 476

54 UKR 21 Anton Sadchykov (J) 40 44 (66) 58 61 66 44 33 57 39 39 481

55 EST 11 Lauri Väinsalu (J) 25 38 54 (dnf) 47 58 40 70 46 36 bfd 502

56 USA 619 Caleb Paine (J) 14 64 48 44 67 24 65 56 59 62 (bfd) 503

57 DEN 231 Kenneth Bøggild 76 20 40 70 48 55 62 47 47 50 (dnc) 515

58 GER 165 Dirk Meid 60 (73) 56 56 64 60 46 40 49 55 34 520

59 USA 9 Ian Cook (J) 52 49 55 50 43 28 60 58 (dnf) dnc 47 530

60 TUR 7 Akif Muslubas 11 55 33 52 73 37 56 63 67 (bfd) bfd 535

61 NED 45 Dennis de Ruiter 63 (71) 52 67 69 53 32 36 61 61 41 535

62 DEN 3 Jørgen Svendsen 47 69 43 61 46 (75) 68 55 62 60 43 554

63 USA 808 R. Phillip Ramming (86) 36 61 74 72 48 61 61 54 57 42 566

64 GER 203 Hartmut Duisberg 55 70 69 73 57 43 51 46 63 59 (bfd) 586

65 ITA 2 Marco Buglielli 67 31 (79) 63 71 74 63 66 58 54 44 591

66 NED 11 Henk de Jager 78 62 53 64 63 50 57 57 (dnf) dnf 45 617

67 HUN 128 Peter Haidekker 58 45 46 77 42 77 67 (dnc) 64 65 bfd 629

68 SUI 496 Thomas Gautschi 62 65 76 75 37 65 64 67 60 64 (bfd) 635

69 SWE 1 Olof Lundqvist 75 76 75 72 38 62 (dnf) 69 48 45 bfd 648

70 EST 7 Harles Liiv 73 48 (dnc) 36 68 dnc 45 32 dnc dnc dnc 654

71 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 21 17 (dnf) 12 dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc 666

72 DEN 201 Nikolai Ratzlaff 79 66 (dnc) 76 79 57 72 68 65 66 46 674

73 CZE 11 Patrik Deutcher (J) 71 80 57 71 82 64 71 (dnf) 66 67 50 679

74 DEN 218 Jesper Petersen 70 79 68 69 59 67 (dnc) 71 53 69 bfd 693

75 GRE 71 Panagiotis Davourlis 36 68 65 65 81 70 69 64 (dnc) dnc dnc 694

76 ITA 38 Claudio Bosetti 42 78 62 66 52 71 (dnf) dnc dnc dnc dnc 723

77 GER 242 Peter Corbett 77 82 71 80 78 63 70 (dnc) 68 dnc 49 726

78 ITA 97 Carlo Recchi (J) 51 75 58 55 56 (dnc) dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc 735

79 HUN 728 Elemer Haidekker (J) 43 83 81 81 66 56 73 (dnc) dnf dnc bfd 747

80 GER 262 Uwe Barthel 72 72 73 79 62 81 (dnc) dnc dnc dnc 48 751

81 DEN 6 Lars Hall 61 63 72 60 58 (dnf) dnf dnc dnf dnc bfd 754

82 SWE 40 Sverker Härd 84 61 78 (dnc) 70 79 dnc dnc dnc dnc 51 775

83 USA 56 Charles Heimler 83 84 77 78 77 69 (dnc) dnc dnc dnc 52 784

84 GER 174 Matthias Bohn 74 (dnf) 60 68 dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc 818

85 DEN 258 Christian Qvist 81 77 80 82 75 76 (dnf) dnc dnf dnc dnc 823

86 GBR 631 Richard Hart 80 81 (dnf) dnc 80 78 dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc 847

87 HUN 212 Richard Hirschler (J) 68 (dnf) dnc dnc bfd 80 dnc dnc dnc dnc dnc 852

 

 

Finn Gold Cup 2009- Vallensbaek, Denmark

Friday 3 to Saturday 11 July

Event website: www.fgc-2009.com

Event blog: http://finnclass.blogspot.com *Event website: www.fgc-2009.com * Class website: www.finnclass.org

Web quality photos can also be obtained from: http://photos.fgc-2009.com
For high res photos please go to: http://pressphotos.fgc-2009.com
[Free use with credit]

All boats in all races can be tracked live thanks to TracTrac through www.fgc-2009.com

TV footage will be available each day of the championship on EBU (European Broadcasting Union). Low resolution footage for website will be available from Tuesday. Access codes upon request to:

Corinne Mckenzie/IFA : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Mobile: +33670101813
Christian Borch/Danish Federation: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 


Finn Gold Cup Preview

The form book is wide open going into next week's Finn Gold Cup at Vallensbæk, near Copenhagen in Denmark. With a different winner at each major European event so far this year, picking favourites is easy, but picking a winner would be a hard call.

So far there are 98 entries from 30 countries including just two former champions. Rafal Trujillo (ESP), winner in 2007 is back again along with 2006 Champion and local favourite Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN), who is sailing his first regatta since the Olympics last summer.

Post Olympic years are normally down in numbers, but this year’s Finn Gold Cup has, in real terms, attracted the largest post Olympic turnout for 24 years - apart from 2005 when 100 boats were supplied in Moscow.

Most have come expecting light winds, but so far that has been far from the case as the sailors make last minute preparations. One of the best performers so far this year, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) said, “Up to now I thought this was a light wind place but today I got out of car and got blown by the wind. So this confirms that you can get any wind anywhere, and in this way I prepared myself for this.”

Hogh Christensen adds, “We can expect anything. Windy and shifty, light and shifty, a light onshore seabreeze or a strong. But both mean decent waves.”

Kljakovic Gaspic continues, “Lots of guys have been sailing all the year and they are sailing great, like Ed Wright, Giles Scott, Rafa Trujillo. And there are guys who were sailing some events and they are also peaking for the Gold Cup, like Marin Misura, Daniel Birgmark and Zach Railey. I think everybody will be a threat.”

The world number three ranked sailor said, “ I am really happy with the kit I am using this year. I have found one really good mast and the sails are old. This season I have been giving a lot of focus to the World Cup and on Gold Cup. Learn about sports betting sites. So far I am satisfied but I have one more goal to score.”


Media

The events promises to be one of the most highly promoted dinghy events ever with extensive TV and internet coverage being planned. Jakob Nybroe from the organising committee explains.

“Getting TV coverage for a sailing event in Denmark has traditionally been very difficult. Though sailing is a very popular sport for a lot of Danes the national media have tented to prioritize more traditional "TV-sports", such as football, cycling, tennis, etc. This is also why we are very excited that through the "Inviting the World of Sport" programme we managed to secure enough funding for the production, and even more excited that DR (Danish Radio and Television) have agreed not only to provide us with airtime every evening on one of the most popular sport shows on Danish TV, but also to distribute the footage through the Eurovision network, Learn about slot machine, which basically means that every major TV station in Europe and throughout the world will have free access to footage from the Finn Gold Cup.”

He continued, “The TV coverage together with the live tracking of ALL participants for ALL races means that the FGC 2009 will be one of the best covered sailing events ever held in Denmark.”

The event will also be reported on in a number of ways:

- Live boat tracking through the official event website at www.fgc-2009.com

- Class blog and Twitter feed at http://finnclass.blogspot.com

- Multimedia coverage available through the event website

 

Local favourite

Former world champion and long time number one Finn sailor Jonas Høgh Christensen is sailing his first event since the Olympics.

He said, “This year I have probably had 6-10 days in the boat before the first race. I have gone sailing a couple of times with some of the boys who have been around for training leading up to the event. I am expecting to have a fun event. With almost no days in the boat I have lowered my expectations but I am sure once we get started I will want to win.”

On the competition, he said “Ed Wright looks strong, Rafa Trujillo is always in the game, so is PJ Postma and a couple of the experienced guys such as Zach Railey, Dan Slater, and Daniel Birgmark. But also young guns as Giles Scott and Dennis Karpak are on good form and for sure keen to win. It's always an open regatta in the Finn which makes it so much fun.”

“I am also quite sure that the hospitality will be great. The plans I saw were awesome, so if they manage that it will be fantastic.”

Form guide

Rafael Trujillo (ESP) – World Ranking 1st

2004 Olympics silver medalist and 2007 World Champion. One of the most experienced sailors in the fleet now and is very likely to competing for medals come the end of the week. Traditionally very strong in a breeze, he lost a lot of weight for Qingdao and has struggled a bit since then, but is still winning races and should be a strong contender.

Pieter Jan Postma (NED) – World Ranking 2nd

After taking the silver medals at the 2007 Finn Gold Cup and the Pre-Olympics Postma has never quite reproduced that form. Very physical sailor who can perform very well in big winds and big waves, he has been a bit inconsistent of late, though quite capable to taking a medal next week. Best results this year was seventh at the Delta Lloyd Regatta.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) – World Ranking 3rd

After his performances this year he is one of the top favourites for this event. Convincingly won Hyeres, second in Kiel and third at the Delta Lloyd. One of the lightest sailors in the fleet, he tends to prefer lighter conditions, but is gradually improving in the breeze so expect to see him near or at the front by the end of the week. Finish eighth in Qingdao.

Gasper Vincec (SLO) – World Ranking 4th

Produced some great results over the past couple of years but yet to take a major title. Third in Hyeres this year, his best result was third in the 2007 Finn Gold Cup and generally in the picture at most regattas. Expect to see Vincec in the top five or six going into the medal race.

Daniel Birgmark (SWE) – World Ranking 5th

Finished a frustrating fourth in Qingdao and his best result this year was sixth at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Clever, thoughtful and experienced sailor who can never be written off, Birgmark has never really realised his potential in the Finn class and though has won many races hasn’t medalled at a championship yet.

Zach Railey (USA) - World Ranking 6th

Silver medalist in Qingdao after making rapid progress through the fleet in the last two years. Now regularly top ten in major events and this year was third at the Rolex Miami OCR and fifth at the Delta Lloyd. Sailing fast and clever, Railey is very fired up for this event and should be among the top few.

Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) – World Ranking 8th

Home town favourite who is ‘ending’ his 2008 Olympic campaign here. World champion in 2006, he says he is ‘here for fun’, but no doubt if thing go his way will be as competitive as ever. Was the number one ranked sailor in the world rankings from 2006 to 2008, but hasn’t sailed more than a few days since the Olympics, where he finished a disappointing sixth.

Ed Wright (GBR) – World Ranking 10th

His ranking position doesn’t reflect his performance this season with wins at the Rolex Miami OCR, and Delta Lloyd regattas, second in Palma and third in Hyeres. He is the current leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup and has won that title before the final event in Weymouth. For many Wright will be the top favourite to take the title. Previously European Champion in 2006, his best Finn Gold Cup results was third in the same year.

Rafal Szukiel (POL) – World Ranking 11th

Surprise winner of last week’s Kiel Week, which will boost his confidence going into the Gold Cup. Has been there or thereabouts for many years and is an experienced seasoned campaigned who clearly has the ability to get to the front. Finished tenth in the 2008 Olympics but yet to medal and a major championship.

Giles Scott (GBR) – World Ranking 17th

One of the fastest rising stars of the fleet in his first year as a senior, Scott won the Junior worlds last year and trained extensively with Ben Ainslie before the 2008 Olympics. Has performed outstandingly well so far this year. He won Palma, was fourth in Hyeres and second in Holland, Scott has to be one of the favourites for a medal, if not the title if he can keep it going.

Other potential race winners could come from: Peer Moberg (NOR), bronze medalist in the 2007 Pre-Olympics and Laser bronze medalist from 1996; Eduard Skornyakov (RUS), 2007 European Champion who is starting to show some form; Tapio Nirkko (FIN), who can be blisteringly fast on his day; Bryan Boyd (USA), who has won races at several World Cup events this year; Marin Misura (CRO), who has won races at gold cup level and is always a tough competitor; Michael Maier (CZE), who has produced some great results so far this year and is sailing fast; and Deniss Karpak (EST), newcomer from the Laser who has already finished top ten in several events including a third in Kiel Week.

Measurement and registration starts on Friday 3rd July, with the opening ceremony on Saturday 4th, and the practice race the following day. Ten qualification races are scheduled between Monday and Friday with the medal race and the final race for the rest on Saturday 11th July.

 


Finn Gold Cup declared open

Sunday 5th July

On a boiling hot afternoon in Vallensbaek, the opening ceremony of the 2009 Finn Gold Cup was held alongside the beautiful Vallensbaek harbour together with free drinks and an impressive feast laid on by the Municipality of Vallensbaek.

So far 89 Finn sailors from 30 nations have completed registration and measurement to compete for the 2009 title and on Sunday afternoon the practice race took place in the waters off the harbour.

The closeness of the upcoming competition was perhaps only matched by the closeness in the main event tent at the opening ceremony. The weather over the past week has been almost tropical with blue skies and soaring temperatures, with just enough breeze for the sailors to do some last minute training. A change in the weather on Sunday has brought cloudy and humid conditions with light offwind winds. Rain is expected sooner or later.

After a few short speeches by Mr Steen Hillebrecht, Chairman of Vallensbaek Sailing Club, Mr Balazs Hajdu, President of the International Finn Association and Mr Kurt Hockerup, the Mayor of Vallensbaek a band carried on proceedings accompanied by the chatter and munching of the Finn sailors, their guests, event officials and club members.

Balazs Hajdu said, “ I am very proud that the Finn class chose Vallensbaek and Copenhagen in Denmark for the 2009 Finn Gold Cup because Denmark has been and still is a great supporter of Finn sailing.

“I am also happy and proud to see such a huge fleet in Denmark this year, especially in a post Olympic year. I wish all the best to our sailors, fair wind and may the best man win.”

Mr Hockerup said, “It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the biggest sailing event in Denmark this year. It is 50 years since the Finn Gold Cup was last held in Denmark, when the greatest sailor ever from Denmark, Paul Elvström, won.”

“Being one of the largest sailing clubs in Denmark, I know from personal experience that Vallensbaek YC is well qualified to host this event in the best possible way. Vallensbaek harbour will provide a great framework for the event. You will be given excellent conditions for some great racing.”

“I would like to thank everyone involved in contributing to make this event a success and wish you all a fair week with competitive racing. Good luck to you all.”

The practice race on Sunday was a quiet affair in a 4-7 knot offshore wind, that proved very tricky. By the final leg only seven boats remained in the race with Henry Bagnall (GBR) sailing well to take a very narrow victory from Uwe Barthel (GER).

Class meeting

At the class AGM on Saturday night the meeting discussed various issues. The major championship calendar to 2012 was completed with the 2012 Finn Gold Cup going to Falmouth, UK, the 2012 Europeans to Scarlino, Italy and the 2011 Finn Silver Cup (Junior Worlds) returning to Moscow Sailing School.

The 2008 Olympic silver medalist Zach Railey (USA), who is also the Vice President – Development, reported on the progress of a pilot programme to get junior sailors started in the USA, which has resulted in Caleb Paine attending regattas in Europe and this Finn Gold Cup. Railey said the goal was for the programme to be adopted by at least five more countries this year.

Railey also updated the meeting of progress with the 2010 FGC at St Francis YC in San Francisco, USA. The FGC will be preceded by the Silver Cup (Junior World Championship) where it is hoped 25 boats will be made available by the strong and growing US fleet for the Juniors.

It was noted that the class marketing strategy was working well with more than 20,000 hits on the Finn Channel, the Finn classes YouTube site that was launched last November, as well as through the Finn Focus reports from each day of the World Cup regattas since Palma.

With no rule changes on the table this year, discussion turned to ways to encourage more juniors into the class (this year's Silver Cup in August has already attracted 45 young sailors), ways to prevent unrestricted gear development and its related high costs, as well as plans to organise transport of boats in containers or curtain-siders between major regattas so sailors spend less time on the road.

Time to go sailing

An event the size and complexity of a world championship takes a lot of work to get everything right and running smoothly and the organisers here have seemingly though of everything.

Jakob Nybroe from the organising committee said, “Hosting a Finn Gold Cup is no small task - the class carries a great deal of prestige, and therefore also a lot of attention from our national authorities, the sailing federation, ministry of culture etc. Michael Bernfeld and I have been the primary drivers, and we've basically been at it since we got the event awarded nearly two years ago.”

“Vallensbaek Sailing Club is 100% based on the efforts and time spent by volunteers - that goes for the organising committee as well as for the close to 50 people who will spend parts of their vacation making the event a great experience for all participants.”

“For this regatta we have gone to great lengths in making the event itself as convenient as possible for the participants - that means that all social events and official functions will take place at the venue itself, and it also means that the participants don't have to worry about paying for food and drinks during the 'after sail/wet bar'. The same applies to the opening reception, the prize giving, and the food for the mid-week party.”

Nybroe concluded “We are really looking forward to starting the event – there has been enough planning and organising - now it's time to go racing and have fun!”

The first two races of the championship are scheduled for Monday morning at 11:00.

 


Day 1 - Tricky conditions produce mixed bag on day one at Finn Gold Cup

Two testing raced sailed off Vallensbaek Harbour near Copenhagen in Denmark were completed Monday with virtually all the favourites picking up a discard. Race wins went to Bryan Boyd (USA) and Dan Slater (NZL), though Rafal Szukiel (POL) was the most consistent and leads overnight.

Starting on time at 11.00, the first race had one general recall before getting away under black flag. The 6-8 knots wind was patchy at best and those who favoured the right side – near the land- generally came out best.

Race winner Bryan Boyd (USA) said, “We could see there was a bit more pressure and a puff coming in from the right. It was super crowded at the committee boat but I knew I was just going to have to throw it in there and actually I didn't get a very good start but I managed to bail out quite quickly and just lived off of Giles' [Scott (GBR)] hip for long enough to get into the pressure. From there it was just two or three shifts and every time the pressure moved in it was just a bit more to the right so I could use it to take me back across the group.”

Boyd had a narrow lead round the top mark from Thomas Le Breton (FRA), Caleb Paine (USA), Andrew Mills (GBR), Marin Misura (CRO) and Peer Moberg (NOR).

Boyd continued, “The first downwind was nice for me. It's great when you get a little bit of breeze just in front of the group. The sea was not very chopped up and I had room to do my own thing.”

