The sailors engaged in the 2010 Finn Silver Cup (the 21 years old and under World championship) have learned plenty, on and off the water. With only 15 boats, one would have hoped for a peaceful regatta... While on the water, the sailors are showing their athletic skills and smart mind, working out the tricky conditions, and on the land they have got acquainted with the jury room.
Defending World Champion, Jorg Zarif, finally got his first race win. “ I have been slow during the whole regatta, I am not using my mast and the one I have is way to stiff. Today I have tried a different rake and even if it is unusual, it seems to work better.” Coming up the beat on the “usual” left side, Zarif and Caleb Paine enjoyed a nice shift to the top mark. Caleb rounded first followed by Zarif and Mitakis (GRE). Caleb Paine (USA) went down the left side while Mitakis and Zarif chose the right. Mitakis and Zarif lead the fleet at the gate and repeated their left move up the second beat. “On the run, I took a mini tsunami” explained Jorg Zarif with a broad smile! “Caleb and I surfed this giant wave and put at least 300 meters between us and the rest of the fleet.” Unfortunately for Ioannis Mitakis, a cruiser crossed in front of him and prevented him from taking the wave. The Greek lost ground and tried it in the jury room but his request for redress was dismissed.
Zarif went on winning the race with Caleb Paine in second place and Josip Olujic third.
The triangle course was set for the second race with building winds reaching 18 knots.
Caleb Paine was first at the top mark with Ioannis Mitakis hot on his heels. On the run Caleb went left. “I didn't do well on the left of this run” explained Paine. “Of course there was less current , but most importantly there was less wind! I lost three places. I played catch up on the second beat, tacking on shifts.” On the first reach to the wing mark, Ionanis Mitakis was first from Luke Lawrence and Josip Olujic neck and neck with Olive Twedell (AUS). This is the moment when all went wrong! A San Francis Committee boat was anchored a few meters away from the wing mark with a start/finish flag. And as soon as Mitakis passed between the wing and the committee boat, a sound signal went. At the same time Mitakis, and a nearby jury boat thought that the course had been shortened and that this was the finish. The jury boat signaled the boats to go back to shore...Soon after it became clear that the signal was actually for a starting race for the 18ft skiffs! The top three sailors who were in the lead and heading to the Yacht club asked for redress while the guys at the back realised it was intended for the 18th and proceeded on the last reach with Paine first across the line. The earlier race leaders followed, but had lost some precious places.
Back to shore the jury did initiate a redress hearings where all the competitors were parties. After a long hearing, it was decided that the wing mark rounding order would become the finishing order.
This meant that Ionnis Mitakis wins race 8 with Olujip and Oliver Twedell sharing second place.
The score is tightening up among the top sailors with 5.5 points separating the top 5. Luke Lawrence is keeping the lead one point from Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) and two points from Caleb Paine (USA).
The last race is scheduled for Tuesday and will include all the boats. This race will be non discardable.
Pictures credit: Chris Ray