2004 Europeans - La Rochelle, France

Finn European Championships 2004 - La Rochelle, France
 
 
1
POL 17
Mateusz Kusznierewicz
2
2
2
1
3
DNF
4
7
1
22.00
2
GBR  3
Ben Ainslie
28
4
1
4
2
15
2
2
BFD
58.00
3
FRA 73
Guillaume Florent
11
5
9
2
13
10
8
4
13
62.00
4
NZL 14
Dean Barker
4
37
6
18
10
9
9
1
16
73.00
5
BEL  7
Sebastien Godefroid
1
6
3
35
7
11
11
6
BFD
80.00
6
CAN 303
Richard Clarke
17
35
11
13
12
2
27
5
3
90.00
7
CRO 11
Karlo Kuret
21
26
26
19
1
6
13
8
11
105.00
8
GRE  7
Emilios Papathanasiou
29
1
4
17
8
22
30
3
BFD
114.00
9
NZL 27
Clifton Webb
3
9
19
9
BFD
14
10
41
10
115.00
10
ESP 100
Rafael Trujillo
33
17
33
8
23
4
3
25
8
121.00
11
DEN  7
Soren Holm
5
10
25
30
15
3
40
10
29
127.00
12
NZL 19
Peter Fox
6
15
35
14
6
24
32
12
20
129.00
13
AUS 221
Anthony Nossiter
53
8
13
25
9
16
28
18
12
129.00
14
BRA 10
Joao Signorini
20
24
15
20
16
27
22
19
2
138.00
15
CRO 25
Marin Misura
19
42
23
27
5
7
---
13
4
140.00
16
TUR  6
Ali Enver Adakan
14
46
12
7
18
19
6
23
BFD
145.00
17
GBR  6
Andrew Simpson
41
3
24
5
30
1
37
14
BFD
155.00
18
SLO  5
Gasper Vincec
40
50
14
11
4
26
1
24
BFD
170.00
19
SWE  7
Kristian Aderman
42
23
40
6
14
43
17
9
21
172.00
20
DEN 200
Jonas Hogh-Christensen
13
7
7
24
19
8
12
DNF
BFD
181.00
21
FRA 972
Ismaël Bruno
32
53
5
40
28
35
26
27
6
199.00
22
IRL  8
David Burrows
54
38
16
51
BFD
20
7
11
5
202.00
23
NED 78
Jaap Zielhuis
8
54
10
10
24
30
34
35
BFD
205.00
24
GER 79
Michael Fellmann
52
11
20
3
17
34
23
46
BFD
206.00
25
CAN 41
Christopher Cook
12
32
47
23
54
21
5
21
BFD
215.00
26
CRO 14
Nenad Viali
34
16
31
12
33
5
38
57
47
216.00
27
NED  6
Stefan De Vries
27
61
36
33
31
12
49
28
7
223.00
28
ARG  1
Alejandro Colla
43
28
18
36
32
29
39
17
28
227.00
29
RUS  1
Vladimir Krutskikh
44
25
21
38
20
48
24
29
27
228.00
30
SWE  1
Daniel Birgmark
31
18
44
46
38
50
14
15
23
229.00
31
IRL 10
Aaron O’Grady
7
22
29
58
35
32
36
33
38
232.00
32
POL  7
Rafal Szukiel
9
12
49
28
45
46
25
DNF
19
233.00
33
HUN  1
Balazs Hajdu
15
51
39
61
22
28
19
26
37
237.00
34
SWE 736
Johan Tillander
10
20
63
15
21
DNF
61
39
9
238.00
35
RUS  8
Evgeny Chernov
64
29
32
41
26
41
18
37
15
239.00
36
AUT 271
Florian Raudaschl
16
64
30
47
25
13
51
20
41
243.00
37
ARG 11
Julio Alsogaray
58
47
17
53
27
18
35
34
14
245.00
38
SUI  1
Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron
51
13
38
34
34
33
20
32
BFD
255.00
39
ITA 15
Michele Marchesini
26
21
43
29
50
31
60
42
35
277.00
40
GBR 550
Matthew Howard
46
48
27
31
51
36
82
16
36
291.00
41
EST  8
Imre Taveter
75
34
BFD
56
42
37
16
22
25
307.00
42
UKR  1
Oleksiy Borysov
70
27
28
DSQ
46
61
15
47
24
318.00
43
CHN 226
Bo Liu
24
69
8
26
BFD
DSQ
43
30
30
321.00
44
FIN 216
Tapio Nirkko
36
36
61
52
41
40
31
71
31
328.00
45
CHN 43
Quan Li Hong
55
58
65
74
43
62
21
31
17
352.00
46
GER 151