In fact the American sailed well clear of the fleet to win by over a minute. Moberg moved up to second place upwind and maintained that on the final downwind to the finish. Misura and Rafal Szukiel (POL) went further to the right on the downwind and picked up some places to finish third and fourth.

Boyd summed up his race win, “I've sailed a few of these and believe me it's good to take one down, especially the first race of the Gold Cup. It really sets the tone for the week so I'm psyched up and it's certainly going to be a great memory to take home.”

After another general recall, race two also got away under a black flag. With more cloud cover and some dark clouds coming down the race track, this race was to proven even trickier. At times the wind reached 10 knots, but was still very patchy.

Dan Slater explains, “I got a pretty good start near the committee boat end and managed to tack clear and basically the whole fleet then went right. We were looking good when we first tacked and then it went left and we were looking pretty sick until it started to head a bit, so I decided it was time to put the money in the bank and get across. Some of the other guys kept going and fell out of the breeze and paid for it. In the first race it paid big dividends to go further right, so maybe it was a bit risky tacking but it panned out for me OK. ”

Daniel Birgmark (SWE) led round the first mark followed by Christian Qvist (DEN), Slater, Timo Hagoort (NED), Alex Selivanov (RUS), Ed Wright (GBR) and Johal Nachhatar (IND). By the gate Birgmark was still leading, though Slater split tacks for a while.

“I passed Daniel on the second beat and then he passed me again and then just before the top mark I passed him again. We were just a few boat lengths apart. And again on the run he passed me and then I passed him.”

Several sailors got caught out because the wind at the top mark wasn't enough to raise the 'O' flag for free pumping, even though by the middle of the leg it had increased to 15 knots. “The middle part of the run was hard to limit pumping but towards the end it wasn't a problem as we were just hanging on by then!

Slater took the race win with Birgmark close behind. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) recovered well to place third while Wright moved up to fourth on the final leg.

Birgmark, who has taken a break since the Olympics said, “I have had a pretty long break from sailing after the Olympics so now I'm just focusing in getting back to the same level as last year. I am doing another campaign, but I will try to do broaden my sailing knowledge by doing more keelboat sailing and match racing. I think that will help me to develop the Finn skills as well.”

On this regatta he said, “It's good to see that there are so many Finn sailors challenging for the podium places this year. It will be an interesting Gold Cup. It's an open bay and I think we will have great sailing conditions. I'm also glad that there are many new younger sailors who begin to sail the Finn. It proves the Class is strong and competitive.”

Two of those new sailors had a good day today. In his first Gold Cup race, Caleb Paine (USA) placed 14th and sits in 39th overall, while 16 year old Jorge Zarif (BRA), placed 26th and 10th to sit in 13th overall.

Slater concluded, “'The conditions weren't great today, but the race committee did a great job. It was very shifty but there's nothing they can do about that. However the length of the races were perfect and it was well run. I can't complain about the hospitality either. It's pretty good to come in and get a free sandwich and a beer straight away.”

ISAF President Göran Petterson was also at the Finn Gold Cup today and presented the day's prizes to Bryan Boyd and Dan Slater.

Two more races are scheduled for Tuesday at 11.00



Day 2 - Steadier breeze brings favourites to front at Finn Gold Cup in Denmark

After two races sailed in a moderate southerly, Zach Railey (USA) has taken the lead at the Finn Gold Cup in Vallensbaek, Denmark. The first race went to Giles Scott (GBR), leading from start to finish, while the second race in a stronger breeze was won by Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN) in the closing stages as the very tight leading group surfed to the finished line.

As usual both races started after one general recall under the black flag. Race three was sailed in a patchy 9-10 knots. Race winner Giles Scott (GBR) started near the committee boat and favoured the right hand side. He said, “Out of the start I tacked off and went right and took a small shift back into the middle and as I was coming across I tacked beneath the leading group and got across the right again. I then tacked on the layline and actually ended up overstanding the first mark when a big right hand shift came in.”

Behind him at the top mark were Michael Maier (CZE), Mark Andrews (GBR), Ed Wright (GBR), Deniss Karpak (EST) and winner of race one, Bryan Boyd (USA).

By the gate Wright had moved into second while Dan Slater (NZL) sailed a blistering leg to round third. Scott maintained his lead on the final downwind. He said, “From there it was pretty simple. I was going pretty fast down the run and covered the fleet up the second beat and I had a big enough lead to ease off towards the end.” He took the race win from Wright, Slater, Andrews and Karpak.

Race four got underway in a slightly increased wind of 12-14 knots after the course was changed to accommodate a significant change in the wind. Again the right side was favoured.

Race winner Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN) tells the story. “It was a tough race but finally we had some decent wind with no 50 degree shifts up the first beat. So far I have been on the wrong side of every big shift. I got a good start and played the right side and tried just to stay in the top ten coming round the first mark.”

Giorgio Poggi (ITA) led round the top mark ahead of Tapio Nirko (FIN), Rafael Trujillo (ESP), Florian Raudaschl (AUT) and Andrew Mills (GBR).

Høgh Christensen rounded in seventh. “Down the run I sailed a little straighter to the bottom mark and had some good pressure and led through the gate. I tried to stay in front up the beat and tacked for the windward mark ahead with a little group group got a 20 degree shift and just managed to pass me. I couldn't do anything about it but it was really close.”

Trujillo rounded the top mark in the lead with Zach Railey (USA), Slater, Nirkko, and Høgh Christensen right behind him.

Høgh Christensen continued, “I rounded in fifth and then tried to get in the grove again downwind and took the lead the final 100 metres to the finish.” He crossed the line surfing just seconds ahead of Ivan Kjlakovic Gaspic (CRO) who moved from about 12th to second on the final run, Tapio Nirkko (FIN), Trujillo and Slater.

The Dane said, “It was close racing for sure and finally all the top guys were up there and the leading group were all within 10 seconds at the finish. It was a real drag race and finally a proper Finn race. Everyone was fighting hard and laughing and having a good time fighting. It was perfect.”

The winner of race three had a different story. Scott said “I had a very bad start in the second race. I managed to get my tiller extension caught under the traveller on the start line. I was flapping around and in a right mess. I managed to dig myself out of that and went up the middle right, not as far right as the leaders did but I ended up 13th round the windward mark.

“In fact I was all over the place today. I was laying the final windward mark and a shift came through and I did a really bad tack and fouled the boat behind so ended up doing turns and lost more places. But it's only the second day.” He is lying second overall, while Slater had the best of the day to move up to third.

Yesterday's overnight leader Rafal Szukiel had problems. He said, “Most of the downwind was not good for me. I was not fast today. I lost a lot and just couldn't get going. But tomorrow is another day and another two races.”

Nirkko finally had a good race after a poor start to the series. He said, “I played the right corner on both beats. Downwind was free pumping which was really fun as you could really catch the waves. The last downwind was really exciting. Rafa lost his lead half way down the leg. He took an angle away from some of the others and they closed up, but the wind was very patchy, and it was really easy to lose the pressure. We finished really tight. One wave could make all the difference. And that's what made the sailing really fun.”

Høgh Christensen won the Finn Gold Cup in 2006 and is currently lying in 14th place after posting a 17th in Tuesday's morning race to add to his afternoon race win. This is his first regatta since finishing sixth at the Olympics last year and he has yet to decide if or when he will return to full time Finn sailing. “I like the boat, I like the class and made a lot of friends from all over the world. A lot of them have stopped as well so it won't be quite the same coming back. London 2012 is very attractive but this Gold Cup is, for the time being, my last Finn event. I actually had my very first regatta in Vallensbæk in Optis so some would say that I have come full circle. As of this Gold Cup I have ended my Olympic campaign but I have decided to have a look at it three months before the worlds in 2011 to consider a comeback.”

After four races the leader is the 2008 Olympic silver medallist Zach Railey (USA). Railey claimed two sixth places today to take an eight point lead at the top, though with the discard coming in after the next race, things could change considerable.

“Today I just tried to get up there and get a good position. It's been really shifty so far. But they're running really good races here given the conditions. When the wind changes they are shifting the marks and changing the line really well. I don't know why it was so shifty today. Yesterday it was off the land but today it was from the sea so should have been steadier and it was also pretty clear. We have seven more races to go and the regatta is not even half way over. You just have to keep your head out of the boat and make the best of what you get.”

Two more races are scheduled each day at 11.00 until Friday, with the medal race and the final race for the rest on Saturday.




 

Day 3 - Dan Slater takes lead at the Finn Gold Cup


After day three in Vallensbaek there is a new leader at the Finn Gold Cup. Dan Slater (NZL) heads the leader board but on the same points as Zach Railey (USA). Ed Wright (GBR) moves up to third. Race wins on Wednesday went to Eduard Skornyakov (RUS) and Marin Misura (CRO).

Wednesday dawned as most days this week with blue skies and a light wind in place. By the time race five started it was a patchy 8-9 knots. For the first time in the series, the left side paid with a large shift under the clouds.

Bryan Boyd (USA) led from the left to lead round the top mark for the second time this week. He was followed by Eduard Skornyakov (RUS), Andrew Mills (GBR), Alejandro Muscat (ESP), Florian Raudaschl (AUT) and Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN). Those on the right didn't look so good.

Boyd was unable to hold on to the lead. with Skornyakov taking over on the first run, which he held to the finish.

Mills sailed a great race into second. He said, “I didn't get a great start but played the shifts up the left hand side and actually rounded in third and managed to hang onto third at the bottom. The next beat it paid to go right, but perhaps not as much as people thought it would. I rounded second and kept there down the run to the finish.”

On the racing so far Mills said, “The right is paying mostly but a lot of people are thinking it is paying more than it actually is. If you can get the right shift towards the clouds then you're off. But there's been a few people sailing on headers trying to get to them. So far it's going all right for me and I've managed to be fairly consistent. The key will be to try and keep out of the big points for as long as possible. But there's a bit more wind forecast for tomorrow so hopefully it will settle things down a bit.”

Just a few boat lengths behind Mills, Slater had recovered to third in the race to take the overall lead of the regatta from Zach Railey (USA) who had finished 29th.

As the race finished the wind all but disappeared for an hour while the fleet waiting in the hot sunshine and blue skies, though a number of rain clouds could be seen tacking down the coast inland. When these passed by the wind filled in again and race six got underway in 10-12 knots, again with a practice start so the PRO could raise the black flag.

The first upwind was defined by a large shift half way up to the right and an increase in wind to 14-15 knots. Michael Maier (CZE) was furthest to the right and easily rounded the mark in the lead.

He said, “It was really busy by the committee boat so I started about 30 metres down from the boat. I tacked onto port, sailed about 200 metres and tacked, then did a long starboard and back again and tacked for the mark and rounded first. It was easy!”

Behind him were Marin Misura (CRO), Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Giorgio Poggi (ITA), Pieter Jan Postma (NED) and Wietze Zetzema (NED). Misura took the lead on the first downwind and held to the finish in the increasing wind, with the final run almost a reach in the changing conditions.

Second placed Jonathan Lobert (FRA) scored his best ever Gold Cup in race six. “On the first beat I stayed in the middle after starting at the committee boat then I lost a lot of guys after letting them go further to the right and rounded tenth, but then I touched it and had do do a turn. Then I got lucky on the second beat and caught a lot of boats by going right and getting a big shift. I was very quick downwind and gained a lot of distance but only two boats, so I am happy to finish second. It was great fun. Nice waves and good wind.”

Lobert, who has been sailing the Finn for three years, said “I like the class very much. There are two of us French guys training together for Weymouth, myself and Thomas [Le Breton] and we'll see who is best. We work as a team rather than being competitive, helping each other to try and be the best. This makes for a good atmosphere in the team.”

Third placed Allansson said, “I had a pretty good start by the committee boat and rounded the top mark in fourth. I gained two places on the first downwind. It was free pumping so it was pretty brutal. On he second beat I was leading for a while, but the group split into two, so I played the middle and rounded the mark second. The wind changed a bit more on the final downwind and I finished third which is a great result for me.

“I am really pleased with the second race today, but not that happy with my other results so far, but we still only half way through so it could still turn out OK.”

At 45, Maier is putting some of his experience back into the class coaching some Czech juniors. “We started last year with a little bit and continued this year in Palma because it is too cold to sail at home and we'll see how they get on at the World Juniors on Balaton next month. For me it's easy to be coaching them and sailing at the same time. I'm not really one for sitting in a motor boat. I think this will continue for the future and if I am still in one piece I will carry on sailing.”

One of these new sailors is Tomas Vika (CZE) who is currently sitting in 30th place, just four places behind the leading junior this week so far, Jorge Zarif (BRA) in 26th place.

The points at the top are close. Both Slater and Railey sit on 32 points with Wright on 39. All have posted at least one high score already, so any more could cost them dearly.

Two more races are scheduled each day at 11.00 until Friday, with the medal race and the final race for the rest on Saturday.



 

Day 4 - Ed Wright overcomes testing conditions to take lead at Finn Gold Cup

Sailors and equipment underwent a thorough testing on day four of the Finn Gold Cup in Vallensbaek, Denmark with strong winds introducing a new element to the championship. It was also all change at the top after race wins for Ed Wright (GBR) and Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN). Wright climbs to the top, with Giles Scott (GBR) in second and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) moving up to third.

The wind shifting further into the north and coming off the shore produced a selection of intriguing right hand and left hand shifts for the sailors to choose from. The Oscar flag for free pumping remained up through both races with wind speeds averaging 15 knots and gusting to 25 at times, with the windward loop/triangle course set.

For the first time this week, race seven got underway first time. Winner Ed Wright said, “I came off the line well and then tacked to the right. I had really good boatspeed and just pulled away to round the top mark in the lead.”

He was followed by Piotr Kula (POL), Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), Marin Misura (CRO), Rafael Trujillo (ESP and Mark Andrews (GBR). Wright gained some distance on the first downwind. “On the second beat I just loosely covered Rafa and the rest of the fleet and then sailed away from them again on the last reaches.”

Kljakovic-Gaspic finished third, “It was a tough day for me but came good at the end. In the first race I had a bad start and I ended up on the left. I was sure it was going to be shifty conditions and I was sailing on a starboard lift getting going quite a long way to the left. Then a new wind came in and I got a big advantage from that to go back over to the right and rounded in the top ten. The rest of the race was quite easy for me as I was fast on the downwind. On the second upwind before the top I was on the left and the rest of the fleet were on the right and in the last 200 metres I got a nice shift from the left and gained 50 metres on the group.”

Meanwhile Trujillo climbed to second with Høgh Christensen finishing fourth just ahead of Giles Scott (GBR).

Race two started after a brief intermission to allow a rain storm to pass over. The clouds brought 30 knots winds and cold rain but it soon passed and the wind dropped to 12-14 knots for the start of race eight, which also got away first time.

Wright said, “The second race was really difficult. Out of the start the guys on top of me weren't tacking. The rest of the fleet at the port end had tacked and were starting to cross us. They were taking all the lanes or I would have gone earlier, but I had good numbers so I was happy to keep going. But I was lucky that the right ran out of pressure. I rounded about 20th but then had a good downwind so that pulled me up to seventh and then on the last reach I was working really hard and finished fourth.”

Kljakovic-Gaspic had a much tougher time. “I think on the top mark I was 35th and I knew I had just one downwind and it was really important to surf as much as possible and to make up a lot of ground. So after the top mark I gave it 100 per cent and I gained lots and got in the middle of the top 15 and rounded close to the front pack. On the second upwind I sailed really smart and had some good moments to round the top mark in fourth with a couple of boats around me and I was really fast on the reaches and finished third.”.

“It was a great day. The wind was was good, but still very shifty. You just have to get used to these conditions and use them the best you can. In the first two days I was expecting them to cancel the race, but that didn't happen so you just have to keep going and make the best of what you have. Today was really exhausting for me, especially the second race.”

Race winner, Høgh Christensen tells the story of race eight. “The second race was very tricky. Before the start I thought I saw something coming out of the left and I was a little afraid because the right has been quite good so far and I decided to start at the pin and got a half decent start there. I was lying next to Bryan Boyd and shouted at him to drop his traveller because he was pinching and we just needed to just get across the fleet. We did and then rounded the first mark first and second.”

Behind them were Zach Railey (USA), Daniel Birgmark (SWE 11), Rafael Truijillo (ESP) and Michael Maier (CZE).

“The wind came in from behind on the run and a lot of people moved up and Giles came past and led at the bottom. The next beat was really shifty and I managed to play the shifts a bit better than Giles and pulled out a little bit. The left side came in quite well but I kept playing the middle and tried to stay safe and minimise the risk, and take a little out of Giles every time I had the chance.”

The Dane rounded the top mark clear ahead of Scott, Misura, Kljakovic-Gaspic and Wright and extended his lead down the spray filled reaches to record his second race win of the series.

By the finish, Wright had moved up to fourth behind Høgh Christensen, Scott and Kljakovic-Gaspic with Maier in fifth.

Høgh Christensen continued, “I would be happy with a top ten here but also when it's on, I'll do anything to win and today I gave myself that opportunity. There's still a good way to go and Ed has a good lead. If the forecast is right we are going to have a lot of breeze tomorrow and Ed usually doesn't make mistakes in that so he's going to be a hard guy to beat, it's going to be tight and a lot of good guys are in a good position.”

“For me, today couldn't be much better and I very much more relaxed than last year. I could see myself coming back to the class but right now there's no money to do that. That's my main problem right now. Sport in general in Denmark is getting a 20 per cent cut in funding, while everyone else is increasing by 20 per cent. I am all out of finance and I can't put myself in that sort of debt every year. So we'll see.”

The previous regatta leader Dan Slater (NZL) ended the day in 6th after a 12th and 14th. He said, “ It was one of those days. I wasn't that quick and it was pretty hard to play the game. The lack of sailing since the Games probably got found out a bit today to be honest. I'm also using equipment I've never really used before, especially in a breeze. I'm using a UK North for the first time in three years.”

“I kept being forced to tack off because I couldn't hold a lane so it's not just about missing shifts. But every time I was forced out of my lane it was another few boatlengths lost. It's one of those things. But we will have all closed up quite a lot today and there is still plenty to play for.”

One sailor who had a better day, Thursday was Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). With two ninth places he has moved up to 18th. Postma has been struggling with his form and not found the speed that led him to silver medal at the 2007 worlds and pre-olympics but is optimistic about the future. “I am getting good starts. Off the line I am looking good. By my strategy and boatspeed are not 100 per cent and that creates some doubts and that's not good. It's tough, and the level is high, but I have faith and patience and I'll get there. So no worries. I'm not actually sure what the problem but sometimes it's good to analyse and put some distance on it to pin point the issues. The winter was a little bit messy and I think if you have a steady winter you have a better season.”

