1997 Finn Gold Cup - Gdansk, Poland

 

 

 

 

 

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

Total

1

SWE 7

Fredrik Lööf

2

5

9

2

23

2

1

21

2

ITA 1

Luca Devoti

6

3

4

11

4

1

6

24

3

FRA 778

Xavier Rohart

8

2

3

3

16

5

11

32

4

CAN 11

Richard Clarke

13

4

19

10

11

3

4

45

5

BEL 7

Sebastien Godefroid

3

12

11

21

1

7

15

49

6

AUT 1

Hans Spitzauer

9

1

6

12

20

11

13

52

7

UKR 21

Juri Tokovoi

16

6

16

8

5

21

2

53

8

POL 17

Mateusz Kusznierewicz

1

22

18

4

36

4

5

54

9

GRE 6

Emilios Papathanassiou

4

8

1

5

DNF

31

16

65

10

GER 79

Michael Fellmann

10

14

5

13

38

10

17

69

11

CRO 11

Karlo Kuret

27

7

21

6

3

6

28

70

12

RSA 1

Ian Ainslie

14

9

10

9

14

14

19

70

13

GBR 550

Richard Stenhouse

22

17

2

14

OCS

8

9

72

14

ESP 100

Rafael Trujillo Villar

7

11

7

1

34

17

32

75

15

RUS 21

Oleg Khoperski

5

16

8

17

15

16

22

77

16

GER 6

Andreas Buchert

11

20

15

24

10

20

3

79

17

CZE 304

Michael Maier

17

13

12

16

2

22

20

80

18

GBR 540

Iain Percy

18

10

17

7

45

13

21

86

19

NZL 242

Ian Baker

19

27

13

19

9

9

18

87

20

POL 4

Dominik Zycki

12

24

24

37

26

15

10

111

21

SUI 456

Peter Theurer

26

19

26

22

8

19

29

120

22

BEL 2

Philippe Rogge

24

33

20

20

7

26

34

130

23

AUS 208

Paul McKenzie

20

29

33

30

6

18

OCS

136

24

POL 40

Dariusz Migacz

50

52

14

15

18

12

39

148

25

USA 1144

Darrell Peck

23

32

27

18

30

24

36

154

26

IRL 1

John Driscoll

15

21

DNF

27

49

38

7

157

27

ITA 55

Walter Riosa

30

18

22

25

52

32

35

162

28

UKR 1

Igor Tkachuk

33

28

23

33

DNF

25

33

175

29

CRO 14

Nenad Viali

44

31

30

29

47

23

26

183

30

RUS 14

Michael Apoukhtin

36

36

25

26

41

33

27

183

31

CZE 479

Michal Hruby

38

30

28

40

31

35

23

185

32

BRA 1

Bruno Prada

35

34

45

31

12

29

OCS

186

33

EST 8

Imre Taveter

37

23

34

42

21

36

OCS

193

34

GBR 548

Tim Carver

32

44

29

39

13

40

DNF

197

35

NZL 248

Clifton Webb

25

42

36

51

35

37

24

199

36

UKR 11

Denis Knachtchina

40

40

39

43

29

51

12

203

37

IRL 10

Colin Chapman

42

39

32

44

22

27

45

206

38

ESP 105

Javier Aguado

46

15

31

DNF

53

28

38

211

39

POR 81

Henrique Anjos

28

45

DNF

23

48

39

30

213

40

NED 701

Martiyn van Muyden

49

41

35

32

58

34

25

216

41

SVK 1

Marek Valasek

29

46

42

50

33

30

42

222

42

USA 1121

Brian Huntsman

21

50

37

47

24

49

DNF

228

43

IRL 8

David Burrows

31

37

48

28

40

44

50

228

44

USA 1078

Andrew Kern

54

49

41

41

19

41

41

232

45

USA 1146

Michael Deyet

47

35

56

35

46

42

37

242

46

GBR 549

Rowan Chaplin

43

56

40

38

32

61

40

249

47

BLR 1

Vladimir Zuev

53

48

54

55

43

55

8

261

48

SUI 440

Danial Brun

DNF

47

47

45

17

54

51

261

49

CZE 19

Jiri Hyza

48

54

43

36

42

53

43

265

50

USA 1139

John Callahan

52

55

38

59

28

48

47

268

51

NED 707

Marc Blees

59

60

46

54

51

47

14

271

52

GER 81

Jan-Dietmar Dellas

55

26

44

53

62

63

31

271

53

USA 9

Chic Parsons

39

53

51

34

63

43

OCS

283

54

ITA 15

Michele Marchesini

45

25

49

48

DSQ

45

DNF

294

55

CAN 1

Jeremy Millar

57

43

50

46

57

52

46

294

56

TUR 44

Akif Muslubas

63

62

53

52

39

46

49

301

57

NED 702

Jan Willem Kok

34

65

58

57

37

56

61

303

58

HUN 1

Balazs Hajdu

41

38

DNF

49

DNF

50

52

312

59

POL 12

Waclaw Szukiel

61

59

55

61

25

64

56

317

60

POL 7

Rafal Szukiel

60

57

59

62

27

