After trailing the front runners all week, world champion Ed Wright (GBR) turned it around with a third place in the medal race to win the Finn class in Kiel Week. The top three were only split on count back with each tied on 30 points. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) ended up second while the leader this morning, Zach Railey (USA) had to settle for third. The race win went to Deniss Karpak (EST), who placed fourth overall.
After opening with strong, damp conditions, and then losing the fourth day because of not enough wind, the week drew to a close in a very blustery but bright finish on Wednesday with the medal race for the top ten. It was a shifty affair with big place changes throughout though the job was done for Ed Wright on the second upwind. Deniss Karpak went on to win the race from Thomas Le Breton (FRA) with Wright in third. Wright was just one place ahead of early regatta leader Jonathan Lobert, and that was enough to equal his score, while Zach Railey lost crucial distance on the second upwind to finish in sixth and lose the overall lead.
Wright described his day, "I may have trailed all week but it was all still very close on points. I knew the medal race was in close to the shore and very shifty and gusty, so anything could happen. So I was confident it would be an open race. In the end the points worked out perfectly for my win. The racing all week was efficient and after all the waiting in the last couple of events it was a very enjoyable change. We had a range of conditions so the racing was fun.
Railey said, “My plan was to just race my race as points were so close. But it was a race with lots of changes and there were some very big shifts. I was on the wrong side of a big one on the second upwind and that pretty much put me in third overall. ”
“It was a huge fight all week so for all of us, so to end on the same points shows how close the racing really was all week. I am happy to have a podium finish and we feel like we are making improvements which is the most important for the future. Getting on the podium was the goal this week but it still hurts to not win.”
The lack of top sailors here is testament to the tough season that is behind them, with three major regattas in the past four weeks. Many are concentrating on next month’s Open Europeans in Helsinki, while some are just focussing on the London 2012 test event in Weymouth in August.
In the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings, Great Britain fills the top three places with Ben Ainslie (GBR) taking gold and Wright beating Giles Scott (GBR) to the silver medal on the tie break, with both on 90 points. Wright's win in Kiel also means that all the ISAF Sailing World Cup events this year have been won by GBR sailors. Wright, of course, has also won the ISAF Sailing World Cup for the past two years. Elsewhere, Railey finished fourth while a second in Kiel for Jonathan Lobert moves him up to 10th overall. Only seven out of the top 20 sailors were actually in Kiel.
Results after medal race (medal race in brackets)
2 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 30 (5)
3 USA 4 Zach Railey 30 (6)
4 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 32 (1)
5 FRA 29 Thomas Le Breton 40 (2)
6 GER 151 Matthias Miller 64 (9)
7 SWE 6 Björn Allansson 65 (7)
8 GER 771 Jan Kurfeld 71 (4)
9 USA 1140 Caleb Paine, 78 (8)
10 AUT 3 Florian Raudaschl 81 (10)
Photos: OKpress / Kieler Woche
Event website: http://www.kieler-woche.de