“But today was nice. Perfect conditions. It's also a perfect atmosphere here. They have arranged everything here really well. I think it is one of the best, if not the best regattas I have been to. When you come ashore you get a bit of music, some beer and a sandwich. On the water there are perfect races. I am really enjoying it.”

The two final qualification races are scheduled at 11.00 on Friday, with the medal race and the final race for the rest on Saturday.



Day 5 - Drama at Finn Gold up as Zach Railey leads fleet into medal race

Zach Railey returned to the top of the leaderboard after a tough day at the Finn Gold Cup in Vallensbaek, Denmark. After leading the first race on Friday from start to finish he placed seventh in race 10 to go in into Saturday's medal race with a narrow three point lead over Jonas Høgh Christensen. Race ten was won by Giles Scott, who completes the top three places, a further two points back.

Fourth placed Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) is just two points further back and all four sailors have a realistic chance of taking one of dinghy sailing toughest titles in the double points medal race to be sailed just outside the marina at 11.00 Saturday.

Friday's racing was the toughest yet, with a cold south-westerly in place, raining most of the day with winds up to 25 knots and high seas.

Race nine winner Zach Railey (USA) takes up the story “I started down at the pin end and a left shift came in with about a minute to go and it took maybe 35 or 40 seconds before everyone tacked over to port before I could get over. But once I tacked it looked pretty good and I crossed all the way across the race course. I took one tack on starboard and got to the port layline and took one more shift and then myself and Bryan Boyd [USA] were 1, 2 round the top mark, so that was pretty cool.”

The Americans were followed round by Daniel Birgmark (SWE), Mark Andrews (GBR), Tapio Nirkko (FIN), Oleksiy Borysov (UKR) and Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN). Regatta leader Ed Wright (GBR) picked up a black flag, removing any chance of the world title for him, as he now has to carry a 46th from the first race.

Railey continued, “Daniel Birgmark and I had a really good fight on the first downwind leg and then on the second upwind, the left came in again and I was just a little to the left of Daniel and Jonas.” Railey led down the reaches to the finish, though Høgh Christensen closed the gap to finish second ahead of Birgmark, Pieter Jan Postma (NED) and Nirkko.

Though the wind and waves made for great, if tough sailing, the cold rain made for a dismal wait between races. After several false starts, it finally got away in a slightly reduced breeze. The pin end was favoured again and very crowded with a number of boats, including Railey and Høgh Christensen bailing out and restarting.

Giles Scott (GBR) won his second race of the series. He said, “In the second race I nailed the pin end tacked after about a minute or two and just cleared the fleet. Then I caught a big lift on starboard and went over the fleet again and had quite a lengthy lead round the first mark. It went right half way up and I was about the only boat to get into it.”

Railey added, “The pin end was really favoured and I didn't want to risk being OCS which would have blown the regatta for me so I held back from the line. We had to bail out and I found a lane to get out to the left side and worked my way through the fleet.” Høgh Christensen was thinking alike, “I could have pushed it harder and maybe gotten in there but I didn't want to take the risk and get an OCS on the board. I just wanted to stay clear of any trouble and decided to play it little safer today.”

Scott was followed round the top mark by Railey, Rafael Trujillo (ESP), Birgmark, Wright and Høgh Christensen. Scott continued, “I was pretty annoyed to see them [Railey and Høgh Christensen] there. I saw Zach had bit of difficultly at the start but he caught up nicely.”

Railey said, “We had a really good fight on the downwind but it got a little shiftier and lighter on the second upwind and I didn't want to take too many chances going to one side or the other and finished seventh so now have a good position going into the medal race.”

Scott extended on the downwind and went on to take the race win, while Wright caught up to second. Birgmark finished a steady day with another third place.

Scott said, “It's nice to have the fleet racing over. It's been quite a stressful week with the breeze being up and down. Today was better actually but there was till boats coming in from both corners, but it was just normally racing today. But it was so cold between races.”

Railey said, “The points are really close for tomorrow. It's all up for grabs and will be very tough. The medal race is supposed to be very exciting and I think we will have an exciting one tomorrow. There are four guys who can win and it will be interesting to see what happens. All you can really ask for is to be in a position to finish on the podium at the end of the day.”

Høgh Christensen agreed, “It's going to be be a fantastically tight race. All four of us are within a few points and anyone can take it, so I'm expecting a really tight and a good fun race.”

Scott was more bullish, “It's going to be tight tomorrow, but bring it on!”

So the medal race line up looks like this:

 

Zach Railey _USA

2008 Olympic silver medalist but yet to medal at a major championship. But sailing cooler and cleverer than ever, so this could be his year.

Jonas Høgh-Christensen - DEN

World Champion in 2006 and placed sixth at last year's Olympics. Hasn't raced since then and is here 'for fun', but his relaxed attitude is showing with the best scoreline of any sailor in the second half of the regatta,

Giles Scott - GBR

Fast improving young pretender who won last year's Junior Worlds in Melbourne. Won race three and ten here and has put together an impressive series. Placed second at the Delta Lloyd after leading all week and losing on the medal race to Wright.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic – CRO

Had an impressive series this year and been consistent this week, but hasn't won a race yet. Won Hyeres this year, and twice been runner up at the Europeans in 2007 and 2008.

Dan Slater – NZL

Only really just returned since taking a beak after the Olympics and has a few rusty areas, but a great competitor. Can take silver if things go his way.

Daniel Birgmark – SWE

A typical performance from Birgmark this week. Very steady. Could just take the bronze, but it's a long shot.

Marin Misura – CRO

Won a race this week, but too far adrift to take a medal. Made the top ten at the 2007 Gold Cup, but lost out on Olympic selection to Kljakovic Gaspic.

Rafael Trujillo – ESP

2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2007 World Champion. Made life hard for himself this week with too many high scores and no possibility of a medal.

Edward Wright - GBR

European Champion in 2006, and third in the Finn Gold Cup that year. So far this year he has won two ISAF Sailing World Cup events, won three of the medal races and has taken an unassailable lead in that series to take the title before the final event in Weymouth. But Friday's black flag has cost him dearly.

Andrew Mills - GBR

Sailed a great series here for his best ever Gold Cup result. A lot of work to do to move up from 10th, at 15 points adrift of Wright, but could easily be up the front.

The medal race is scheduled for 11.00 on Saturday, with the 11th race for the rest to follow immediately afterwards.



Day 6 - Fairy tale ending as Jonas Høgh Christensen wins Finn Gold Cup

Sailors competing at the Finn Gold Cup in Vallensbaek, Denmark knew he would be dangerous, but not even Jonas Høgh Christensen really thought he would win the world title in his home waters after taking nine months off since the Games last year. But win it he did, saying “It's amazing, absolutely amazing. I am lost for words.” Zach Railey placed third to take the silver medal while Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic took the bronze.

The medal race was sailed in near perfect conditions. The Oscar flag was raised at the start for free pumping downwind in the 12-14 knots wind and to make things complete the sun was out again.

From the start, the fleet split into two groups with Zach Railey (USA), Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN), Ed Wright (GBR) and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) tacking straight away to the right. A few well timed tacks brought Railey to the front on a big left hander about half way up the leg.

At the first mark it was Railey, Høgh Christensen, Andrew Mills (GBR), Rafael Trujillo (ESP), Wright, Giles Scott (GBR), Daniel Birgmark (SWE), Dan Slater (NZL), Marin Misura (CRO) and Kljakovic Gaspic.

Høgh Christensen said, “Zach had tacked off to the right out of the start and I wanted to follow him and we seemed quite lifted on port tack and it looked good. Then Zach went back and I went further out right. I let him go out to the left and it seemed OK as I was controlling the fleet on the right and then Zach got a big shift on the left and passed everyone and got back into the race and suddenly was leading. It was pretty tight at the top mark.”

Railey takes up the story, “When we went around the top mark the first five or six boats were really close and I knew it was going to come down to that first downwind. Unfortunately for me Jonas was able to get around the leeward mark just before me and then he stayed on top of me from there which was exactly what you are supposed to do. By the time we got to the second windward mark I had to start worrying about protecting second place. Jonas was pretty far in front and he had put two boats in between us on the second beat, which had given me some bad air, which is again exactly what he should have done. Fortunately I was able to have a really good last downwind to finish third, but there was still one boat in between us so he wins by a single point.”

Høgh Christensen said, “Zach was leading and then he lost a lot on the run and I passed him and a lot of other guys passed him and that really made my race. I just wanted to get in front of him so I could tack on him on the second beat to try and put a boat between us, but he fell into a hole or something and dropped back a bit and my race was pretty much made then. That made it easy. I had a good first run, I used all the energy I had to try and pull out and that succeeded.”

At the downwind gate Høgh Christensen led from Mills, Wright, Kljakovic Gaspic, Railey, Trujillo, Birgmark, Scott and Misura. Slater had capsized near the top of the downwind and had broken his mast.

The first downwind was also crucial to Kljakovic Gaspic. He said, “At the start of the first beat I messed up a couple of shifts and was at the back at the top mark. I passed lots of boat on the first downwind and then at the final mark I was fifth or sixth. I went a little bit to the left hand side of the course with good pressure and managed to pass all the fleet from the right, really sailing fast and pushing myself to the max. Then round the second top mark I was about fourth.”

At the second windward mark, Høgh Christensen had built a nice lead, having covered Railey up the beat and put four boats between them. The Dane led from Mills, Birgmark, Kljakovic Gaspic, Wright, Railey, Trujillo, Scott and Misura.

The Croatian continued, “On the downwind Zach was close to me and I needed to three boats between us which would have been difficult so I concentrated on keeping Giles behind me so I could at least get the bronze. In the middle of the last downwind it felt really good for me. I was in a good position in third in the middle, 60 metres ahead of the pack behind, but then ran out of pressure and was waiting 2-3 minutes to get a gust. Meanwhile the guys from the left, Zach and Ed, got good pressure and got in front of me. Anyway I was really happy to finish in front of Giles and win the bronze.”

Second in the race was Andrew Mills, “It wasn't too shifty today. There were some left handers coming in a bit as we went up the course. But the downwind legs were just my conditions really. I had a little practice beforehand and I thought the waves were nicer on the left downwind. I am really pleased with second and thought I had a chance of getting Jonas on the first run but he did it very nicely and was off.”

Afterwards, Railey said, “I am a little disappointing not to win but I can hold my head high with a podium finish at the world championship. This is the first worlds I have actually finished in the top 28. I haven't had very good luck at the Gold Cups before, so my strategy was to come here and try to finish consistently in the races and give myself the best shot at the medal race, which is what I did. I can't complain about second pace at the world championship for sure. It definitely hurts a bit not being on top of the podium but we'll have fun tonight and move on.”

On wining his second Finn Gold Cup in his own country, Høgh Christensen said, “It's amazing, it's an absolutely amazing feeling. I'm lost for words. To be honest I didn't think it could happen. I wanted to compete here because it was in my home country, but I hadn't really trained for it at all. I have been on the water about six times since the Games. Of course I have trained 250-300 days a years for the last eight years so I've done a lot of hours. I've done my time. It wasn't hard getting back in the boat. The physical issue was the biggest problem but I think the will to do it played a big part as well as trying to be a bit smarter than everyone else.”

“And then I started out badly and thought I had lost it. Then the weather started acting a little bit easier and suddenly the results started coming in. I still felt I was out of it but I just moved up and up and by today I was suddenly in second. Today was just a case of go out and fight for it.”

And the future “That's a good question. I don't know. I'll be sailing a little but what I will be sailing I don't know. I enjoy the Finn a lot. I think it is a great boat and a great class with lots of fun. I am racing against some very good friends here and it couldn't be much better. Everyone is cheerful and happy and congratulate each other. But right now, I don't have the money to do it and that's the main issue.”

Talking about Høgh Christensen, silver medalist Railey said “To be honest taking a break is a one of the best things that you can do. I also took a very long break after the games and then started sailing again in January. Then I had to have an operation in March and then took some more time off and I think that once I got done with my rehab I got back in the boat and felt really fresh. Of course physically you aren't there as much as you'd like to be but mentally it really refreshes you and I think that is something that Jonas had. He felt really good in the boat and is enjoying being back sailing again and even though you aren't training you still have all the skills set that you have had, but sometimes you just need a little break to feel refreshed and then you get going again.”

Third place Kljakovic Gaspic was elated with his third place finish. He commented, “This is the first ever medal for any Croatian sailor in Finn Gold Cup history so this is very special for me. Everybody wants to win it but there are only three places on the podium and to get there at all is really special.”

Just after the medal race, the rest of the fleet completed their 11th and final race, with a large number of sailors sent home early under the black flag. Pieter Jan Postma (NED) took the race win from Tapio Nirkko (FIN) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA). Mark Andrews (GBR) hung onto 11th place with a fourth place finish. In the juniors Jorge Zarif (BRA) narrowly beat Tomas Vika (CZE) with Filippo Baldassari (ITA) in third.

An exciting medal race was a fitting end to a tough championship and a fairy tale ending for Høgh Christensen. This may well be the end of his Finn career, at least for the time being. Coming into the regatta just 'for fun' with a very relaxed attitude, he beat a field of full time sailors and proved that the greatest battle is often with yourself.

The host club have put on a show to be proud of. The welcome and the hospitality have been extraordinary, and all the competitors and supporters have enjoyed a great week in Vallensbaek. Our hosts have done a fantastic job.

Complete online tracking of races 3-11 can be found thanks to TracTrac at: www.tractrac.com/fgc

The event blog and Twitter feed is at: http://finnclass.blogspot.com


 


2008 Finn Gold Cup - Melbourne, Australia

 

Place

Sail No

Skipper

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

M/9

Total

1

GBR3

Ben Ainslie

4

13

1

[18]

1

8

4

4

4

39

2

NZL1

Dan Slater

1

1

4

3

16

[32]

6

5

10

46

3

DEN2

Jonas Christensen

8

4

[14]

11

6

6

1

9

8

53

4

NED842

Pieter Jan Postma

11

3

13

[20]

7

1

2

6

ocs

65

5

SWE736

Johan Tillander

9

6

[48]

9

20

4

11

13

6

78

6

CAN41

Chris Cook

15

19

5

1

2

[26]

13

7

18

80

7

GBR111

Edward Wright

21

11

6

4

15

24

3

[41]

2

86

8

GRE7

Emilios Papathanasiou

6

2

11

7

4

dnf

35

15

12

92

9

NOR1

Peer Moberg

5

10

21

6

13

[29]

23

8

16

102

10

CRO524

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic

[26]

12

9

5

12

19

9

23

14

103

11

FIN218

Tapio Nirkko

7

[44]

8

13

24

9

21

12

26

120

12

AUS221

Anthony Nossiter

10

15

3

21

9

[30]

19

22

23

122

13

ESP100

Rafael Trujillo

[42]

16

19

17

8

17

12

18

16

123

14

GBR41

Giles Scott (J)

28

5

31

16

11

13

8

[36]

19

131

15

SLO5

Gasper Vincec

[54]

14

12

29

3

38

5

25

11

137

16

POL7

Rafal Szukiel

[32]

24

15

8

30

3

24

16

31

151

17

SWE11

Daniel Birgmark

33

20

[42]

15

27

25

14

1

18

153

18

GBR625

Ed Greig

22

[38]

27

31

17

15

7

21

15

155

19

ITA117

Giorgio Poggi

3

7

[45]

32

26

36

33

10

22

169

20

IRL5

Timothy Goodbody

25

29

[51]

33

21

23

16

3

21

171

21

FRA73

Guillaume Florent

20

31

[62]

23

5

11

39

2

43

174

22

POL12

Waclaw Szukiel

19

[45]

17

14

23

28

27

27

20

175

23

CRO25

Marin Misura

14

[58]

16

39

10

2

30

44

36

191

24

ITA101

Riccardo Cordovani

18

18

30

28

28

12

34

[63]

29

197

25

RUS9

Eduard Skornyakov

12

33

32

22

29

35

10

[58]

33

206

26

FRA69

Jonathan Lobert

24

34

22

25

34

[37]

15

29

24

207

27

GBR634

Andrew Mills

[66]

8

36

19

36

34

29

14

40

216

28

USA4

Zach Railey

46

39

34

2

14

27

bfl

20

37

219

29

CYP19

Haris Papadopoulos

2

43

18

42

33

33

32

[51]

17

220

30

CZE1

Michael Maier

41

32

2

44

[47]

21

22

33

25

220

31

GBR88

Mark Andrews

16

35

59

10

19

18

36

28

bfl

221

32

AUT3

Florian Raudaschl

17

22

ocs

38

31

20

18

11

blg

240

33

GER174

Matthias Bohn

47

9

7

49

51

16

[62]

32

34

245

34

CHN1

Peng Zhang

30

40

[57]

48

22

7

38

38

32

255

35

CHN226

Bo Liu

23

[51]

43

12

44

42

50

34

14

262

36

POL17

Piotr Kula (J)

43

37

ocs

27

25

47

20

24

41

264

37

ITA925

Michele Paoletti

35

30

33

52

18

43

41

dnf

13

265

38

FRA972

Ismael Bruno

44

26

35

41

39

[60]

25

26

42

278

39

TUR211

Ali Kemal T Fekci

[57]

42

23

50

42

10

31

54

47

299

40

NZL21

Nik Burfoot

48

17

ocs

34

37

57

26

43

46

308

41

UKR21

Oleksiy Borysov

34

21

10

dnc

raf

41

17

57

50

313

42

POR5

Frederico Melo (J)

[65]

23

44

47

35

52

37

31

52

321

43

CHN11

Tianyu Ren

38

27

28

55

53

67

49

19

bfl

336

44

GBR99

Henry Bagnall (J)

40

50

47

26

45

50

[56]

35

43.6

336.6

45

TUR7

Akif Muslubas

49

54

24

45

43

59

[63]

30

38

342

46

GER771

Jan Kurfeld (J)

36

[71]

63

40

32

39

40

70

30

350

47

CRO11

Josip Olujic (J)

37

[73]

50

24

68

48

51

46

28

352

48

NED41

Karel Van Hellemond

29

56

40

64

40

53

54

17

bfl

353

49

CHN7

Lei Gong

51

55

20

30

49

[66]