57

57

317

61

BRA 10

Fabio Bodra

56

51

52

56

59

59

48

322

62

POL 41

Andrzej Czapski

51

61

61

60

44

58

54

328

63

USA 1138

Scott Griffith

DNC

58

57

58

50

62

44

329

64

GBR 544

Charley Cumbley

64

63

62

66

54

60

DSQ

369

65

NED 706

Ewout Meijer

65

72

60

63

55

70

62

375

66

TUR 11

Sinan Sumer

62

64

64

70

65

69

53

377

67

POL 75

Jaroslaw Gorski

68

66

65

67

60

68

55

381

68

USA 1128

Mo Hart

DNC

67

63

64

70

65

59

388

69

POL 73

Tomasz Karczewski

69

76

66

65

61

71

65

397

70

USA 975

Gus Miller

72

74

69

73

56

73

58

401

71

GBR 545

Tony Lacey

66

68

72

68

DSQ

67

60

401

72

POL 10

Przemyslaw Nawrocki

77

73

71

72

64

74

63

417

73

SWE 699

Petter Ivarsson

71

77

70

69

68

75

64

417

74

EST 13

Dag Trink

70

71

DNF

DNF

66

66

67

422

75

POL 1

Marcin Wojtoniak

67

70

67

71

DNF

72

DSQ

429

76

ITA 851

Roberto Upazzoli

73

75

68

74

73

76

69

432

77

GBR 331

Richard Hart

74

79

74

75

67

78

68

436

78

ESP 128

Jose Vives Sivera

75

78

73

DNF

69

77

66

438

79

NED 695

Wierd Snieder

58

69

DNF

DNF

DNF

DNF

DNF

455

80

POL 16

Robert Andrzejak

78

80

75

76

72

80

DNF

461

81

POL 11

Machal Szymankiewicz

76

DNF

76

DNF

71

79

DNF

466

 

1997 FGC report

 

On Sunday 6 July the 1997 Finn Gold Cup officially began. During the day  the practice race was held, which consisted of one triangle for most people. The fleet just went to have a look, find out what the starting vessel looked like, and sailed two reaching legs. Then it was time to get back to working on the boat and get scrubbed up for the Opening Ceremony, a very formal affair, which took place in the Town Hall of the beautiful old town of Gdansk.

 

Race 1 - First Race to Olympic Champion

In a 15-18 knot breeze and huge waves, fast sailing wasn't easy. The size of the waves even got the better of some sailors' stomachs. After a general recall the upwind speed of Rafael Trujillo got him to the first mark in first place, followed by Fredrik Lööf, Sebbe Godefroid, Luca Devoti and Mateusz Kusznierewicz. They then had trouble finding the gybe mark, which seemed to be drifting. Freddy adjusted best and was leading when they found it, with Emilios Papathanassiou in second place, and Dominik Zycki in third. Dominik was passed on the 2nd reach by Mateusz Kusznierewicz.

 

On the second beat there was more wind on the right, and it was Sebbe and Mateusz who gained the most, rounding the top mark in first and second place. Mateusz then overtook Sebbe on the run. "It was fun to sail downwind, and I'm fast on the run, but I nearly capsized as well" said Mateusz. On the final beat he managed to retain control to win the first race. Freddy Lööf came second, followed by Sebbe and Emilios. European Champion Luca Devoti finished in 6th place. He was happy, but said he had been really sick for the last 10 days and had no energy.

 

Race 2 - Hans Spitzauer shows great form

He may not have been the fastest man out there, but "Hansi" Spitzauer certainly showed the fleet that his winning Kiel Week a week before was not coincidence.

 

After yesterday's lesson of "GO RIGHT, GO RIGHT", a large part of the fleet put their heads down and went right. In the difficult conditions however (10-16 knots and smaller waves), there were light patches, and there appeared to be more wind on the left. Behind Spitzauer, Xavier Rohart finished second and Luca Devoti third. Another happy camper was Rafael Trujillo from Spain, who is relatively new to the class and is being coached by Jose Maria van der Ploeg.