Mattias Miller
57
77
53
16
48
52
54
51
26
357.00
47
CHN 188
Peng Zhang
48
40
71
39
60
53
33
36
55
364.00
48
IRL  5
Youen Jacob
56
45
41
42
BFD
44
50
61
33
372.00
49
USA 1140
Bryan Boyd
23
44
69
22
62
55
59
40
BFD
374.00
50
CHN 319
Lei Gong
30
14
BFD
45
47
51
46
56
---
380.00
51
CHN 434
Jun Li
63
56
66
55
40
42
48
44
32
380.00
52
RUS  7
Kapitonov Vladislav
38
65
54
44
44
56
62
DNF
18
381.00
53
SUI 467
Peter Theurer
49
31
56
64
37
59
52
48
56
388.00
54
CHN 155
Xiangfeng Zhang
67
19
77
63
BFD
17
41
77
34
395.00
55
NED 64
Wietze Zetzema
47
71
46
60
BFD
39
65
45
22
395.00
56
DEN  9
Thomas Laursen
59
59
42
62
39
47
47
68
46
401.00
57
CZE  1
Michael Maier
65
63
22
37
11
23
DNF
DNC
---
403.00
58
CHN 563
Aimin Chen
62
52
BFD
32
58
65
57
38
44
408.00
59
SUI  7
Christoph Burger
35
43
37
21
BFD
38
66
DNF
---
422.00
60
SUI  5
Christoph Christen
71
75
57
66
29
60
45
54
40
422.00
61
GRE 11
Pachonios Papastefanou
80
41
48
59
57
58
44
73
45
425.00
62
HUN  6
Pal Gaszton
50
60
59
57
52
77
70
49
53
450.00
63
NED 787
Nanno Schuttrups
73
78
51
73
63
69
42
55
39
465.00
64
GBR  8
Tim Carver
37
DNF
74
71
56
45
69
66
51
469.00
65
ITA 890
Iacopo Tacchino
77
76
60
43
36
54
77
75
50
471.00
66
GBR 88
Mark Andrews
76
55
62
50
DNF
63
74
43
48
471.00
67
ESP  1
Diego Fructuoso
82
72
45
49
53
64
68
78
43
472.00
68
HUN  5
Tibor Pallay
66
39
50
70
59
67
63
62
BFD
476.00
69
NED 80
Sander Willems
18
70
34
BFD
BFD
25
58
RAF
---
478.00
70
EST 15
Janno Hool
45
80
55
75
61
73
64
50
57
480.00
71
GER 81
Jan-Dietmar Dellas
60
49
80
48
BFD
49
79
64
59
488.00
72
POL  1
Yarema Drogowski
69
66
64
69
55
74
53
52
BFD
502.00
73
EST  7
Harles Liiv
39
67
DNF
54
64
57
67
DNF
BFD
530.00
74
ISV  1
Ben Beer
61
57
75
68
74
66
76
53
---
530.00
75
UKR 11
Yevgen Yaroshenko
85
68
58
77
49
75
71
76
58
532.00
76
SUI  8
Nick Benz
79
62
52
76
69
DNF
81
60
54
533.00
77
FRA  7
Pierre le Chatelier
83
73
76
67
BFD
72
56
65
49
541.00
78
SUI 99
Thomas Brack
68
88
72
78
65
70
78
63
52
546.00
79
SUI 100
David Veit
74
83
68
65
68
71
72
59
BFD
560.00
80
SUI 12
Franz Buergi
78
84
67
80
73
68
55
58
BFD
563.00
81
POL 71
Bartlomiey Flak
84
85
73
81
70
81
29
69
BFD
572.00
82
GER 19
Andreas Bollongino
86
74
81
72
67
76
73
72
62
577.00
83
USA 12
Kevin Hall
22
30
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
598.00
84
ITA  1
Luca Devoti
25
33
DNC
DNF
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
604.00
85
FRA 804
Gaël Seguin
88
87
70
83
71
80
80
74
61
606.00
86
FRA 17
Jean-Philippe Saliou
89
81
82
79
66
78
---
---
42
608.00
87
GBR 61
Mathieu Colin De Verdiere
72
82
83
85
72
83
85
DNC
63
625.00
88
GER 266
Michael Eller
81
79
78
84
DNF
79
75
DNF
60
627.00
89
FRA 817
Simon Lemaitre
87
86
79
82
75
82
83
70
---
644.00
90
ARG  2
Ricardo Reyes
DNF
DNF
DNC
86
BFD
84
84
67
64
658.00
 