66

39

56

366

50

RUS14

Dmitrii Tereshkin

39

46

46

46

[57]

51

47

47

53

375

51

CHN563

Aiming Chen

62

59

61

[68]

64

5

52

45

39

387

52

IND1

Nitin Mongia

13

53

55

62

[71]

56

55

59

35

388

53

VEN1

Johnny Bilbao

61

60

64

37

54

49

dnf

52

12

389

54

AUS243

Warwick Hill (J)

[68]

62

25

57

41

58

42

53

54

392

55

CZE9

Michal Hruby

31

47

60

35

56

bfl

43

37

blf

392

56

HUN6

Gaszton Pal

[72]

25

54

59

50

40

58

56

51

393

57

IND11

Nachhatar Johal

[67]

28

52

53

65

54

60

55

27

394

58

UKR5

Andriy Gusenko (J)

59

49

41

36

[62]

61

57

49

49

401

59

AUS226

Michael Williams

45

61

ocs

56

59

22

48

50

62

403

60

ESP1

Diego Fructuoso

53

41

ocs

43

52

14

83B

48

dnc

417

61

HUN5

Tibor Pallay

27

66

ocs

58

60

45

71

42

48

417

62

NED80

Sander Willems

73

36

58

65

46

31

28

dnf

83B

420

63

BUL24

Mihail Kopanov

50

[69]

39

61

48

44

64

61

61

428

64

USA9

Ian Cook (J)

55

57

29

54

63

46

67

64

bfl

435

65

ITA40

Marko Kolic

63

65

[71]

63

55

55

69

40

55

465

66

AUS223

James Paterson

[69]

48

49

69

69

63

45

65

60

468

67

NED29

Bas De Waal

58

72

26

[75]

72

70

59

67

58

482

68

EST7

Harles Liiv

52

52

53

60

61

dnf

44

dnf

blf

488

69

ITA70

Francesco Lubrano

71

68

38

66

66

64

72

[73]

45

490

70

AUS3

John Shallvey

74

75

56

[77]

58

71

53

68

44

499

71

AUS2

Rob Mcmillan

60

67

ocs

dnc

38

65

46

ocs

66

508

72

AUS234

Christopher Pratt

[77]

64

66

67

67

68

61

60

63

516

73

GER262

Uwe Barthel

70

76

37

72

74

72

dnf

69

64

534

74

224

Geoffrey Francis

[79]

70

67

76

73

69

68

62

57

542

75

POR310

Rodrigo Quina

76

dnc

70

70

70

62

65

71

59

543

76

AUS8

Anthony Wood

[78]

74

73

74

76

73

70

66

65

571

77

AUS228

Dirk Seret

75

[79]

68

71

78

76

73

76

67

584

78

SVK11

Robert Poor

80

78

65

73

75

74

dnf

72

68

585

79

AUS203

Edward Thorburn

82

77

69

79

77

75

74

74

dnc

607

80

ITA1

Luca Devoti

64

dnc

dnc

51

dnc

dnc

dnc

dnc

dnc

613

81

AUS241

Brendan Casey

56

63

dnc

dnc

dnc

dnc

dnc

dnc

blf

617

82

AUS233

Brian Reynolds

81

80

72

78

79

dnf

dnc

75

dnc

631

 

Finn Gold Cup 2008 - Melbourne, Australia

Finn Gold Cup preview - Last chance for Finn berths in Qingdao

Over the next two weeks, Finn fans from across the world will be turning their full attention to Port Phillip Bay, Australia as the class’s world championship, The Finn Gold Cup, gets underway this weekend at Black Rock Yacht Club.

The two questions that are uppermost in many people’s minds are who will qualify for the remaining six places at the summer Olympics, and can Ben Ainslie (GBR) win an unprecedented fifth Finn Gold Cup.

For the nations that have not already qualified for Qingdao, the competition to secure an Olympic berth will be tough. As far as Ainslie is concerned, he has already secured his place in the GBR team and after his performance at the recent Sydney International Regatta and Sail Melbourne, and it would be a brave soul who would bet against him next week.

Based on conditions experienced during Sail Melbourne, next week should prove similar with lots of wind and waves. Most of the sailors here have been training in strong winds to prepare for this Gold Cup, although there have been some lighter days as well. However, the majority of them have also been keeping to their diet for Qingdao.

The top priority for many sailors will be to secure one of the remaining six places at this summer’s Olympic Games in China. Nineteen nations have already qualified from last years ISAF Sailing World Championship in Cascais, Portugal. The pre-entry list includes 14 nations (AUT, BUL, CYP, EST, GER, HUN, IND, ITA, POR, RUS, SVK, TUR, UKR, VEN) that could fill these six places, and competition for these will be tough. In addition some of the sailors also have to meet individual national authority criteria to be included in the sailing team, and that could be tougher than actually qualifying the country.

Eduard Skornyakov (RUS) should be one of the favourites to qualify his country for Qingdao. After winning the Europeans in 2007 – albeit in the light winds and flat waters of Lake Balaton – many thought he would do the job in Cascais, but he failed to perform in the tough conditions.

While some of these hopeful nations are only fielding one sailor, for the nations with more than one sailor present there could be some interesting battles as they try to qualify both their country and themselves, without jeopardising either. It is certainly going to be interesting to watch the battles between the two Indians, the five Italians, the two Portuguese, the two Russians, two Turks and the two Ukrainians.

The nations that have qualified so far are: NED, ESP, SLO, GBR, CAN, GRE, DEN, CRO, SWE, AUS, FIN, FRA, NZL, POL, USA, CZE, BRA, IRL and NOR, and of these most have already concluded their sailor selection process.

The pre-entry list consists of more than 70 sailors from 33 countries, including many old and new faces. The only sailor in the top 20 not in Melbourne is Joao Signorini from Brazil, who is training for the next Volvo Ocean Race on the Ericsson boat.

The practice race is scheduled for 13.00 on Tuesday 22nd January. The opening first race is on the following day, with the final race and medal race planed for Tuesday 29th. Eight races, plus a final race and a medal race for the top ten are scheduled. A reserve day has been planned for Saturday 26th January

Now that Ainslie has been given the nod by the Royal Yachting Association to defend the Olympic title he won in Athens four years ago, the reduced significance of the much awaited battle between him and Edward Wright (GBR) will no doubt disappoint some observers, but with the pressure off, both of them will be able to focus more fully on the regatta. Although obviously disappointed by the early decision in Ainslie’s favour Wright has regrouped and is determined to show his form here. The battle between these two could define the event.

Favourites

Ben Ainslie (GBR)

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? Most sailors here probably hoped he would still be in the trials process so he might be distracted. His worst ever position at a world championship is first place, in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Now guaranteed a place in the British team in Qingdao, he has proved time and again that he is one of the world’s best sailors.

Daniel Birgmark (SWE)

Made several medal races last year and is always there or thereabouts but never converts this to a winning position. Birgmark is all round performer though who is always in with a chance.

Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN)

World ranked number one since June 2006, he finished a disappointing fourth place in last year’s world championship. Best result was world champion in 2006. His only ISAF Grade 1 events wins were all in the USA: he has twice won the Midwinters (2006 and 2007) and also won the Rolex Miami OCR in 2003.

Chris Cook (CAN)

Good all rounder but has failed on several occasions to convert opportunity into medals. Best result ever was the bronze medal at the Finn Gold Cup in Moscow in 2005.

Ivan Klakovic Gaspic (CRO)

One of the few sailors who has proven their ability to beat Ainslie in the conditions in Qingdao, Klakovic Gaspic threw away the gold medal on the last leg of the medal race in the pre-Olympics by capsizing while Ainslie was buried.

Anthony Nossiter (AUS)

Having already secured his place in Qingdao, Nossiter is sailing on home waters and likes the conditions in Port Phillip Bay. Qingdao will be Nossiter’s third Olympics, his best performance so far being a sixth place in Athens. Tenth in last year’s world championship, he will be looking to improve on that.

Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE)

The man who has never won a world championship but has come so close on too many occasions to mention is already qualified for his fourth Olympic regatta and will no doubt prove as competitive as ever. His best result was European Champion in 2001. Last year he took bronze at the Europeans and a fifth at the world championship after leading both regattas at the half way stage.

Pieter Jan Postma (NED)

An outstanding season in 2007 brought him silver medals at the world championship and at the pre-Olympics. Postma loves the breeze and should be a strong contender in Melbourne. These results and a host of other podium places lifted him to second in the world rankings.

Giles Scott (GBR)

Perhaps the dark horse of the fleet, he has been training hard and a third place in the Sydney International Regatta ahead of Edward Wright clearly indicates his potential for the future. Expected by many to be one of the main contenders in 2012, he should do well in Melbourne.

Rafael Trujillo (ESP)

Silver medallist in Athens behind Ainslie and the current world champion. Trujillo likes and performs best in big breeze so if Port Phillip Bay lives up to its reputation he could be a serious contender. His current world ranking of 8 doesn’t really reflect his current form.

Gasper Vincec (SLO)

A bronze medal at last year’s world championships capped a great season for Vincec, a recipient of an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship, Vincec is a good all rounder and has a knack for being consistent enough to be in with a chance at the end.

Edward Wright (GBR)

A tough decision by the RYA brought an early end to his trials against Ben Ainslie to win the GBR berth for Qingdao. However this may remove the pressure and provide him with the impetus to perform well here. European champion in 2006 and bronze medalist at the worlds that year he has been ranked in the top five in the world since October 2006.


Day one - Slater claims the day

There was no sharing from Dan Slater (NZL) at the 2008 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne. The New-Zealander won the day’s two races after patiently tailing the race leader and delivering the final blow on the last downwind leg to the finish.

The first race was sailed in moderate winds increasing from 7 to 10 knots. Light shifts made racing tricky and crowded mark rounding created enough turmoil to upset placings.

In the first race, Giorgio Poggi (ITA) who had finished 11th at the 2008 Sail Melbourne regatta last week, repeated his early form to lead the first race until the last down wind and crossed the line in third placed. The Italian lost two places on the last run to Slater and Harris Papadopoulos (CYP). Papadopoulos stepped into a Finn only 6 months ago, having his first race at the Olympic test event in China, last August. Since then, the ex-laser sailor has intensively trained with Emilios Papathanasiou and other top sailors in Greece and made great progress. The regatta started well for Indian Nitin Mongia (IND) who finished in 13th position after sailing smartly in light and shifty conditions.

The second race started with freshening breeze from 11 to 15 knots. Free pumping provided fun downwind sailing and a slight advantage to the favourites, well trained for this sailing style.

Matthias Bohn (GER) took a great start at the committee boat and played the shift to round the top mark ahead of Dan Slater (NZL), Gaston Pal (HUN) and Nick Burfoot (NZL). Bohn covered his opponents all race, but hurt his elbow on the last downwind. It was enough distraction for Dan Slater to close the gap and take his second bullet in front of Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) and Peter-Jan Postma (NED). Matthias Bohn crossed the line in 9th position.

It wasn’t the conditions expected by the favourites. Some of them collected heavy scores that could jeopardise their overall placings if repeated. While Ben Ainslie caught up from average starts to 4 and 11th places, World Champion Rafael Trujillo never recovered from bad starts scoring 58 points on his first day. “Just one of these bad days!” commented his coach on the shore.

Dan Slater is leading the scoreboard in front of Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) and Giorgio Poggi (ITA). In the Junior division, Giles Scott (GBR), placed 11th overall is dominating his opponents by an impressive margin.

One race is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.


Day two - Ainslie masters tricky conditions

The second day of racing at the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne proved to be challenging with light and shifty wind.

Multiple World and Olympic Champion, Ben Ainslie (GBR) made his way through the fleet to cross the line a few meters behind Florian Raudaschl (AUT). The young Austrian who had nurtured a good lead around the course could not match Ainslie speed on the downwind leg. To further his disappointment, Raudaschl found himself disqualified for starting early giving the race victory to Ainslie.

Michael Maier (CZE) enjoyed the lighter conditions to finish in second place and improve his overall results after a very disappointing start in the regatta.

Australian Anthony Nossiter improved from a poor start to take 3rd place. “I was on the second row but I decided to sail conservatively on the beat. I played the shifts in the middle of the race and passed a few on the run.”

Dan Slater (NZL) capitalised on his earlier outstanding results with a 4th place which gives him a comfortable lead on the overall standings, 12 points ahead of Ben Ainslie (GBR). He is the only sailor with one digit results so far. Ainslie had predicted the tough weather conditions: “We will all have to count with bad races in this regatta. Despite being strong, the wind is often shifty and quite hard to read.” Today he compared the sailing conditions with Qingdao. “We raced with light wind and the remaining big waves created by the earlier breeze.”

With most sailors training in strong wind to prepare for this event, the sailing conditions on the start of the Finn Gold Cup are taking most by surprise: “Not the weather I was expecting in Melbourne” declared Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), disappointed with a 15th place. Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) and Peter-Jan Postma (NED) lost about 10 places after sailing on the wrong side of the shift on the last beat.  However, the Greek is only losing one place to 3rd overall, while Hoegh-Christensen and Postma conserves their earlier 4th and 5th position.

It could have been a great day for Junior Piotr Kula. The young Pole finished the race in 11th place but was found among the 6 sailors disqualified at the start. Giles Scott (GBR) is loosing 5 places in 16th position after collecting 31 points today. He is still the clear leader of the Junior division. Ian Cook (USA) was the first Junior across the line with a 29th. He is placed in 4th place in the Junior classification, 5 points behind Federico Melo (POR) and 4 behind Henry Bagnall (GBR).

Two races are scheduled on Thursday.


Day three - Cook in full mode

Canadian sailor Chris Cook had a near perfect day in the 3rd day of the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne after winning race 4 and placing 2nd in race 5. Cook gains 5 places in the overall standings to 4th.

Ben Ainslie won his second race in the series to remain in 2nd overall, behind Dan Slater who retains the lead despite an up and down day.

The conditions were light when the sailors arrived at Black Rock Yacht Club this morning. Regatta PRO Bill Bell was already anticipating the possibility to postpone racing onshore to avoid a long unwanted wait on the water. Set like a Swiss clock, the wind started to fill in Port Phillip 30 minutes before starting time, allowing for the 4th race of the Finn Gold Cup to start. The conditions, like the previous days were light but fair with a stable 8 knots wind that didn’t go much over 11knots throughout the day.

Race 4 started under a Black flag with most of the fleet massed at the pin end of the line. While Chris Cook (CAN) and Dan Slater (NZL) took the best start, Ben Ainslie collided with Sander Willems (NED). He repaired his fault with a 720 but that cost him dearly, finishing 18th.

Meanwhile Dan Slater and Chris Cook where leading the fleet to the top mark. The Canadian took command on the run and increased his lead with skilful boat handling. Under the watchful eyes of the Jury he went on to win the race. Slater collected his first penalty for kinetics at the end of the first run allowing Cook to sail further in front. Zach Railey (USA) who had a disappointing regatta so far was glad to recover his good form from the Sail Melbourne regatta, to place second in front of Slater and Ed Wright (GBR). World ranked # 6, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic recovered from a 20th place after a yellow flag at the start of the first run to finish in 5th place. “I gained 10 places on the 2nd beat and another 5 on the last downwind leg”, explained “Bambi”.

The right side of the course was often the best choice. It was how Ben Ainslie won the second race: “I started on the pin end again but crossed to the right. I went on the right side again on the second beat and gained a few places. It looks like the right is often the way to go. It is surely a hard place to sail and the wind is not obvious to read.” Chris Cook repeated his first race tactic to finish second in front of Gasper Vincec (SLO). It was the first top 10 result for the Slovenian who has been struggling so far. Emilios Papathanasiou crossed the line in 4th place.

The top 3 place in the overall standing remains unchanged, with each of the 3 leaders discarding their only 2 digit results today. Today best improvement among the top 10 comes from Chris Cook who climbed from 9th to 4th place overall. While Guillaume Florent from France gains 16 places to 29th thank to a 5th in the last race.


Giles Scott (GBR) is in a class of his own, first junior in 14th position overall after scoring a 16th and 11th place today. Piotr Kula, who had collected a disqualification at the start yesterday, can finally discard 83 points. Along with 2 races in the 20‘s, the young Pole is the day’s best improver climbing from the 59th to the 37th place, he is now the second junior. Third Junior is Federico Mello from Portugal.

In the chase for Olympic places, Florian Raudaschl (AUT) places Austria on the list after dropping 83 points for OCS.

The Finn race had a special observer today. John Bertand (AUS), Sail Melbourne’s Patron (2nd at the 1972 Finn Gold Cup, and 1976 Finn Bronze medallist) watched the racing and was impressed with the changes in a boat he sailed 30 years ago: “This is way above the boat and the way we sailed in the 70’s. The rig has improved greatly; it is impressive for such an old design to have evolved this way. The athletes are so fit, just a pity they are so restrained by the jury. Kinetics should be free, these guys should be able to sail freely and express their athleticism.” When asked about his best memories in the Finn, Bertrand doesn’t hesitate: “Friends! Most of my best friends from today sailed a Finn at some stage. Because this is a single handed boat, you need to make friends. This is a boat that demands good qualities, the ability to accept the help and advice from the others. This is in fact a “team” boat. It is not easy for single handed sailors to integrate that in their mentality. It works as a natural filter to keep the best people. This is also such a demanding boat that sailors need to be tough. In the end it makes the sailors a better person!”


As Australia will turn in “holiday” mode tomorrow to allow everyone to properly celebrate “Australia day”, the sailors and officials will have a day off. Racing will resume with two races on Sunday. Tonight, the sailors were treated to a taste of Australian “wildlife on the Barbie” with Emu, Kangaroos, Barramundi and other local delicacies.


Day four- Slater under pressure!

Two races sailed Sunday in the Finn Gold Cup, are bringing the regatta favourites close together. Dan Slater is starting to really feel the pressure, he is still leading the championship but on equal points with Ben Ainslie. 2005 World Champion and World #1 sailor, Jonas Hoegh-Christensen is only 5 points behind the leader after a 6th and a victory in the last race. 2007 World vice-champion, Pieter-Jan Postma capitalised on the windier conditions today with a 1st and a 2nd place bringing the Dutch into serious contention for the title, 1 point behind the Dane and 6 from Slater. Greek sailor Emilios Papathanasiou has slipped from 3r to 8th overall after collecting a second disqualification on the first race and placing 36th on the second.

