There is no change at the top of the leader board after the fourth day at the 2015 Finn Junior World Championship for the Silver Cup in Valencia, but after a tough day of light winds, the points at the top have compressed, setting up a thrilling final two days.
Ondrej Teply (CZE) has a three point lead over Nenad Bugarin (CRO), who has a five point lead over Stig Steinfurth (DEN). Race wins on day 4 went to Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) and Lars Johan Brodtkorb (NOR) and they are now in fourth and fifth, less than eight points off the podium. However the day really belonged to Brodtkorb [pictured above].
It was always going to be the trickiest day of the week and it was just that with an early postponement for an hour to wait for the breeze. It came back in at 10-12 knots for the start but then proceeded to weaken during the race to 6 knots by the finish.
Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) has had a slow start to the week, but recorded his second race win in two days, with a victory in race 7. After a black flag start, following two general recalls, he was followed home by Brodtkorb and Steinfurth.
Brodktorb explained the race, “I started at the boat end, just to leeward of Arkadiy. I didn't quite have the same speed as him, and he took quite a big lead. I went on the right but I think the left was better today, but I made a good effort from the right. At the top mark I rounded seventh.” Kistanov led round and had extended his lead by the gate with Andre Hojen Christiansen (DEN) second and Brodtkorb third.
On the second upwind the gap was getting smaller with Steinfurth moving up to second and Brodtkorb up to third. On the last downwind Brodtkorb managed to pass Steinfurth just before the gate to take second.
For the second race the wind was back up to 7-9 knots with the left side favoured on the first upwind with a shift and more pressure. The last downwind had some gusts, but it was still quite light, though surfing was possible as the waves were quite steep.
Brodtkorb is normally very strong in light winds and he ended a great day with a win in race 8. He took out the second race from Phillip Kasüske (GER) and Facundo Olezza (ARG).
Brodtkorb continued, “The second race was a pretty optimal race for me, as I did not quite have the speed on the first upwind. I started near the pin end but with some distance to have a safe start. I tacked when I caught the wind and it also had the left shift. To begin with I was a bit under the layline, but soon we had lifted so much that I was pretty much on the layline, even a bit over.”
A few boats had gone even further left, while the boats on the right had less pressure. Brodtkorb rounded with a good gap in front of Olezza and Kasüske. Aftewr the downwind, Brodtkorb rounded the right gate followed by Olezza. Kasüske took the other gate and went to the right side. It nearly worked.
Brodtkorb said, “I tacked towards the centre as soon as I had passed the fleet, but soon the wind shifted a bit to the right. Midway up the second upwind the ‘Guarda Civil’ boat crossed right ahead of us, so we had a bit less wind for some time, but we got the waves to compensate.” Kasüske closed the gap from the right but Brodtkorb still led at the top and held it down to the finish, while Kasüske passed Olezza to take second.
Brodtkorb analysed his day. “I don't remember anything I could have done much better in regards to where I went on the race course today, as I seemed to find the good spots all day. I would rather like to comment a bit on yesterday, as I think it was the toughest day of sailing I have ever had. After the first race I did not have any energy left, and I was quite disappointed with my second upwind in that race, where I went from 5th to 14th. Yesterday was really tough, so I was happy to have a bit less wind today.”
Second overall, Bugarin, who placed fourth and seventh today, said, “Today was a hard day for me. We had around 9 knots with big waves and my speed was fine upwind and great downwind. My tactics were to be on the better side and close to my opponents but I did not manage that well so I had to fight during both races to be in better position. I feel confident and relaxed and I just need put some small things on the right place and I am sure that everything will be just fine.”
Kistanov consolidated his race win with a fourth place in race 8 to climb two places overall to fourth and within four points of the podium. A second and a third for Brodtkorb moves him up to fifth and also within striking distance.
Kisanov said, “It was another nice day. Could be bit more wind to have more fun downwind, but it is still OK. In the first race I just had a nice start and led until the finish. The second race was not perfect for me, but still OK.”
The three top sailors had conservative days, all in the top 10 each race but just enough to maintain their overall positions. Each one has a letter score already so conservative sailing is a sensible strategy at this stage.
Kasüske had the best day after the two races winners and his second solid day in a row to climb to sixth, just three points off his goal of fifth overall. He passed team mate Max Kohlhoff (GER), now in seventh who also had a good day while continuing good form from Olezza keeps him in the top 10.
There are just three more races left in the schedule, two Saturday and one on Sunday. It’s heading for a tight finish.
Results after eight races (one discard)
1 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 27
2 CRO 52 Nenad Bugarin 30
3 DEN 31 Stig Steinfurth 35
4 RUS 6 Arkadiy Kistanov 39
5 NOR 9 Lars Johan Brodtkorb 43
6 GER 259 Phillip Kasüske 46
7 GER 25 Max Kohlhoff 50
8 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 53
9 FRA 17 Fabian Pic 57
10 DEN 24 Andre Hojen Christiansen 62