Europeans 2004 report

 

 

Leading from start to finish, the 1996 Gold Medalist Mateusz Kusznierewicz won the 2004 European Championships in fine style. Never out of the top seven, he dominated in the variable conditions. Sailed from 6th to the 15th May in La Rochelle France, 90 sailors from 33 nations took part, with 10 countries in close competition for the remaining five Olympic berths.

 

 

With a talented fleet of 90 sailors, the 2004 Finn European Championship in La Rochelle was set to be a benchmark in recent Finn sailing. 33 countries were in contention with 10 fighting for the last five Olympic berths. They were: Argentina, Austria, China, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia, US Virgin Islands and Ukraine. IFA coaches Arif Gurdenli and Gus Miller, had spent the previous week helping sailors from China, Hungary and Estonia to prepare for their qualification regatta. They participated in an intensive clinic focusing on equipment tuning as well as sailing skills and tactics.

 

 

With most of the top 50 Finn sailors present, the quality of the fleet was unequalled. Many teams were also still racing for their National selection for the Olympics: New Zealand, Canada, Italy, China, Ireland and Switzerland.

 

 

Josje Hofland Dominicus (NED), Chairman of the Jury and her team of Bernard Bonneau (FRA), Jan Stage (DEN), Oleg Ilyin (RUS), Bill O’Hara (IRL) and Ralph Roberts (NZL) will all be part of the Olympic jury in Athens. The racing committee was led by Bernard Carre (PRO in Hyères on the Finn class) and Alain Chenais with the assistance of Course Rep. Peter Reggio. ‘Luigi’ officiated in this same role during the ISAF Worlds in Cadiz. He was also the PRO during the 2001 Finn Gold Cup and the Louis Vuitton Cup

 

 

 
 

 

The first three days of the championship were just enough to measure 90 boats. Class measurer Jüri Saraskin received some outstanding help from the French team and its chief measurer, Alain Bugeaud. The President of the organising club - Societe des Regates Rochelaises (SRR) - Gilles Chabaud, is an ex-Finn sailor and organised a social programme to entertain sailors and officials all week long. Regatta sponsor, Harken, gave daily prizes for winners in the senior and junior divisions. The unsettled weather was the only threat for this high level regatta.

 

 

Day one

 

 

After a postponement on shore, the wind picked to 8-10 knots and the first race finally started under black flag (after 2 general recalls). The current and shifty winds made racing tricky. The majority of the fleet started at the pin end of the line. The race leaders played the shifts on the left. Soren Holm was first at the top mark but dropped to 4th. Sebastien Godefroid made steady progress throughout the race to win in front of Mateusz

 

Kusznierewicz and Clifton Webb. The Kiwis were sailing their last selection for the Olympics and the battle between them was fierce. They finished within three points of each other with Clifton Webb finishing 3rd in front of Dean Barker in 4th and Peter Fox in 6th.

 

 

The wind increased in strength and stability for the second race. Again the gains were made on the left side. Emilios Papathanasiou led the race from start to end: “I started on the pin end and played the shifts in the middle. The wind was nice, like in Athens. I am not so used to the current here, but the racing was good.” Second and third places went to Mateusz and Andrew Simpson. First Junior in both races was Lei Gong from China.

 

Day two

 

Racing started with a light and steady 10 knots breeze and sunny conditions. Big black clouds and rain suddenly arrived, affecting the temperature and wind. Ben Ainslie led the fleet around the first mark with Liu Bo on his trail. While Ben distanced himself from the fleet, Liu Bo dropped some places on the downwind legs to cross the finish line in 8th. Ben easily won the race, increasing his lead on Mateusz on the run. “It was another tricky race. The left side was favoured again, but frankly no one here can explain why,” admitted the triple World Champion. Run specialists, Mateusz, Sebastien Godefroid and Emilios Papathanasiou climbed to the top of the fleet after the first downwind leg to follow Ben home. Ismael Bruno was the first Frenchman in 5th. “Ismael decided to change his equipment and it responded better to these conditions.” explained his coach, Patrice Guadagnin.

 

After three races, Mateusz had a small lead over Sebastien. Guillaume Florent, freshly selected in Hyéres for Athens was in third position, two points ahead of Jonas Hoegh-Christensen. With a sore knee, US representative Kevin Hall decided to stop racing to recover before the next regatta. Luca Devoti also stopped after two races.

 

Day three

 

The fourth race started with 12 knots and the ‘Olympic triangle’. The Oscar flag allowing free pumping was displayed on the top mark, giving a rest to the jury, and providing lots of fun to the sailors. Guillaume was first at the top mark followed by Mateusz, Ben and Mattias Miller from Germany. At the leeward mark, Mateusz had passed Guillaume with Ben in second position. On the second beat Mateusz enjoyed a big shift on the extreme left side of the course that propelled him out of reach of his followers. Guillaume caught up Ben and stayed on his tail until the last beat. Guillaume and Michael Fellmann who had sailed further to the left made some ground on Ben, to take 2nd and 3rd.