Race 6 started with a 12 knots unsettled sea breeze. The start was delayed on the water to adjust to the wind shifts. After a general recall, the race started under black flag very close to the shore…too close for Michael Maier’s liking. “I capsized before the start and I broke my mast on the reef”, complained Maier back ashore. The pin end was favoured but the fleet quickly crossed to the right. All but Dan Slater who decided to continue under the cliff to the left side. “It just kept getting worse! Then there were not many opportunities to pass. I must have gained a few boats downwind”, but not enough for the New Zealander, who collected more points in this race than all the others combined! Pieter-Jan Postma leaded the race from start to finish. Marin Misura (CRO) collected his first top ten results crossing the line in second place in front of Rafal Szukiel (POL).

Finally, the strong conditions expected for so long found their way to Port Phillip Bay. The wind had increased to 18/20 knots for the second race sailed with Oscar flag and a triangle course. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN) headed the fleet to the top mark then kept increasing his lead to the finish. “The regatta is really open now, I look forward tomorrow and more breezy races” declared the Dane. Pieter-Jan Postma was second in front of Ed Wright and Ben Ainslie. Gasper Vincec (SLO) who has collected irregular results was 5th on the finish with Dan Slater 6th.

“The other guys are coming into the loop too. It isn’t just between Ben and I, many are in the game. With another race and then the medal with double points, we still have a long way to go!” declares Slater when asked about being on equal points with Ben Ainslie.

Monday’s last fleet race will see a fight to qualify among the top 10 for the medal race.

Australian Anthony Nossiter is on the hot seat in 10th position overall on 77 points. He is tailed by Peer Moberg from Norway on 79 points, British junior Giles Scott on 81 and Tapio Nirkko 83. Current World Champion Rafael Trujillo (ESP) is racing well below his habitual form in 14th place.

The battle for Olympic qualification is going on with the 6th and last place strongly fought for. Ali Kemal Fekci (TUR) is getting closer to qualifying Turkey for the last spot after a good day placing 10th in the first race. Fekci has gained 9 places on the overall qualification in 35th position and 6th “unqualified nation”. However, Olexei Borisov from Ukraine, only 6 points behind is his most direct threat

In the Junior division, the top 3 remain unsettled with Giles Scott well ahead in 12th position. Piotr Kula (POL) is 2nd Junior in 36th and Federico Melo 3rd in 42nd overall. Current Junior World Champion, Jan Kurfeld gained 5 places today to still be in contention for the podium

One last fleet race is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Tuesday will be the championship final day with the Medal Race planned to start after the last race for those sailors placed 11th or more.



Ainslie takes lead

For the first time since the start of the Finn Gold Cup, the lead has changed hands.


After an intense race Ben Ainslie passed Dan Slater on the line to get ahead by one point before tomorrow’s medal race. With Pieter Jan Postma climbing to 3rd and Jonas Hoegh-Christensen in 4th position after a 9th in today’s race, the top 4 contenders are within 10 points going into tomorrow’s Medal race. It will be a four man battle for the title.

Today’s race was scheduled at 2.3O PM but Race 8 started 2 hours later. After a general recall, the course was postponed to wait for the wind to settle. One hour later, the racing committee decided to move the course further out to catch the breeze. The wind started to fill in and provided a nice race with the wind increasing up to 15 knots.

Sweden Daniel Birgmark sailed smartly to lead the fleet to the top mark. He stayed in control from start to finish and claimed the race. Ranked 7th in the World, Birgmark has known better days. “It was definitely worth the wait. It is good to finally sail well.”

Guillaume Florent from France and Tim Goodbody(IRL) took second and 3rd place. Ben Ainslie, tenth at the top mark, gradually gained places. Turning 5th onto the run, under Oscar flag allowing for free pumping, Ainslie stayed close behind Slater waiting for a good opportunity. A few meters from the finish, Ainslie gybed to take a wave that propelled him ahead of Slater.
31st at the top mark, Pieter-Jan Postma made a huge recovery passing 25 boats to finish 6th in the race.

“It doesn’t really matters who from Ben or I passed the other today” explained Dan Slater after racing, “tomorrow’s medal race counting double is minimising the one point gap between us.” This will not be the first time that the two sailors will be competing for the same title. “This is bringing some old memories of times when Ben and I where racing against each other in the Laser.” The New Zealander acknowledges that tomorrow’s will be a 4 men battle.

Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) is looking forward tomorrow’s final race: “I will prepare myself for an optimum race. I am not going out there just to beat the other guys. I will only focus on my sailing and I want to push my own abilities.”
The battle for the Olympic berths will see the last opportunities during the last race tomorrow. Turkey is still placed 6th nation among the countries yet to qualify. Ukraine and Portugal are only 11 and 17 points behind and will try for their last opportunity tomorrow.


Ben makes it five


Although Wright held on to win the medal race, a second place from Ainslie was enough to win him the Finn Gold Cup for the fifth time. In 2005 Ainslie set a record by winning the event four times in a row and being the first sailing ever to win it four times. H e has now set a record that will surely never be broken. To win the Finn Gold Cup once is a massive achievement by any standard. To win it twice is exceptional. To win it more than three times is nothing short of monumental.

The medal race started in a 15 knot south westerly with Ainslie starting well and Slater burried and having to tack away. Wright got the best start at the pin and was never headed, while Slater recovered to fifth to secure the silver medal with Hogh-Christensen placed fourth to snatch the bronze from Postma as was disqualified as a premature starter Two other battles also took place on the final day. In the Junior division, Giles Scott has been leading the contest since the first day and had securedbthe Junior title although the fight was on for the second and third places. Piotr Kula and Federico Melo retained their overnight position to take Silver and Bronze.

After being deemed as a premature starter, Henry Bagnall missed out on the Junior bronze.The other battle was for Olympic selection. With the first five already assured qualification (ITA, RUS, CYP, AUT and GER) the sixth place came down to POR, UKR and TUR. Federico Melo missed out on Olympic selection by just 22 points. The 6th country overnight was Turkey and although Ukraine and Portugal tailed the Turk closely, Fekci managed to keep his direct opponents at bay qualifying his country and himself for the Olympics. Junior European champion in the Finn in 1993, Ali Kemal Fekci stopped racing in the Finn in 1996 to try his luck in the Laser. “I was coaching the Chinese Laser team in Qingdao and realised that it could be my type of conditions. I asked my Federation and started again in the Finn two months ago.”

 

2007 Finn Gold Cup - Cascasis, Portugal

GOLD FLEET

 

          1 2 3 4 5 6 7 MR/8

1

ESP

100

Rafael

Trujillo

3

2

15

4

1

3

7

2

2

NED

842

Pieter Jan

Postma

5

13

1

1

1

6

5

6

 

3

SLO

5

Gasper

Vincec

4

6

3

2

4

1

33

10

4

DEN

2

Jonas

Hogh-Christensen

3

2

2

10

6

11

1

8

5

GRE

7

Emilios

Papathanasiou

1

1

12

3

2

4

35

14

6

GBR

111

Ed

Wright

4

1

5

2

5

19

4

16

7

CAN

41

Chris

Cook

1

6

3

8

2

2

38

20

8

SWE

11

Daniel

Birgmark

19

9

1

5

3

23

2

4

9

CRO

25

Marin

Misura

5

7

8

1

15

8

3

18

10

AUS

221

Anthony

Nossiter

8

5

8

6

7

10

19

12

11

CRO

524

Ivan

Kljakovic-Gaspic

2

11

5

10

4

14

16

13

12

FIN

216

Tapio

Nirkko

15

7

4

16

8

12

11

9

13

FRA

972

Ismael

Bruno

12

16

13

4

6

32

6

10

14

GBR

41

Giles

Scott

12

10

7

9

11

17

8

14

15

AUS

241

Brendan

Casey

17

3

16

7

10

38

23

2

16

NZL

1

Dan

Slater

11

22

9

3

13

13

12

17

17

POL

12

Waclaw

Szukiel

13

3

28

14

9

21

13

7

18

GBR

6

Chris

Brittle

9

4

9

11

14

33

17

18

19

USA

4

Zachary

Railey

19

11

11

9

13

15

36

5

20

CZE

1

Michael

Maier

2

8

17

12

17

9

21

25

21

SWE

736

Johan

Tillander

14

14

14

38

12

7

9

19

22

GBR

88

Mark

Andrews

18

5

25

7

5

29

26

4

23

BRA

10

Joao

Signori

14

10

6

26

3

26

34

6

24

POL

7

Rafal

Szukiel

8

12

29

15

10

22

25

3

25

IRL

5

Tim

Goodbody

10

13

11

38

20

5

24

12

26

NOR

1

Peer

Moberg

7

12

10

8

16

20

30

23

27

ITA

117

Giorgio

Poggi

24

8

32

15

16

16

18

8

28

GBR

550

Matt

Howard

6

25

23

12

8

25

20

15

29

CZE

9

Michal

Hruby

29

4

18

13

21

34

15

11

30

GBR

625

Ed

Greig

6

9

30

19

18

28

14

20

31

RUS

9

Eduard

Skornyakov

11

22

4

5

24

30

27

24

32

IRL

10

Aaron

O'Grady

25

14

22

22

9

27

10

16

 

33

GER

174

Bohn

Matthias

21

15

7

19

25

35

31

1

34

FRA

69

Jonathan

Lobert

7

27

21

11

7

24

32

28

35

NED

64

Wietze

Zetsema

23

18

15

21

12

18

22

22

36

POR

5

Frederico

Melo

9

31

12

14

14

38

28

21

37

UKR

21

Oleksiy

Borysov

31

19

2

16

17

31

29

28

 

SILVER

 

FLEET

38

NED

80

Sander

Willems

10

16

29

13

38

3

1

72

39

NED

6

Stefan

De Vries

17

15

20

38

20

6

3

81

 

40

AUT

271

Florian

Raudaschl

38

17

6

20

26

11

2

82

41

ESP

1

Diego

Fructuoso

18

24

17

20

21

2

10

88

42

CHN

188

Peng

Zhang

24

23

13

18

19

4

11

88

43

ITA

101

Riccardo

Cordovani

16

24

19

17

28

5

10

91

44

POL

17

Piotr

Kula

26

21

31

6

18

1

29

101

45

ITA

40

Marko

Kolic

20

20

16

17

33

9

19

101

46

CAN

1

John

Romanko

25

23

22

23

15

8

12

103

47

AUS

226

Mike

Williams

16

18

19

24

22

15

15

105

48

ESP

836

Alberto

Vadell

20

20

38

21

38

7

4

110

49

GBR

634

Andrew

Mills

23

19

31

25

11

20

14

112

50

VEN

83

Johnny

Bilbao

22

17

30

18

19

19

19

114

51

NED

41

Karel

Van Hellemond

26

27

23

24

23

13

9

118

 

52

USA

11

Geoffrey

Ewenson

30

26

26

27

24

12

5

120

53

EST

7

Harles

Liiv

13

29

21

23

22

16

37

124

54

BLR

7

Alexander

Mumyga

21

21

27

28

29

10

22

129

55

NED

787

Nanno

Schuttrups

15

28

20

29

30

17

24

133

56

SWE

6

Björn

Allansson

28

26

33

28

29

26

7

144

57

HUN

6

Gaszton

Pál

36

33

18

26

28

18

23

146

58

TUR

7

Akif

Muslubas

34

30

14

22

31

33

22

152

59

USA

55

Andrew

Casey

22

28

27

32

23

21

37

153

60

BUL

24

Mihail

Kopanov

28

32

24

31

38

22

18

155

61

IND

11

Nachhatar

Johal

27

29

26

34

38

14

30

160

62

ESP

161

Miguel

Fernandez

27

34

10

33

27

31

33

161

63

IND

1

Nitin

Mongia

32

36

34

31

25

34

6

162

64

GBR

589

Peter

Davidson

31

30

25

30

26

32

26

168

65

CZE

3

Rudolf

Lidarik

35

33

24

27

38

23

30

172

66

USA

9

Ian

Cook

32

36

35

30

35

28

13

173

67

DEN

231

Kenneth

Boggild

33

34

32

38

32

24

23

178

68

SUI

469

Thomas

Gautschi

34

32

35

29

27

27

29

178

69

POL

1

Pawel

Pawlaczyk

35

25

34

25

34

29

34

181

70

EST

3

Heiko

Eesalu

29

35

36

38

38

30

16

184

71

HUN

8

Márton

Beliczay

30

31

28

38

38

35

25

187

72

HUN

5

Pallay

Tibor

33

35

38

38

38

25

33

202

73

AUS

54

Nathan

Quirk

36

38

33

38

38

37

37

219

 

Finn Gold Cup 2007

Cascais Portugal

 

Results - Photos - Video clips

Event website: www.cascaisworlds2007.pt

 


Preview

 

The 2007 Finn World Championship starts on Thursday 5th July as part of the ISAF Worlds, currently under way in Cascais, Portugal. Moderate to strong winds and clear blue skies have so far indicated a challenging week of superb sailing conditions ahead.

 

Ten races are scheduled between this Thursday and next Tuesday, with two races each day and a rest day on Sunday. The opening three days will be a qualifying series with Monday and Tuesday of next week being sailed in Gold and Silver fleets before the medal race for the top ten and the final series races for the rest of the fleet on Wednesday.

Competition within the Finn class class is often regarded as one of the toughest of Olympic sailing disciplines, combining physical prowess with technical knowledge and tactical expertise. The 77 Finn sailors here in Cascais are competing for the Finn Gold Cup, the classes world championship trophy, and one of the oldest and elitist dinghy trophies sailed for on the international stage.

The Finn is also the oldest Olympic dinghy, having been used at every Games since 1952, when it was selected following a design competition for a single-handed dinghy. Designed by Rickard Sarby from Sweden in 1949, the Finn may be 58 years old, but it is arguably one of the most modern looking hiking dinghies around with epoxy moulded hulls, carbon wing masts and hi-tech sails.

 

The 35 nations represented here in Cascais include many sailors from established nations as well as a number of new and emerging nations trying to qualify for one of the 19 Olympic places at the 2008 Games. At the recent European Championships – albeit held in light winds on Lake Balaton on Central Europe – the top 19 nations finished in the top 26 places. This is going to make gaining one of this initial batch of Olympic spots very hard indeed.

The Basics

 

Event: Heavyweight dinghy

Equipment: Finn

Fleet size: 77

Nations: 35

Olympic qualification places: 19

Reigning World Champion: Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN)

Reigning Olympic Champion: Ben Ainslie (GBR)

Leading Challengers

 

Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN)

Current world ranking: 1

Best results: World Champion 2006, 9th in 2004 Olympics

Form: Should adapt well to the conditions off Cascais. Likes steady, breezy conditions and has a powerful downwind technique when the wind exceeds 12 knots and unlimited pumping is permitted. He has held the ISAF World ranking top spot since June 2006 and has to be one of the firm favourites for this event. Results so far this year include fifth at the Europeans, a sixth at the Breitling Regatta and second places at Hyeres and Princess Sofia.

 

Ed Wright (GBR)

Current world ranking: 5

Best results: European Champion 2006, 3rd Finn Gold Cup 2006

Form: In the absence of his main competition for the 2008 GBR Olympic spot – Ben Ainslie (GBR) who has been involved in the Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup campaign – Wright will be looking for a solid performance to bolster his chances of going to the pre-Olympics this August as well as giving the selectors a definite indication that Ainslie is not a dead cert for Beijing. Finished third at the Breitling Regatta and fourth in Hyeres.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO)

Current world ranking: 3

Best results: European Championship 2006, 2nd.

Form: After entering the class in 2005, Kljakovic Gaspic immediately began to make his mark winning the Junior World Championship in his first year and following that up with an 8th in the Finn Gold Cup in 2006. This year he has clearly improved further with podium places at four major regattas and a very close second place at the Europeans.

 

Dan Slater (NZL)

Current world ranking: 2

Best results: 2ns European Championship 2005

Form: A win at the Breitling Regatta in May confirmed Slater as one of the top favourites for 2007. He has finished in the top ten at every ranking regatta except two since he entered the class from the 49er (a class in which he finished 8th in the 2000 Olympics) in 2005, and has steadily moved up to rankings to his current second place. Very determined and committed, Slater is definitely one to watch.

Chris Cook (CAN)

Current world ranking: 9

Best results: 3rd Finn Gold Cup 2005, 6th Finn Gold Cup 2001,

Form: When on form, Cook can produce great performances, but sometimes struggles with consistency. Cook has been the top ranked North American Finn sailor since he entered the class in 2001 and has a very physical style around the boat.

 

Pieter-Jan Postma (NED)

Current world ranking:

Best results: 2nd Breiltling Regatta 2007

Form: Jumped into the Finn from the Laser in 2005 and has steadily improved since then. Sometimes inconsistent he has recorded a string of individual race wins this year in windy conditions and could prove hard to beat if he doesn't make too many mistakes. Finished a disappointing 15th at the Europeans after a third at Princess Sofia, seventh in Hyeres and second in Holland. Likes the breeze so could do well here.

Emilios Papathansaiou (GRE)

Current world ranking: 4

Best results: European Champion 2001, runner-up Finn Gold Cup 2005, 2006, third in Finn Gold Cup 2000, 2001, 20002, 5th in 2004 Olympics

Form: Probably the most experienced Finn sailor in the fleet, Papathanasiou has had excellent speed all year, winning Hyeres on the medal race and was the only sailor at this year's Europeans to win more than one race. Sometimes a risk taker, and with a liking for flamboyant end of line starts the Greek sailor is still looking for his first World Championship win, after finishing on the podium five times in the past seven years.

Anthony Nossiter (AUS)

Current world ranking: 13

Best results: 2000 Olympics 6th

Form: Another member of the +39 America's Cup team here in Cascais, Nossiter has proven very capable of winning races, and is a powerful, strong sailor who likes the breeze. Trying to qualify for his third Olympics ahead of fellow Australian Brendan Casey.

 

Daniel Birgmark (SWE)

Current world ranking: 6

Best results: 4th 2006 Finn Gold Cup, 14th 2004 Olympics

Form: Although he hasn't repeated some of his success in the Laser class, Birgmark has always been there or thereabouts and is consistent throughout the wind range. Quite capable of winning races and putting together a good series. Main competition for Olympic berth is Johan Tillander, who is 10th on the ISAF rankings, having placed 7th at last year's Europeans and Gold Cup.