 

After two races, Fredrik Lööf was leading the table with 7 points, followed by Luca Devoti with 9, and Xavier Rohart and Hans Spitzauer with 10 points each. Mateusz Kusznierewicz seemed to be under a lot of pressure being the local hero (so far he had appeared on TV Gdansk every night) and did not get beyond 22nd place.

 

Race 3 - Emilios wins his first Gold Cup Race

In 20 knot winds the fleet produced 2 general recalls, after which Race Officer Andy Reyman did not want to waste any more time and hoisted the Black Flag. Emilios Papathanassiou reached the top mark first after a 26-minute beat, followed by Luca and Michael Fellmann. The other favourites were not far behind.

 

The reach looked like a bunch of fun. The jury was very visible but understood that the huge waves allowed heaps of freedom and the whole fleet was able to work hard and enjoy the ride. And the rule remains simple: "The harder you work, the faster you go!" Particularly impressive were Luca Devoti, Richard Stenhouse, Ian Ainslie and Xavier Rohart. Emilios retained his lead by staying to the left of Luca, which gave him a LOUD inside overlap at the gybe mark. By the time they reached the leeward mark Luca allowed Hans Spitzauer an inside overlap, while Richard Stenhouse moved up to 4th. Emilios was still happily leading on the run, but all sorts of things were happening behind him. Luca lost his vang and lost 3 places in the last 200m to the leeward  mark.

 

The last beat was a hard hike for most people. Emilios closely covered Richard. "He almost let me escape once", said Richard, "or maybe he was getting tired. I know I was!" Emilios won, followed by Richard, Xavier and Luca.

 

Race 4 - Rafael wins his first race too!

Race 4 went to Spanish Rafael Trujillo Villar, the big man from Spain who spent most of the race in 2nd place, and then trucked past race leader Freddy Lööf on the last beat.

 

It was windier still, up to 22 knots, and the waves didn't look any smaller either. Luca Devoti, Gus Miller, and Chic Parsons more or less port-tacked the fleet and Gus was very happy to end the first leg in the middle of the fleet, but Luca had more in mind, and rounded the top mark in first place. Moaning as usual before the start ("it's when Luca DOESN'T shake his head that something is REALLY wrong", said one of the coaches), he showed excellent boatspeed. He was still leading at the bottom mark, when he slipped, fell into his boat and nearly capsized. It cost him 7 places, he hurt his back, and eventually dropped to 11th. On the second beat Freddy - while in 2nd place - went hard left, while the top group chose to stay just left of the middle. It looked like a dangerous thing to do but he reached the top mark with a small lead over Rafael and Xavier Rohart.

 

The run was a wild one once again, requiring some gybing half way through. On the final beat, it looked as if it was all over, as Freddy had considerably extended his lead on the run. He went left again, but didn't cover as closely as he should have. And big Rafael is superfast in the heavy stuff, so that break was all he needed. With one quarter of the beat left to go he had Freddy where he wanted him and that was that. Xavier Rohart finished an excellent 3rd, which made him the series leader overnight.

 

Race 5 - Sebastien wins shifty race

The day began with less wind (6-10 kts) and less sunshine, but still pretty big waves from the day before. The race started with a couple of recalls. Then three quarters of the way up the beat there was a huge windshift to the right. After the first boats were well around the top mark and reaching, the Race Committee decided to abandon the race and start again. Darrell Peck, who was leading at the time: "I couldn't believe it. Here I was... leading the boat race, and suddenly I see them pick up the gybe mark and take it away. Aaagghh!"

 

So they started again. This time the shift came right after the start, and those who had started at the committee boat end began to look very good. Sebastien Godefroid, who ended up winning the race, said: "Maybe I sailed 85% of the first beat on starboard tack and only 15% on port." Luca Devoti did good business, finishing 4th. With his back still painful, he had a conservative start on the right: "I sailed conservatively throughout the race, and I'm very pleased with my 4th. Now I'm in 2nd position, so there isn't as much pressure as when you're leading."

 

Ahead of Luca after 5 races was Xavier Rohart, who finished 16th. Said Xavier, “ You don't have to win any race to win the Gold Cup, as long as you are always up there. It would be nice to win, though! I've been second too often!" With two races to go and all to play for, there was only 2 points in it between the top five boats.

