Leading from the first race to the end, Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) kept his head on the final day of the Finn Silver Cup in Moscow to win the Junior World Championship after three more races were sailed. Milosz Wojewski (POL) had a great last day to climb to second overall, while team mate Artur Ponieczynski (POL) dropped one place to take third overall.
The weather brought some tricky wind on the final day in Moscow. Basically it was determined by clouds, with gusts up to 10 knots and lulls down at 3 knots.
The first race of the day was started almost on time, but after a general recall got away under a black flag. The wind was quite shifty and it was important to follow the shifts and find local increases in pressure. The first three boats Egor Terpigoriev (RUS), Oli Tweddell (AUS), and Lennart Luttkus (GER) had a good first upwind and build a good lead on the downwind. At the finish, Terpigoriev crossed first followed by Lennart and Tweddell. Championship leader Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) took a penalty approaching the upwind mark and lost several places to finish 12th, but he managed to hang onto the lead.
The second race was started after two general recalls and shifting the course to another area. The left side was clearly advantaged with Victor Pilgunov (RUS) and Milosz Wojewski taking a clear lead followed by Kistanov. After the downwind the course changed and length of the leg was increased. Not all sailors read this change properly so some of them were approaching the previous position of the mark.
Kistanov was among them, so he again lost places, while Pilgunov and Wojewski increased their lead with Ponieczynski catching them up. The rest of the race was devoted to free pumping with Wojewski and Ponieczynski being the strongest, though Victor Pilgunov managed to keep them behind until the finish.
The wind decreased for the third race of the day down to about 3 knots, with rare and local gusts up to 7-8 knots. Pilgunov was smart on the upwind and managed to take lead at the first mark. Tomas Hrncal (CZE) was the strongest downwind, while Pilgunov managed to compete with him until the end of the race and to keep Wojewski behind. Terpigorev was approaching the leaders on the last leg, but finally he failed to pass any of them and finished fourth.
After several minor medals over the years in the Finn Silver Cup, finally the gold goes to Russia, with the young Arkadiy Kistanov winning ahead of the two strong Polish sailors Milosz Wojewski and Artur Ponieczynski.
There were four other Russian sailors in the top 10, an indication of the hard work and determination that has gone into the strong Russian youth team. Kistanov led from the opening race and though he had his worst results of the regatta on the final day managed to keep his head and stay just ahead of the two fast approaching Poles on points.
It was not the easiest regatta in terms of the conditions on the water, so the fact that he managed to maintain the lead through eight tricky races perhaps signals the start of a great Finn career ahead. However all of these strong, fit, young sailors are the Finn heroes of the future. It will be fascinating to see them develop over the years and many already have their eyes set on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Finally, a big thank you to the Moscow Sailing School, the Russian Finn Association and all the many supporters and helpers of this unique event.
Top 10 after 8 races (38 entries)
2 POL 1 Milosz Wojewski 43
3 POL 11 Artur Ponieczynski 46
4 RUS 111 Andrey Yanitsky 61
5 GER 127 Julian Massler 65
6 HUN 8 Robert Bakoczy 67
8 RUS 9 Viktor Filippov 73
9 RUS 707 Victor Pilgunov 75
10 RUS 57 Egor Terpigorev 86
Follow the Finn Silver Cup on: http://silvercup.sailingschool.ru/
Full results at: http://silvercup.sailingschool.ru/results/
Photos: Anna Geroeva
More photos at: http://silvercup.sailingschool.ru/gallery/photo/