 

Rafael Trujillo Villar (ESP)

Current world ranking: 11

Best results: Silver Medalist 2004 Olympics, 2nd Finn Gold Cup 2003

Form: Although Trujillo has taken time out of his Finn sailing to compete on board the +39 America's Cup boat, he has still maintained his high ranking position since winning the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. With a definite liking for windy conditions, Trujillo should perform well here is there is a solid wind every day.

 

Guillaume Florent (FRA)

Current world ranking: 48

Best results: 2nd 2006 Europeans, 8th 2004 Olympics, 6th 2006 Finn Gold Cup

Form: Not sailed much since the 2004 Olympics where he famously protested Ben Ainslie out of the second race, but is good in a breeze and capable of posting a good series here.

Ones to watch...

 

Eduard Skornyakov (RUS)

Current world ranking: 66

Best results: 2007 European Champion

Form: Recently shocked the established sailors by claiming the 2007 European title on Lake Balaton in Hungary, without winning a single race and after only nine months in the Finn. His home club is Moscow Sailing School, so it will be interesting how how adapts to the open sea conditions of Cascais.

 

Gasper Vincec (SLO)

Current world ranking:

Best results: Europeans 2005, 3rd

Form: Just won Kiel Week following a fourth at the Europeans, so perhaps peaking at thwe right time. Although Vincec has regularly been in the medal races this year, he seems to struggle in the high pressure regattas, while winning low pressure ones. Often cited as good in light airs and small fleets, Vincec finished a lowly 20th in the 2004 Olympics

Waclaw Szukiel (POL)

Current world ranking: 12

Best results: 4th Finn Gold Cup 2005

Form: Entered the class in 1997 and has put in some race winning performances, but the 4th in Moscow in 2005 marks the best he has sailed at a major event.

 

Rafal Szukiel (POL)

Current world ranking: 17

Best results: 8th Europeans 2007

Form: Taller than his brother and having sailed in his shadow for a number of years, Rafal has produced better form on average in the past year and could easily produce a top ten and race winning performance this week.

 

Zach Railey (USA)

Current world ranking: 15

Best results: 6th Europeans 2007

Form: Admits to still being on a steep learning curve, Railey entered the class in 2005 and will be one of the youngest sailors here. Outside chance of winning individual races.

 

Peer Moberg (NOR)

Current world ranking: 16

Best results: Rolex Miami OCR 2007 1st

Form: Moberg moved into the Finn in 2005 after three successful Olympics in the Laser, including a bronze medal in 1996. Apart from the occasional regatta he has failed to break into the top ten

Joao Signorini (BRA)

Current world ranking:

Best results: 2004 Olympics 10th

Form: Only got back into the Finn for the first time since the Athens Olympics in September 2006 after competing on Brasil 1 in the VOLVO OR. So far this year he has made it to two medal races including a 10th at the Europeans.

 


Day one - The waiting is over...

 

The 2007 Finn World Championships – and the first opportunity to qualify for the 2008 Olympic regatta – started in near perfect conditions in Cascais, Portugal with race wins for Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE), Chris Cook (CAN) and Ed Wright (GBR)

 

Racing today was scheduled to start on course three at 13.00, however the earlier promising wind had dropped to almost nothing by the start time. Racing finally got underway at 14.00 as the offshore breeze gradually built to reach 25 knots by the times the Finns headed for home some four hours later. The racing was sailed in two fleets, yellow and blue, started 10 minutes apart. The first off, the yellow fleet, sailed an outer trapezoid course, while the blue fleet sailed an inner trapezoid course.

 

Yellow fleet

 

The first race for the yellow fleet started in 7-10 knots of wind. Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) couldn't have hoped for a better start to his 2007 Finn World Championship campaign. In the first race he rounded the first mark in seventh place and gradually worked his way up the fleet to the front and then led round the final offwind legs to the finish. In the second race he led from start to finish, extending his lead to end the day with a perfect score and lead the championship with 2 points.

The early leader in race one, Liiv Harles (EST) was followed by Alexander Mumyga (BUL) and Ricardo Cordovani (ITA). Papathansaiou was in the lead by the second windward mark and never looked threatened, while Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) worked up from a poor first beat into second place and Høgh-Christensen recovered well to finish third. Lots of high ranked sailors were struggling mid-fleet.

Michael Hruby (CZE) was close on Papathanasiou's transom in race two but could only watch while the Greek sailor sailed away from the fleet. With Hruby dropping to fourth by the finish, Høgh-Christensen had pulled through to second while Brendan Casey (AUS) sailed well to place third.

 

----------------------------------------------------------

Get to know the sailor: Daniel Birgmark (SWE)

If I were not in Cascais I would be...at home with my family

My top tip for this week is...be careful of the starts, as they will be cracking down on premature starters and using the black flag

My main strength is...probably tactics

My proudest moment is...when I became a father a year ago

My friends would say that I'm....a nice friend I hope, maybe you have to ask them

I am very bad at...many things and keeping time

My philosophy for life is...have fun,

I think the favourites this week are...there are many favourites, that could do well. And now we have the guys from AC racing back here - and more prepared than in Balaton - so they could do well.

The best thing so far about Cascais is...sailing conditions, but many good things here such as a good organising committee, friendly people and great hospitality

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...do what we are now doing now in the Finn class to make the class more media friendly with on board cameras and tracking systems. I also think it's really good that so many Finn sailors are getting involved in making this happen.

----------------------------------------------------------

 

Blue fleet

 

Second placed overnight, Ed Wright (GBR) described racing in blue fleet. He said, “The first race was very tricky as the wind went back and forth and neither side really paid that much. Half way up the first beat there was a big right hand shift that left a lot of us stranded on the left. I managed to get back to fourth, taking places both downwind and upwind, but doing three laps helped a bit.”

Michael Maier (CZE) - one of the many returning Finn sailors from the +39 America's Cup challenger - was the early leader in race one until he was eventually wound in by Chris Cook (CAN) who went on to win the opening race.

 

The second race was started in 10-15 knots of breeze and Cook again took the lead. Rafael Trujillo (ESP) – who was third in the first race – took over Cook's lead by the second lap, but then Wright took his turn and led to the finish. Wright continued, “In the second race I got a reasonable start, and had a really nice race. A couple of times the right paid and a couple of times the left paid, but I just tried to stay with everyone else really.” Summing up his day he said, “Overall, I am pretty happy with today as I was really just trying to survive. Course three can be a bit tricky, and I think we actually got some good weather out there today – it can be quite random at times.”

One casualty of the stronger wind was Dan Slater (NZL) who after an average performance in race one, rounded the top mark in fifth, capsized and let the whole fleet sail past him before he got his boat upright again. He later said, “Now I have capsized the Finn twice in my life and both times were at world championships.” Slater has recently been elected to the ISAF Athletes Commission as the Finn representative. He lies in 32nd place overnight, on equal points with the 2007 European Champion Eduard Skornyakov (RUS).

 

----------------------------------------------------------

Get to know the sailor: Anthony Nossiter (AUS)

If I were not in Cascais I would be...in Australia, surfing, windsurfing, enjoying the good life and taking a break

My top tip for this week is...hike hard

My main strength is...windy weather and power

My proudest moment is...finishing the Volvo Ocean Race

My friends would say that I'm....that I would out bench them

I am very bad at...running

My philosophy for life is...enjoy it

My favourite for this week is...Chris Brittle, he's 120 kg of power.. [got a 9 and 4 today]

The best thing so far about Cascais is... beautiful clean water, friendly people, international culture, it's fantastic. The Cup should have been here!

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...we'd always have triangle courses when it's windy

----------------------------------------------------------

Close on points

 

Looking ahead to the racing, Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), who is lying in 14th place after a 5 and 13 today said, “The conditions here are just about perfect. It's different if you are on one of the outer courses where there is lots of wind to the inner course which is more shifty and difficult, so its going to be really interesting sailing.”

Behind Papathanasiou, the next three sailors are all on 5 points. The 2006 European Champion Ed Wright (GBR) scored a 4, 1, while the defending World Champion Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) scored a 3, 2 and the 2004 Olympic silver medalist Rafael Trujillo (ESP) scored a 3, 2. Two more races for the Finn class are scheduled for tomorrow, Friday at the slightly later time of 16:20.

 


Day two - Jonas Høgh-Christensen leads the flying Finns

 

Day two of the Finn world championship in Cascais brought very tricky wind conditions and a few upsets. Only one race was sailed today with wins going to Daniel Birgmark (SWE) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Defending world champion Jonas Hogh-Christensen placed second in his race to take the lead overnight

 

The Finns had a late start today in Cascais. They share a course area with the Ynglings and today it was the keelboat's turn to go first. This seemed like good news for the Finns as early in the day the winds were light, and with the first Finn start being scheduled for 16:20, it gave the stronger northerly winds more time to become established. After sailing on the more inshore course area 3 yesterday, today the Finns were out of course area 4, which is more exposed to the prevailing conditions with generally stronger winds and larger waves. However, what looked like promising conditions turned into one very up and down race, that left a few of the front runners picking up high scores.

Yellow fleet

 

The event leader after day one, Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) choose the right hand side of the beat and paid dearly, rounding the top mark buried in the 30s. He could only recover to finish 12th. Meanwhile Daniel Birgmark (SWE) took the left hand side and found better pressure to lead round the top mark while the boats on the right were left floundering in hardly any wind. From there he went on to win the race by a substantial margin.

 

Birgmark said, “The conditions were really tough, and a bit similar to race one yesterday. I tried to look up the course more and see what was going on. To me there looked like less wind on the right so I went to the left and tacked to the left of the fleet. A couple of boats went further than me, but I just managed to round the top mark first. The reach was good for me as I extended by 100 metres and then gained more downwind. On the third beat I got a bit nervous as rounded the bottom mark in hardly any wind and then saw lots of pressure coming down the course. I tried to stay in the middle top protect my position, and this time the wind came in from where it was at the start.” Birgmark locked into this shift and went on to win the race by around 2 minutes. In fact the variable conditions had split the fleet enormously, with a whole beat between first and last place.

Second place went to Oleksiy Borysov (UKR) with Chris Cook (CAN ) in third. Cook rounded the top mark in sixth and then bizarrely was flagged for pumping while the Oscar flag was still up for free pumping. He said “In a strange way it worked in my favour as I then took some shifts I may otherwise not have taken, and which moved me up to third. The Jury apologised for the misunderstanding later.”

 

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Get to know the sailor: Waclaw Szukiel (POL)

 

If I were not in Cascais I would be...at home with my family and new daughter

My top tip for this week is...should take care of wind. I think it will be a really windy regatta, compared to others this year

My main strength is...technique

My proudest moment is...the birth of my daughter, the most beautiful thing in my life

My friends would say that I'm....I'm a little bit crazy maybe, always sailing, sailing, sailing, and when I get some free time I go sailing.

I am very bad at...gymnastics!

My philosophy for life is...always think about the future and go there step by step

My favourites for this week are...Rafa [Trujillo] who should be good here and Rafal [Szukiel] who has been getting better in a breeze recently.

The best thing so far about Cascais is...the really nice town, with nice buildings and nice people, and nice places to visit. The Portuguese are sailors too so it's nice to be here with them.

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...listen to sailors and and find out what they wanted.

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Blue fleet

In contrast, the blue fleet had a much more even race. The wind went through the range, but was slightly steadier in direction than the yellow fleet had experienced. The boats who took the right side of the course emerged first at the top mark with Tapio Nirkko (FIN) leading Chris Brittle (GBR) and Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN).

 

Høgh-Christensen was soon in the lead on the free pumping first leg with Pieter Jan Postma (NED) in hot pursuit. These two battled at the front for most of the race, with Postma moving ahead on the second downwind and leading to the finish. Høgh-Christensen came in a very close second, with Gasper Vincec (SLO) in third. Nirkko finished fourth.

Brittle, who finally finished in ninth place said later, “It was a bit of a head up day. You really needed to look out of the boat and see what was going on.”

 

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Get to know the sailor: Pieter-Jan Postma (NED)

If I were not in Cascais I would be... probably sailing big boats. I have a lot of plans for future. Sailing is a big passion and I like big boat sailing. I would like to sail Volvo OR next time, maybe TP52.

My top tip for this week is...relax, concentrate when you need to and look at the big picture

My main strength is...being able to analyse the wind. I also like big waves and surfing downwind

My proudest moment is...still to come!

My friends would say that I'm....positive, driven, flexible, searching to get more out of life, friendly, like people, happy

I am very bad at...doing less. I always like to do more

My philosophy for life is...there's only here and now, so first try and the best out of the moment, then get out and make some moments. You don't need to rush about and look ahead. Just live today and enjoy it

My favourites for this week is...Daniel Birgmark, he's likes to peak at the right time

The best thing so far about Cascais is...beautiful place, the people are very friendly and warm

If I were in charge of sailing...it's all about the pleasure of sailing, and making it as clear and easy as possible. Perhaps it's good to focus on a few classes so the level goes really high, then it becomes really good sailing, with more people and then you feel the real passion of sailing.

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Big issues

Although the main issue here for some is qualifying their country for one of the 19 places awarded here for the 2008 Olympic Sailing competition – a further 6 more will be awarded after the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne in February – many countries here are also using this event as part of their sailor selection process for both the pre-Olympics this August and the Olympics next year.

 

For some sailors, this is leading to some tense racing as they try to stay consistent in the challenging conditions here in Cascais. At the moment Tim Goodbody (IRL) has up the upper hand over Aaron O'Grady (IRL), while the Croatians Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO and Marin Misura (CRO) are neck and neck. For the Szukiel brothers from Poland, this event is one of the qualifiers for 2008, although the younger Rafal has already been selected for the pre-Olympics next month.

Two Indians are sailing their first Finn Gold Cup here – Nitin Mongia (IND) and Nachhatar Johal (IND) - and this event will decide who goes to Qingdao next month. For the two French sailors here – Ismael Bruno (FRA) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) – the news that the top French Finn sailor Guiallame Florent (FRA) (who was the favourite to qualify for Qingdao and finished 8th in Athens) has dropped out of the class was a surprise and has left them fighting for selection between themselves.

It should be as interesting to watch these battles develop throughout the week as the battle is sure to be for the top ten. However one group of sailors who seem very relaxed are the boys from the +39 America's Cup boat, who returned to the Finn following their exit from the AC after the round robins. The four sailors here are Rafael Trujillo (ESP), Michael Maier (CZE), Anthony Nossiter (AUS) and Chris Brittle (GBR) and all revelled in yesterday's windy conditions to all place in the top ten in both races – quite something in this very competitive fleet. Today Brittle and Nossiter also finished in the top ten. The training they did in Finns in Valencia is clearly paying off now.

 

One one race

By the time the first race had finished, the wind had increased to 25 knots and the fleets looked set for a fantastic race in the rapidly building sea. The race officer tried to move the course further inshore, but then the wind started to decease and shift so he sent the sailors home.

In the meantime some of the sailors were not happy with the race management and are protesting the race as unfair. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) finished fifth in his race but tended to agree. “Although I placed well, it was not a fair race for some and should have been stopped on the first beat. On one side the sailors had nothing and on the other they had 15 knots. It was not a fair test.”

 

 


Day three - Postma dominates big breeze day in the Finns

 

A double win for Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) in his favourite conditions moves him up to second overall, although Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) re-takes the lead after placing third and second today.

 

After complaining about lack of wind yesterday, the Finn sailors got their just rewards with two races on course area 5 in what can only be described as awesome conditions for Finn sailing. With winds up to 37 knots and big seas rolling downwind, most sailors merely tried to survive, but for some, these were exactly the conditions they were waiting for and they loved it. Winner of the second yellow fleet race Rafael Trujillo (ESP) commented, “Finally we have had some proper Finn racing after so much light weather this year.”

 

Starting on time at 13.00, yellow fleet sailed two laps of an outer trapezoid while blue fleet sailed the inner trapezoid course. While the upwind legs were a physical challenge, the downwind legs provided some of the most exhilarating sailing the fleet has had for years. There were many capsizes including João Signorini (BRA) who went in six times and the overnight leader Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) who capsized in race one while near the front and spent so much time upside down that he ended up in last place. However, world champions are made of sterner stuff and he pulled back through the fleet to finally finish an impressive 10th.

 

After the first race Zach Railey (USA) declared, “I could have done with a seatbelt today. It was wild.” Chief measurer Juri Saraskin commented, “The Finn is an animal in these conditions.” It was certainly some show; it was what the Finn was made for.

 

For the second race, the race officer decided to keep the fleets on the inshore and less exposed course and ran a windward leeward course which allowed the support fleet to respond more quickly to casualties – and there were still plenty of them with upturned hulls littering the course like albino hippos, even though the wind only reached 25 knots.

 

Blue fleet

 

The right side of the course paid all day and in the first race Matthias Bohn (GER) got it right to lead round the top mark. Marin Misura (CRO) took the lead offwind and powered away to win the race by a remarkable margin. Even he had trouble though, almost losing it just yards from the finish line when a massive wave knocked him sideways and almost capsized him. Gasper Vincec (SLO) had struggled on the first beat and rounded about 10th, but displayed excellent speed downwind to pull through to second. Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) took third place.

 

For the second race, Trujillo emerged at the top mark in the lead followed by Høgh-Christensen and Vincec. Signorini made up for his disappointing morning by moving ahead on the next lap and finally finished third after Trujillo took the lead at the final windward mark and Papathanasiou passed the Brazilian on the final downwind.

 

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Get to know the sailor: Joao Signorini (BRA)

If I were not in Cascais I would be...in Rio de Janeiro

My top tip for this week is...have strong legs

My main strength is...downwind with free pumping

My proudest moment is...completing the Volvo Ocean Race in third place.

My friends would say that I'm....a very funny guy

I am very bad at...studying

My philosophy for life is...have fun and be with good friends

I think the favourites this week are...not sure, maybe Emilios

The best thing so far about Cascais is...the sun

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...for sure, I'd never be in charge of sailing!

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Yellow fleet

Yellow fleet today belonged to one man – Pieter Jan Postma (NED) – who excelled in his favourite conditions. However first round the top mark was Ismael Bruno (FRA). Bruno – who actually comes from Martinique – led for the first two laps and finished fourth. He then rounded off a great day with a sixth and now sits in 15th place, well inside the qualification zone for Olympic places. Postma finally won the very close race from Ed Wright (GBR) and Dan Slater (NZL).