 

Race 6 - Luca wins by a whisker, and takes lead

The wind was 8-13 kts from the north with a confused wave pattern. The wind was very shifty before the start and after 2 general recalls, the black flag was hoisted, but then the wind shifted hard right again and Race Officer Andy Reyman made an excellent call by postponing the start in the last minute. A new starting sequence was begun and the fleet got underway after the third start (again under a black flag). Luca Devoti started right at the committee boat end, tacked onto port and didn't look back in the first 8 minutes. If you're fast, you have time to be smart, and so Luca executed the strategy he had planned: to sail conservatively. He tacked back until he was just to the right of the core of the fleet, and started playing the shifts. He never looked as if anyone could touch him. Polish Dariusz Migacz sailed an excellent first beat and rounded Mark 1 in 2nd place, followed by Chic Parsons, with Richard Stenhouse, Karlo Kuret, Michael Fellmann, Richard Clarke and Fredrik Lööf in hot pursuit.

 

By the time they reached the leeward mark Freddy had moved up to 3rd. The second beat was fought out more to the left of the course. It saw Freddy move up to 2nd but Luca was defending his lead well. Richard Clarke was now in 3rd place after slowly working his way forward boat for boat. Xavier was now in 6th. On the run, Mad Luca seemed to be running out of steam. With his back still painful he wasn't working anywhere near as hard as Fredrik Lööf and Richard Clarke and had to let them round the leeward mark ahead of him. But it wasn't over yet!

 

With Richard on the right, Freddy in the middle and Luca to the left, Freddy seemed to have the upper hand. Or did he? With only 300 m to go what Luca needed was for the wind to go a little left... And sure enough it did, giving Luca, who couldn't quite make the pin end of the line, the chance to tack on to port and straight back onto starboard right in front of Freddy's bow. What a finish!  Xavier gained one more place and finished 5th.

 

Going into the final race, Luca had 18, Freddy 20 and Xavier 21. Luca is the European Champion, but as he says, he's never won a boat race outside Italy or Croatia! Freddy has won a Gold Cup (1994), but has also lost two on the last day (1991 and 1993).... and Xavier? Well, Xavier is just tired of being second!

 

Race 7 - Freddy takes race and Gold Cup

After a couple of nervous starts with a black flag eliminating 6 boats including Paul McKenzie (AUS), the fleet got underway at 11.45. The Finn sailing instructions allow black-flagged competitors to keep racing if they protest, so Paul flicked his little flag up and went on to win the race, but did not convince the jury that his OCS was an error of the race committee.

 

The wind was shifty but the left seemed favoured. That is when Luca and Xavier made their mistake. Freddy had started to the right of them and after a couple of tacks he decided to go left. He was some 30 metres behind both Luca and Xavier, who never saw him take their transom. Luca: "I wanted to go left! If I had seen him, I would have gone left too, but I thought that he was to my right."

 

At the first mark Fredrik was in 7th, Luca in 13th and Xavier in 23rd place. The three most excited guys in the fleet were Vladimir Zuev (Belarus), Denis Khashina (UKR) and Marc Blees (NED), who rounded the top mark in 3rd, 4th and 5th. Marc was supposed to catch a 6 o'clock flight and before the race he said he was going to retire if it looked as if he might miss his plane, but retire when you are in 5th place in a Gold Cup race? NO WAY!!

 

Fredrik kept edging his way forward while Luca and Xavier were frantically trying to catch up. In order to win the Gold Cup, Xavier needed to finish ahead of Freddy, while Luca could only finish two boats behind Freddy. Freddy wasn't going to let it happen. On the last beat he kept a loose cover on his rivals and even sailed past Juri Tokovoi. And with Paul out of the race, it was in fact Freddy who ended up collecting the days prize, and winning the regatta by 3 points. Juri finished the race in 2nd with Andreas Buchert in 3rd.

 

Great Racing and Great Prizes!

And so another Gold Cup came to an end. With seven terrific races in wonderful weather and good race committee work thanks to Andy Reyman and his team, it was also a very successful one. Thanks, Andy, for a job well done. A nice closing ceremony finished off the event. To his surprise Freddy ended up winning a Polish car, Luca received a beautiful mountain bike (Luca: "Freddy is fit, so he can sit in a car; I'm fat and not fit, so I really NEED a bike!"), and Xavier was given a colour TV. Not bad for a week's racing!

 

In his winner's speech Freddy thanked the organisers and the sponsors ("especially the car sponsor!!"), and then went on to thank Pat Healy, who is leaving the class as VP Development after 7 years, and your reporter who is retiring as Executive Director after 6 years. She was given a gorgeous bracelet by all the sailors - what a way to say goodbye.

 

 

TRANSLATE

English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

MEDIA PARTNERS

© 2017, International Finn Association, Inc