 

With more wind on the second race, Oscar was displayed at the start of the triangle course. The wind had picked to 14-17 knots. After several general recalls, the black flag sent several sailors back home. Ben cleared out at the start, followed closely by Karlo Kuret and Mateusz. Karlo, with a good speed and pointing higher than his rival, gained some ground and finally got even with Ben who couldn’t get away. On the last 100 meters from the finish, the Croatian passed the Brit to win the race. Mateusz crossed the line in 3rd position followed by Gasper Vincec and Marin Misura. Iacopo Tacchino was the best Junior in both races in 43rd and 36th place.

 

Day four

 

“It was puffy, shifty,…a patient man’s day”, Richard Clarke taking second place, summarised day four’s shifty race by these simple words, but the race was far from simple.

 

Starting with 15 knots, the wind was going all over the place. Boats at each end of the line were sailing on different tack. “It was hard to know who was leading on the first beat” explained Guillaume. First at the top mark, Nenad Viali enjoyed “half an hour of glory” before dropping to 4th at the end of the reaches.

 

Soren Holm, who, like the Croatian had lost some ground on the reaches claimed first place at the end of the second beat in front of Richard Clarke and Andrew Simpson. The wind by then had dropped to 10 knots and the racing committee had changed the Oscar flag. The jury was again in action and penalised four sailors including Ben, and Mateusz for the second time, forcing the regatta leader to retire from the race. “This is so stupid, I saw the C flag for the change of course at the top mark but I didn’t see the R flag. I was so concentrated on the shifts and Sebastien just behind me. It is a real pity, I was coming 8th and this will make it harder to win the regatta,” declared a disappointed Mateusz.

 

Richard Clarke led the fleet around the last leeward mark with Andrew Simpson just behind. The last beat proved tricky. ‘Bart’ took the option on the right while Richard sailed more conservatively in the centre. More pressure on the right lifted Andrew to the finish. If yesterday was ‘Kiwi day’ today was declared, ‘Croatian day’ with Nenad Viali, Karlo Kuret and Marin Misura taking 5th, 6th and 7th.

 

Day five

 

Day five was by far the most difficult day on the water. The wind was all over the place, up and down in strength, patchy, puffy...whatever the complaints and the frustration, the favourites came out in front and the overall result after two races didn’t change much. Mateusz after a 4th and a 7th was still in the lead, nine points ahead of direct rival Ben.

 

The first race was won by Gasper Vincec. The right side was favoured by a big shift during the first beat. The wind was light to medium 8 to 10 knots and according to the general description, very shifty. The wind increased to 12 knots at the start of the second race and up to 15 on the second beat. The course was a windward leeward in the first race and was changed to a triangle in the second. Emilios Papathanasiou led the fleet in the second race until Dean Barker passed him at the end of the reaches to win the race.

 

Day six

 

When the black flag came up on the second start of the last race, it penalised 11 sailors. The third start under the black flag took its toll among Mateusz’s opponents for the Championship title. The current was pushing the sailors towards the crowded pin end of the line. Ben, Sebastien, Emilios, Ali Enver and Gasper took an aggressive start despite the risk of disqualification.

 

At the top mark, their names were on the race committee black board, forcing them to leave the race. “It was such a relief, I could sail my own race,” declared Mateusz. “My only worry was the downwind legs. I had to restrain myself from moving. I have never been so still in the boat, but I couldn’t afford a third penalty.

 

The championship was in the bag as he went on to win the last race. With the top two and three out of contention, Guillaume Florent, 4th before the last race, had to place in the top eight to take 2nd overall or better than 30th to place 3rd. He was looking good in the top five before the last beat, but chose to go right on the last upwind leg. He finished the race in 13th, taking bronze, leaving the silver to Ben. Dean placed 4th in his first European Championship in front of Sebastien.

 

The European Junior Champion was Ukrainian Oleksiy Borysov in 42nd place. Second was Tapio Nirkko from Finland (44th). Lei Gong from China took 3rd place in 50th position.

 

The five countries who have qualified for the Athens Olympic regatta are (upon ISAF approval): Argentina (Alejandro Colla 28th), Russia (Vladimir Krutskikh, 29th), Hungary (Balazs Hajdu, 33rd), Austria (Florian Raudaschl, 36th), Italy (Michele Marchesini, 39th).

 

For the prizegiving ceremony, the yacht club invited all the famous French Finn sailors of all time to come and congratulate the world’s best. Among them, Serge Maury, Olympic Champion in Kiel in 1972, Didier Poissant, Olympic Games representative in 1956 in Melbourne, Yves-Louis Pinaud, 1960 in Rome, Gerard de Villard, Tokyo in 1964, Philippe Soria in Mexico in 1968, Philippe Presti…

 

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