 

Postma clearly found race two more to his liking, leading round the first mark by a considerable margin and extending on every leg to take his third consecutive race win of the series. Postma was followed by Chris Brittle (GBR) and Chris Cook (CAN). While Brittle dropped back Cook stayed in second to the finish and now lies fourth overall. Daniel Birgmark (SWE) rounded off a good day with a third to add to a fifth in the morning race.

 

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Get to know the sailor: Ivan Kljokovic Gaspic (CRO)

If I were not in Cascais I would be...studying for my university economics exams in Croatia

My top tip for this week is...keep your head clear and concentrate.

My main strength is...lots of training this season focussing on sailing and some good steady sailing so far this year.

My proudest moment is...every moment I sail is a nice moment. Some people would say answer good results but I'd say good sailing. Maybe sometimes you don't need to finish first. Sometimes you need to come back from last place to top ten and then you feel really good. And it's the good sailing that keeps you going.

My friends would say that I'm....probably friendly, consistent and determined

I am very bad at...going out and drinking! Last couple of years I have been really focussed on sport, so there has been less time for partying.

My philosophy for life is...make the best of every day

I think the favourites this week are...anyone from top ten could do well this well. We have all done a lot of good training so far this season, so everyone has peaked for here and we are ready for this regatta.

The best thing so far about Cascais is...very nice venue, lots of places to visit, nice bars and restaurants – it's very comfortable. I didn't expect it to be so nice here but you don't feel like you just came for the sailing. It's a really friendly place and makes you feel at home.

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...I'd keep on doing what ISAF is doing by making sailing more popular and interesting to people so we can attract more sponsors and more money and more people to sailing and continue to increase the sport's appeal.

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New nation

 

The Finn class is delighted to welcome its first ever sailor from Venezuela. Johnny Balbao (VEN) joined the Finn fleet for the first time in Palma this year and is now in Cascais trying to qualify for China and also to prove himself to his national federation.

 

“This is the second time I have raced the Finn and I'm really enjoying it. It is different to the Laser, a much bigger boat, so for me it's better as I am 100 kg. I was struggling to keep my weight down enough for the Laser.”

 

His determination to prove himself is very evident. “My plan is to go to China for the Olympics so my goal this week is to qualify Venezuela for one of the places there. However, I have no funding at the moment so I need to prove to my federation that I have what it takes and can make it. I chartered a boat in Palma, but that was not very good, so I made a big sacrifice and bought a new boat for this event so I could compete with everyone else. I didn't really have any other option.”

 

“I have a lot to learn about the Finn, especially on the downwind sailing which is very different to the Laser. It is much harder. However my biggest problem so far this week has been getting good starts. I am timing it wrong and starting in the back row. Everyone goes forward so quickly and I get left behind. However, I am really enjoying the strong winds and I am learning all the time. Cascais is a very nice place for sailing and the waves are similar to those we have in Venezuela.”

 

Balbao is currently lying in 46 place overall, after placing 18th and 19th in today's races.

Lay day

 

Series leader Papathanasiou stressed the need to be careful in these conditions. “It was really windy out there today, especially on the outer loop where it was over 35 knots. Sometimes I though I was about to break something because I was going too fast or trying too hard, so I told myself to keep quiet, there's no need to capsize or break my boat because we have many more races to go. The PRO did a great job today and I'm really happy with how today went for me.”

 

He is leading the series on 7 points with Postma just one point behind. Trujillo is in third place on 10 points. Papathanasiou continued, “With the two fleet system we have here everything is so very close.” In fact there are only 14 points separating the top 10 at this stage. “That should make it really exciting both for us racing and for everyone watching.”

 

For those interested in such things, there were seven requests for redress for yesterday's race which some sailors thought unfair due to massive wind differential across the course,. However the jury disagreed and denied redress to all requests.

After three tough days, the fleet fleet are grateful that tomorrow is a lay day. Today, Saturday, was the last day of the opening series for the Finn class. With yesterday's abandoned race not being resailed, the five races will decide who goes into the gold and silver fleets for Monday and Tuesday and who can no longer qualify their country for the 2008 Olympics. Currently there are 24 nations in the Gold Fleet and the top 19 of those – the places available here for 2008 – are in the top 24 placings overall. There is still a long way to go, but any of those hoping to qualify their country must realistically try to be in the top 25 at the end of the event.

 


Feature - World champion in waiting?

 

For many sailors here,Greek sailor Emilios Papathanasiou is highly tipped to take the title this week. As the most experienced and medalled sailor in the fleet one would already have expected him to have won a world title but it has continued to elude him time after time. However, he is undoubtedly the best sailor in recent years never to have won a world championship. Could this be his year?

 

He sailed his first Olympics in 1996 in Savannah, USA and did so badly, that he went home and started to train immediately. This was rewarded the following year with a top ten at the Finn Gold Cup in Gdansk and a third place finish at the European Championships in Split. Since then Papathanasiou has been a force to be reckoned with at every major regatta, but an Olympic medal and a world championship title have always evaporated in front of him. His only major success was in becoming the 2001 European Champion.

 

However, between 2000 and 2002 he took the bronze medal at the Finn Gold Cup three times in a row, behind the likes of Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), Sebastien Godefroid (BEL) and Ben Ainslie (GBR). He returned to the podium in 2005 again behind Ainslie, losing the title on the final sailed race. In 2006, he again took the silver medal within a whisker of Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN).

 

Cascais

 

Papathanasiou started his 2007 attempt here in Cascais on Thursday, with two confident race wins in the tricky conditions. Then, as so many times before it seemed to go wrong on Friday. He said, “I had a bad race on Friday in awful conditions – no wind one side, 15 knots the other, 60 degrees shifts, free pumping, no free pumping. I finished 12th. But it has happened now so I look forward keep going and try to discard it.” In yesterday's extreme conditions he placed second and third to move back into the lead.

 

“You need to be careful in those conditions. Sometimes I think I should try to push my boat to the limit. But then you have chance to capsize or damage something and as we are only just starting this world championship, sometimes it pays to be careful.”

On second overall Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), he said, “PJ is sailing very well and is showing good form. He proved he's fast in a breeze. He's very good technically, probably one of the best in the fleet. However the points are close so everyone is still in the game. Anyone in top 10 can easily take the medals and I think this is very good for sport and for those watching . I think this is very nice. I hope and I'm sure that the next four races are very enjoyable and interesting for people to watch.”

 

Racing

On his preferred conditions, “I prefer to have all types of conditions. Some sailors go really fast in one condition. For me I can survive and get top places in strong winds as well as light winds. This is good and proves why in the last 12 years I have won nine medals in Finn Gold Cup and European Championships. I am very confident in all conditions.”

 

On the series so far, “The top is all very close. Many sailors are still very much in the game. I think the mental race is more technical than physical though and will depend much on experience. Then the medal race itself is very tough. You need to concentrate a lot. When the medal comes close the legs are heavy and the heart beats faster. Here experience can help more than in some other sports. This can make the difference between winning and losing.”

On the Finn, “The Finn class once again has some really good sailors. This makes the Finn one of the favourite classes in sailing and why since 1952 it has been in the Olympic games, and I'm sure in the future. The Finn embodies the spirit of sailing.”

 

Priorities

On the pre-Olympics (next month) being so close to the ISAF Sailing World Championships: “For sure it is a breezy venue here, and maybe it will be light winds for Qingdao. Has this regatta wrecked some sailors chances of performing well in Qingdao because they have prepared for a windy regatta here? No I don't think so. If you want to be top sportsman and top sailor you must be good in all conditions. Who knows what will happen? In Qingdao we could easily have some days of strong winds and big waves. In 2006 almost 40 per cent of regatta was like this, so if you are not ready for everything you have no chance of winning a medal.”

 

On what winning the Finn Gold Cup would mean to him, “This is the world championship, it is the most important regatta of the year. Of course everyone wants to win. But this year is an exception. My first priority here is to quality the country for 2008, because next year the Finn Gold Cup is in January in Melbourne, just seven months away from the games in August. That means it will be hard to prepare my body and my priorities in both January and August. So I want to finish here with a good result, qualify the country, then go to Qingdao for the test event. And then after that I will only focus on preparing for the Olympic games.”

 

On the Gold fleet racing: “I will keep sailing much the same as I have been. Of course there will be more key sailors on the start line so some parts will be tougher. The key will be to concentrate on the wind, which is off the land, so there are many shifts to look out for. I will keep trying to be consistently in the top four, keep going bit by bit, point by point. Of course sometimes when I see it is possible to push the limit I do so, but under control.”

Racing for the Finn class here in Cascais resumes Monday at 13.00 after a lay day today, Sunday. Papathanasiou currently leads Pieter-Jan Postma by one point with Rafael Trujillo (ESP) another two points back. There are only 14 points separating the top ten, so the initial Gold Fleet races could be a crucial decider in the 2007 Finn Gold Cup.

 

 


Day four - Postma dominates big breeze day in the Finns

 

A double win for Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) in his favourite conditions moves him up to second overall, although Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) re-takes the lead after placing third and second today.

 

After complaining about lack of wind yesterday, the Finn sailors got their just rewards with two races on course area 5 in what can only be described as awesome conditions for Finn sailing. With winds up to 37 knots and big seas rolling downwind, most sailors merely tried to survive, but for some, these were exactly the conditions they were waiting for and they loved it. Winner of the second yellow fleet race Rafael Trujillo (ESP) commented, “Finally we have had some proper Finn racing after so much light weather this year.”

 

Starting on time at 13.00, yellow fleet sailed two laps of an outer trapezoid while blue fleet sailed the inner trapezoid course. While the upwind legs were a physical challenge, the downwind legs provided some of the most exhilarating sailing the fleet has had for years. There were many capsizes including João Signorini (BRA) who went in six times and the overnight leader Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) who capsized in race one while near the front and spent so much time upside down that he ended up in last place. However, world champions are made of sterner stuff and he pulled back through the fleet to finally finish an impressive 10th.

 

After the first race Zach Railey (USA) declared, “I could have done with a seatbelt today. It was wild.” Chief measurer Juri Saraskin commented, “The Finn is an animal in these conditions.” It was certainly some show; it was what the Finn was made for.

 

For the second race, the race officer decided to keep the fleets on the inshore and less exposed course and ran a windward leeward course which allowed the support fleet to respond more quickly to casualties – and there were still plenty of them with upturned hulls littering the course like albino hippos, even though the wind only reached 25 knots.

 

Blue fleet

 

The right side of the course paid all day and in the first race Matthias Bohn (GER) got it right to lead round the top mark. Marin Misura (CRO) took the lead offwind and powered away to win the race by a remarkable margin. Even he had trouble though, almost losing it just yards from the finish line when a massive wave knocked him sideways and almost capsized him. Gasper Vincec (SLO) had struggled on the first beat and rounded about 10th, but displayed excellent speed downwind to pull through to second. Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) took third place.

 

For the second race, Trujillo emerged at the top mark in the lead followed by Høgh-Christensen and Vincec. Signorini made up for his disappointing morning by moving ahead on the next lap and finally finished third after Trujillo took the lead at the final windward mark and Papathanasiou passed the Brazilian on the final downwind.

 

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Get to know the sailor: Joao Signorini (BRA)

If I were not in Cascais I would be...in Rio de Janeiro

My top tip for this week is...have strong legs

My main strength is...downwind with free pumping

My proudest moment is...completing the Volvo Ocean Race in third place.

My friends would say that I'm....a very funny guy

I am very bad at...studying

My philosophy for life is...have fun and be with good friends

I think the favourites this week are...not sure, maybe Emilios

The best thing so far about Cascais is...the sun

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...for sure, I'd never be in charge of sailing!

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Yellow fleet

 

Yellow fleet today belonged to one man – Pieter Jan Postma (NED) – who excelled in his favourite conditions. However first round the top mark was Ismael Bruno (FRA). Bruno – who actually comes from Martinique – led for the first two laps and finished fourth. He then rounded off a great day with a sixth and now sits in 15th place, well inside the qualification zone for Olympic places. Postma finally won the very close race from Ed Wright (GBR) and Dan Slater (NZL).

 

Postma clearly found race two more to his liking, leading round the first mark by a considerable margin and extending on every leg to take his third consecutive race win of the series. Postma was followed by Chris Brittle (GBR) and Chris Cook (CAN). While Brittle dropped back Cook stayed in second to the finish and now lies fourth overall. Daniel Birgmark (SWE) rounded off a good day with a third to add to a fifth in the morning race.

 

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Get to know the sailor: Ivan Kljokovic Gaspic (CRO)

If I were not in Cascais I would be...studying for my university economics exams in Croatia

My top tip for this week is...keep your head clear and concentrate.

My main strength is...lots of training this season focussing on sailing and some good steady sailing so far this year.

My proudest moment is...every moment I sail is a nice moment. Some people would say answer good results but I'd say good sailing. Maybe sometimes you don't need to finish first. Sometimes you need to come back from last place to top ten and then you feel really good. And it's the good sailing that keeps you going.

My friends would say that I'm....probably friendly, consistent and determined

I am very bad at...going out and drinking! Last couple of years I have been really focussed on sport, so there has been less time for partying.

My philosophy for life is...make the best of every day

I think the favourites this week are...anyone from top ten could do well this well. We have all done a lot of good training so far this season, so everyone has peaked for here and we are ready for this regatta.

The best thing so far about Cascais is...very nice venue, lots of places to visit, nice bars and restaurants – it's very comfortable. I didn't expect it to be so nice here but you don't feel like you just came for the sailing. It's a really friendly place and makes you feel at home.

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...I'd keep on doing what ISAF is doing by making sailing more popular and interesting to people so we can attract more sponsors and more money and more people to sailing and continue to increase the sport's appeal.

---------------------------------------------------------

 

New nation

 

The Finn class is delighted to welcome its first ever sailor from Venezuela. Johnny Balbao (VEN) joined the Finn fleet for the first time in Palma this year and is now in Cascais trying to qualify for China and also to prove himself to his national federation.

 

“This is the second time I have raced the Finn and I'm really enjoying it. It is different to the Laser, a much bigger boat, so for me it's better as I am 100 kg. I was struggling to keep my weight down enough for the Laser.”

 

His determination to prove himself is very evident. “My plan is to go to China for the Olympics so my goal this week is to qualify Venezuela for one of the places there. However, I have no funding at the moment so I need to prove to my federation that I have what it takes and can make it. I chartered a boat in Palma, but that was not very good, so I made a big sacrifice and bought a new boat for this event so I could compete with everyone else. I didn't really have any other option.”

 

“I have a lot to learn about the Finn, especially on the downwind sailing which is very different to the Laser. It is much harder. However my biggest problem so far this week has been getting good starts. I am timing it wrong and starting in the back row. Everyone goes forward so quickly and I get left behind. However, I am really enjoying the strong winds and I am learning all the time. Cascais is a very nice place for sailing and the waves are similar to those we have in Venezuela.”

 

Balbao is currently lying in 46 place overall, after placing 18th and 19th in today's races.

 

Lay day

Series leader Papathanasiou stressed the need to be careful in these conditions. “It was really windy out there today, especially on the outer loop where it was over 35 knots. Sometimes I though I was about to break something because I was going too fast or trying too hard, so I told myself to keep quiet, there's no need to capsize or break my boat because we have many more races to go. The PRO did a great job today and I'm really happy with how today went for me.”

 

He is leading the series on 7 points with Postma just one point behind. Trujillo is in third place on 10 points. Papathanasiou continued, “With the two fleet system we have here everything is so very close.” In fact there are only 14 points separating the top 10 at this stage. “That should make it really exciting both for us racing and for everyone watching.”

 

For those interested in such things, there were seven requests for redress for yesterday's race which some sailors thought unfair due to massive wind differential across the course,. However the jury disagreed and denied redress to all requests.

 

After three tough days, the fleet fleet are grateful that tomorrow is a lay day. Today, Saturday, was the last day of the opening series for the Finn class. With yesterday's abandoned race not being resailed, the five races will decide who goes into the gold and silver fleets for Monday and Tuesday and who can no longer qualify their country for the 2008 Olympics. Currently there are 24 nations in the Gold Fleet and the top 19 of those – the places available here for 2008 – are in the top 24 placings overall. There is still a long way to go, but any of those hoping to qualify their country must realistically try to be in the top 25 at the end of the event.

 


Day five- High winds keep fleets ashore

 

After last night's very windy conditions, this morning dawned bright and breezy at the ISAF Sailing World Championships. In fact it was very breezy. Over 35 knots was recorded on the more sheltered inshore course area 1 where the Star and Tornado fleets were due to sail their medal races today. On the outside course, and especially on course area 4 where the Finns were due to start their gold and silver fleet racing, it was blowing considerably more. The fleets were kept ashore, despite the predictable displays of bravado from the Finn sailors.

 

Throughout the day the wind buffeted the marina and swept chairs along the decking like plastic cups. With not even a cloud in the sky, the deafening flapping of the press tent was interspersed with hourly updates on the wind strength and the announcement of the next fleet to have its racing cancelled. By 18.00, the Finn sailors had been kept waiting for seven hours, but the wind on course four was still over 30 knots, so the organisers admitted defeat and the sailors were finally sent home.

 

What this means for the sailors is that tomorrow there will be two races sailed as per schedule and that the lost races will not be re-sailed. Race director Henry van der Att emphasised at the final press conference tonight that only classes that have sailed less than the minimum required by the sailing instruction will play catch up. The Finns have already sailed five, which was the minimum to constitute an opening series.

 

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Get to know the sailor: Chris Cook

 

If I were not in Cascais I would be...in Toronto, hanging out with my girlfriend and probably training.

My top tip for this week is...hopefully you came prepared and fit and ready for this. Breeze on!

My main strength is...probably making comebacks

My proudest moment is...certainly I think coming third in the Gold Cup in Moscow in 2005. That was a big moment for me.

My friends would say that I'm....a little bit crazy maybe

I am very bad at...losing

I think the favourites this week are...well Emilios wants it badly but you have to give keep an eye on Ed Wright.

The best thing so far about Cascais is...definitely the hospitality. When in first came here I didn't think it was going to be all that hospitable, but it turns out they are just a great bunch of people here. I'm really impressed

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...probably not change much right now, I think I would make more events like this one, where everyone's world championships are all together. I like this format and the way they do this.

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Event format

 

Chris Cook elaborated on the benefits of a combined world championship “Outside of Canada, we don't get to intermix much with other Canadian sailors. I think we have a pretty close team which has got tighter over the past year, but outside of the Canadian team and the Finn class it's pretty hard to keep tabs on everything and that's why I like this format because you get to meet top sailors in other classes.”

 

“I also like the format we have here this week.” Two daily allocated fleets of about 40 sail a opening series to qualify for a gold and silver fleet for two days before the final medal race. “I've always been a fan of the split fleet format such as we have used in Holland at the now Breitling regatta. It's good for me because it gives me a little bit more room to manoeuvre. I know that some of the Laser sailors coming into the class also like it, as it gives them a advantage over others who are more used to larger fleets. I do think there are a lot of things that should change about the Finn Gold Cup format. For example I think we should get rid of the triangle courses. No one else does that any more, so it's a problem. Perhaps it is time to move on.”

 

Speaking about the week he said, “So far I have only made two mistakes in the series, and that's stopped me from being in a winning position right now, so that's pretty good. For the rest of the regatta I just want to keep doing what I've been doing so far, and then go into the medal race with a chance to win.” Then he added wryly, “But i guess that's everyone's plan right now with such a tight series. It's a shame we lost today. It's a bit of wasted day. I could have been getting more rest.”

 

As for the medal race itself, Cook has some serious worries about the way they are conducted. “Well to start with, I've been at the losing end of a bunch of them. However, I do think that the medal race idea is a good one but that the double points is wrong. I don't think they should do that. It's almost like they are looking for an upset, looking to get on video the disappointment of somebody losing unjustly. I don't like that idea. I like the idea of the top ten going into a race at the end, but at the end of the day if someone goes into the medal race with a 10 point lead they really deserve to win the event.”

 

“It doesn't even matter how long the race turns out to be. You can have a half hour race or an hour race like we did in Holland and it can turn into a crap shoot just the same. You just have to make it a fair race. It seems to me that there is so much pressure to have a medal race that they do it at all costs. Sometimes it seems like if the wind drops to zero knots, it is kept going even though it's no longer a fair race. I think it just favours the media a little too much.”

 

Final races

 

Racing continues – weather permitting – tomorrow, Tuesday, at the same time of 13.00 with two races scheduled on course area 5, the outer course that was the scene of Saturday's extreme racing. Some Finn sailors – and certainly the photographers – are hoping for more of the same, but perhaps a bit less wind than today.

 

Full results can be found on the event website

 

 


Day six - Made for TV Finn sailing

 

After today's up and down racing, the Finn medal race tomorrow is about as close as it's possible to get. The top seven sailors are within just five points of each other and each has a shot at the world title.

 

You can't make up this stuff. The 2007 Finn World Championship has remained unbelievably tight all the way through and today was no exception. Any sailor looking to build a points margin going into tomorrow's medal race came back today disappointed, with most sailors in the top ten picking up at least one high score.

 

The overnight leader Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) got a 4 and 35. Fourth placed overnight Chris Cook (CAN) got a 2 and DNF while fourth overnight Ed Wright (GBR) placed 19 and 4 and seventh placed overnight Gasper Vincec (SLO) placed 1 and 33. This has left the top seven boats within just five points of each other going into tomorrow's medal race and means that there is a fairly good chance that whoever wins the medal race wins the 2007 Finn World Championship.

 

With the racing today on course area five, the fleet were expecting big winds and big waves again and, although the wind remained shifty and patchy, for the most part the winds were moderate to strong. The race officer set three rounds of windward-leeward course.

 

Gold fleet

 

In the first race today – which finally started after a 50 minute postponement to allow the wind to settle down to a solid 20 knots – a large right-hand shift half way up the first beat left Gasper Vincec (SLO) and Rafael Trujillo (ESP) in a great position on the right hand side of the course. Vincec rounded first and went onto win the race by a comfortable margin, with excellent offwind speed. On the second round Chris Cook (CAN) pulled through Trujillo to take second. Other contenders such as Ed Wright (GBR) and Daniel Birgmark (SWE) were buried mid-fleet and could find no way out. Series leader Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) came home in fourth, and just retained the overall championship lead. However all that was about to change.

 

The second race looked like it be a repeat of the first, but this time the leaders emerged from the middle of the course with the winner of Saturday's first race, Marin Misura (CRO) taking an early lead round the top mark followed by Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) and Wright. Those who took the previously favoured right hand side were left with a lot of catching up to do. These included Vincec, Papathanasiou and Cook.

 

The final upwind brought a change though. Høgh-Christensen explained, “At the final leeward gate I went to the right hand one looking downwind and ED and Marin went to the left hand one. Then the wind went left a bit and I picked up a bit on them. Slowly it went further until I was right behind the Croation. Then coming into the top mark, I got a few right shifts right to take the lead and I had a good offwind leg to take the win. The first race was tough though. I ended up 11th after I was stuck in the middle when the wind went right.”

 

Vincec's story is quite the reverse. “In the first race, the wind was like Saturday, when the right paid. I was sure it was the right way to go from the start and I was faster than Rafa, so managed to win.” In the second raced of the day he was nearly last. “I was trying everything at the start but it was not happening, I was nearly last but I had Emilios behind me! I needed to get better than 6th to make a difference”

 

This means that Papathanasiou now has to count his 12th from day two and drops to sixth overall. PieterJan Postma (NED) takes the lead on 19 points, with Trujillo and Cook on 20 points, Wright on 21, Cook on 21, Vincec on 22, Papathanasiou on 23 and Høgh-Christensen on 24.

 

Høgh-Christensen summed up, “Anyone can win the gold. It will make great TV.”

 

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Get to know the sailor: Michael Maier

 

If I were not in Cascais I would be...maybe in Valencia sailing maybe I stay in the garden

My goal for this week is...stay in the top 20. I am just sailing just for fun, just for me. I am sending my boat to China as I qualified for pre-Olympics At the Europeans in Hungary. For next year we have yet to decide what we are doing. I still feel fit and able to go, so we have some decisions to make

My main strength is...going sailing. This day off is good for some but I prefer to go sailing, finish and go home.

My proudest moment is...at the 2000 Finn Gold Cup in Weynmouth I finished 5th, although I won the Masters last year, which Luca pushed me into doing, When I sail with Master boys and see many faces looking at me saying 'what are you doing here.' Maybe I'll leave the masters until I am a bit older.

My friends would say that I'm....some friends tell me I'm completely crazy, some tell me I'm a little bit crazy and some would say “So you're still sailing Finn eh?”

I am very bad at...unjust decisions. The worst moment for me was that in 1992, I was dropped from the team just a few days before we left for Barcelona because they said the team was too big. I stopped all Finn sailing as I was so angry. In 1993 I just sailed the Fin Gold Cup in Ireland. I tried speed board, mistrals and things. But my friends told me to get back in the Finn and this is now my 28th season. I first won the Czech title in 1980, aged 18. I am very happy with this class. It is good.

My philosophy for life is...I started building car workshop for 15 years and I sold this before Athens because I decided I must make a choice between sailing and work and I think I have made the right decision

I think the favourites this week are...for me, I think Emilios has the best technique in this group. If we have a little bit less than Saturday, his steering is perfect up and down wind. But any in the top 10 could do it. It's not east to say

The best thing so far about Cascais is...I cross the botanical garden before and after sailing and it is my comfort zone. Sometimes I just stop and take it in

If I were in charge of sailing I'd...there is too much pressure sometimes for the Jury. 12 knots on flat water and waves is different. Maybe we move the wind limit for free pumping, say 10 knots. Sometimes you get flagged for absolutely nothing, just by moving or something. sometime the decision is too hard, sometimes they seem to work to different rules.

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Silver Fleet

The silver fleet also sailed two races in these tricky conditions. Going into tomorrow's final race, Sander Willems (NED) leads fellow Dutchman Stefan de Vries (NED) by nine points after placing third and first today. Willems lost the first race in the closing stages after a long battle with Piotr Kula (POL). Although none of those in the silver fleet can qualify their nation for the Olympics there is still the small matter of pride.

 

Medal race

Those sailors who have reached the medal race have guaranteed their country a place in next year's Olympics. However for some here, a good placing counts for even more. By placing in the top 10, Nossiter has already guaranteed his place in Qingdao next summer. For Trujillo, tomorrow's race determines his national federation athlete grant, and he stands to lose or gain some 38,000 Euros depending on his result. However for him the win is more important than the financial rewards.

The top ten sailors are each from a different nation, so these ten – NED, ESP, SLO, GBR, CAN, GRE, DEN, CRO, SWE AND AUS – have already qualified their country for a place in Qingdao next year. The other nine places are still wide open, with FRA, FIN and NZL leading the race. The final gold fleet race tomorrow, scheduled for 14.40 will decide the remaining nations to qualify at this event.

Tomorrow's medal race at 16.30 will undoubtedly be a show. Currently the wind is kicking through Cascais Bay at well over 30 knots, so the sailors are hoping there is a not a repeat of Monday when the Star and Tornado medal races were abandoned.

For those who like mathematics, there are many options for tomorrow's race. If Postma, Trujillo or Vincec win the race they become world champion, irrespective of what anyone else does. For Wright or Cook to win they need Postma to be at least two places behind him. For Papathanasiou to win, he must put three boats between himself and Postma and two between himself and any of the the top five boats. It is certainly going to be an exciting end to what has been the closest Finn World Championships in recent years.

 


 

Final day - Trujillo takes gold in thrilling medal race

 

In an thrilling and close medal race, Rafael Trujillo (ESP) won the 2007 Finn Gold Cup after some fantastic sailing on the second lap. A third place was enough for Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) to take the silver while Gasper Vincec (SLO) took bronze.

It is highly unlikely in the long history of the Finn Gold Cup that seven sailors have been in with a chance of winning the title going into the final race. This unusual situation unfolded today at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, which was to prove as exciting for spectators as it was mind-boggling for the commentators trying to work through the various scenarios and keep everyone up-to-date.

 

The medal race was scheduled to start at 16.30, but before then the final races for the gold and silver fleets were attempted out on course area four. For the remaining sailors left in the gold fleet, there was still the question of nine places at the 2008 Olympics to sort out. In contrast to the past few days, the day started with very light winds, although by the time racing began at just after 16.30, it had built to a solid 15 knots.

 

Gold and Silver

 

However the gold and silver fleets were not so lucky. Sailed further offshore, the wind was not quite so helpful as for the medal race. The silver fleet was finally abandoned after two hours of trying, but the gold fleet got their race in. Mathias Bohn (GER) who was lying last in the gold fleet going into this race, banged the left hand corner hard and led round the course to win, followed by Brendan Caset (AUS), Rafal Szukiel (POL), Mark Andrews (GBR) and Zach Railey (USA). This means the other nine nations qualified for Qingdao – in addition to the 10 already qualified from yesterday – are: FIN, FRA, NZL POL, USA, CZE, BRA, IRL and NOR.

 

Medal race

 

The medal race was quite a spectacle and took place within sight of the breakwater with TV cameras, a helicopter, live online footage and a large flotilla of support boats and spectators circling the fleet like expectant fathers.

 

At the start, Emilios Papathanasiou crossed the line next to the committee boat and immediately tacked for the right hand side of the course. This decision cost him any chance of a medal. He was soon followed to the right by Ed Wright (GBR) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Then the wind started to go left and it looked bad for these three. Postma bailed out and took a loss to get across to the left. Papathanasiou and Wright kept going. When Wright finally tacked back, he was well behind the pack. Papathanasiou went event further to the right before tacking.

 

On the left side of the course Rafael Trujillo (ESP), Anthony Nossiter (AUS) and Gasper Vincec (SLO) were sailing high on a left hand lift and looked to be well ahead. On the right Papathanasiou, Marin Misura (CRO) and Wright were still suffering from the left hand shift.

 

Then the middle starting looking good as Daniel Birgmark (SWE) emerged in the lead as the two sides came together and those on the left suffered a bit, but not as much as those on the right. Round the first mark it was SWE, AUS, NED, SLO, DEN, ESP, GBR, GRE, CRO and CAN. At this point, Postma held the winning position.

 

On the first downwind Nossiter, Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) and Trujillo favoured the right side while Vincec and Wright went to the left. Birgmark calmly sailed down the middle and still maintained his lead round the leeward gate, while Vincec had moved up to second. Trujillo was down in sixth. Vincec was now looking at the gold medal if if could hang onto this position.

 

The second beat changed everything. With regular shifts coming through, it was paying to take every one. Wright, Høgh-Christensen and Misura gambled on the right again – and lost. The other seven boats played the middle left and gradually Trujillo began to make up ground. Half way up the beat Birgmark was still ahead, but then Trujillo broke out to the right and came back on a massive right hander that put him in the lead. Wright and Høgh-Christensen also looked to benefit from this shift, but at just the wrong moment the wind cruelly went left again and the boats coming across from the left easily crossed ahead.

 

On the middle-left Papathanasiou was trying every trick in the book to make up some distance on the leaders, tacking on every shift coming through. To some extent he succeeded but then – along with Nossiter – ended up too far to the left to capitalise on it when another big shift came in from the right. For a while they looked good coming into the top mark on a large left hand shift which left the boats who had gambled on the extreme right – Postma, Wright and Vincec – looking in trouble. But then the wind went back to the right again.

 

Trujillo locked into this final shift to lead round the last windward mark with a useful gap on Birgmark and Postma right behind. DEN, SLO, AUS, GBR, GRE, CRO and CAN followed them round.

 

The final downwind leg offered little chance of comebacks although the sailors were giving it everything. The leaders headed right while Vincec and Wright tried the left. Birgmark was more to the middle but maintained second place down the relatively short leg. Postma was catching both of them and had the leg been a little longer, we could have been writing a different story.

 

Trujillo crossed the line to the jubilant shouts of his fellow Spanish Finn sailors who had stopped on the way in from their silver fleet race. Postma's third place was enough to take the silver medal while a fifth from Vincec gave him the bronze by just two points. Yesterday, the sailors joked that the final order would probably be the same order as the medal race, and for the top three this proved to be the case.

 

So, Trujillo becomes only the third Spaniard to win the Finn world championship after Joaquin Blanco in 1977 and Jose Doreste in 1987. Four years ago in Cadiz, he watched victory slip away in the closing stages of the final race as Ben Ainslie (GBR) recovered from 35th at the first mark to final finish right behind Trujillo to take the title for the second time. Last year he came very close too, but again lost it i the closing stages. For Trujillo – who has kept up his Finn sailing while being a member of the +39 America's Cup team – a win this year is a dream come true.

 

Trujillo said, “I am really happy. If I lost it today, it would be the third time I would have lost it on the final day. It has been one of my main ambitions to try and win a Gold Cup at least once in my life. On the second upwind I was a bit lucky. I took a left shift in pressure and crossed to right. I was the only one with this pressure. I kept going to the right and crossed my fingers and hoped for a right shift – I was lucky and it went right again. Then on the downwind, after PJ passed me yesterday on the finish, I was pleased to stay ahead today.” Trujillo then paid tribute to the other sailors, “Most of them held positions at some point that would put them on the podium. I also think everyone watching has seen a very exciting week here in Cascais. We need to try to choose venues like this that provide great wind conditions.”

 

Postma has justified his form so far this season with a silver medal. He won more races than any other sailor here, but a bad choice out of the start left him playing catch up, and perhaps to much to do. His downwind speed here has been devastating and will pose a very real threat to all Finn sailors next year. Postma paid tribute to Trujillo, “ Rafa was the best on the day. I enjoyed this regatta very much, and I'm really, really happy with the silver. On the final downwind I thought that I was going to get him, it was close, close close. Very exciting.”

 

For Vincec, who is one of the recipients of an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship, the bronze medal here rounds off a superb season in the Finn, with several regatta victories early in the year and a great stepping stone for him towards the Olympics next year. Vincec said, “I thought you had to sail AC before you can take gold in the Finn world championship, so anybody want me? It was perfect this week, very exciting racing, especially the last downwind today. But I am very happy with third.”

 

Innovation

The Finn class has always prided itself on being at the forefront of innovation and development, even from its earliest days, and that has not changed much to this day. Out on the water today spectators may have noticed a strange looking appendage attached to the rear deck of the Finns in the medal race. Although several classes have been looking at this technology, the Finn is the only class in Cascais to have solved many of the problems.

Gus Miller (USA) explained, “Three of the Finns in today's medal race carried on-board cameras to record the acti1on close up. We have been developing this technology for a while now and hope to be able to present some really interesting footage of the racing. The other seven Finns will be carrying dummies of the same weight and size, so there is no disadvantage to any boat.”

Trial runs with an earlier model were carried out at the Europeans on Lake Balaton. Then after advice from the Jury and measurement officials, the design was modified and the whole assembly now fits inside the extension of the rudder. “This, together with the way the assembly is constructed should limit contact with other boats if they come too close to the rudder, although the Jury has declared that the frames do actually constitute part of the boat.”

Miller stated, “We have a few technical issues to sort out, but this will provide a never seen before view into the cockpit of a Finn during the heat of battle. It should be fascinating.” The frames have actually been built by a US based company that also makes carbon helicopter blades. “They have been designed for strength and to be light. A Nomex base is clamped to the deck with clips round the gunwale and elastic bungee cord into the cockpit. The two supporting arms are constructed using a complex lay up of carbon which is virtually indestructible. The whole camera mount weighs less than 500 grams, so it will have a negligible impact on performance.”

He said, “We originally developed this technology to help with training and clinics. Watching the sailor in action and the way the rig works provides a very useful analytical insight into problems areas. Several of the sailors have already bought frames and cameras to use in their own training programmes.”

A bullet camera is mounted in a protected position on the ends of the arms with a cable connecting it to a waterproof box containing a camcorder located in the cockpit. After the sailors come ashore this material is retrieved and edited ready for broadcast.

Miller added, “They are so light that most of the good guys are quite prepared to sail with them in races anyway.”

In today's racing the cameras were carried by Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) and Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE).

 

 

 

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Finn format trials survey: The pros and cons

Following requests to trial a ‘first across the line’ race format, the Finn class carried out trials at two events early in 2017 – the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma and the European Championship in Marseille. Both were designed around a winner-takes-all final race where the first boat across the line was the winner. As expected, both events produced a lot of feedback, good and bad, and after the Europeans the Finn Class organised an online survey to assess the success or otherwise of the trials and gather further feedback.

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