2006 Finn Gold Cup - Split, Croatia

1
DEN 2
Christensen Jonas Hogh
2
4
2
5
1
3
33
6
23
2
GRE 7
Papathanasiou Emilios
4
1
5
10
2
DSQ
3
1
26
3
GBR 111
Wright Edward
1
10
7
2
3
10
7
2
32
4
SWE 11
Birgmark Daniel
11
6
3
8
15
4
27
7
54
5
ESP 100
Trujillo Rafael Joaquin
9
2
1
1
8
1
34
38
56
6
FRA 73
Guillame Florent
19
11
12
11
16
5
4
4
63
7
SWE 736
Tillander Johan
12
5
13
6
7
14
16
12
69
8
CRO 524
Kljaković Gašpić Ivan
5
12
OCS
18
10
17
1
10
73
9
CAN 41
Cook Christopher
21
7
10
13
14
11
12
9
76
10
GBR 550
Howard Matt
6
13
6
68
9
13
13
19
79
11
GBR 54
Percy Iain
7
3
21
12
4
8
28
RAF
83
12
NED 842
Postma Pieter Jan
8
23
4
39
19
2
21
16
93
13
NOR 1
Moberg Peer
10
9
14
32
11
25
11
13
93
14
AUS 221
Nossiter Anthony
25
14
22
20
17
9
46
3
110
15
SLO 5
Vinčec Gašper
BFD
29
8
22
13
7
6
28
113
16
AUT 271
Raudaschl Florian
16
34
19
4
27
16
17
17
116
17
CRO 11
Kuret Karlo
37
20
26
7
6
6
14
44
116
18
NZL 1
Slater Daniel
3
8
OCS
19
12
18
30
33
123
19
POL 12
Szukiel Waclaw
32
28
38
3
5
26
24
8
126
20
FIN 216
Tapio Nirkko
23
15
9
27
34
24
2
27
127
21
ESP 310
Arrarte Pablo
27
25
29
17
23
12
10
24
138
22
CZE 1
Maier Michael
34
16
47
16
26
23
8
21
144
23
FRA 972
Ismael Bruno
15
22
31
14
22
43
35
11
150
24
IRL 10
O'grady Aaron
31
19
35
42
25
19
37
5
171
25
GBR 625
Greig Ed
38
26
11
52
36
15
19
29
174
26
CRO 25
Mišura Marin
28
17
34
36
44
20
9
32
176
27
POL 7
Szukiel Rafal
17
18
33
29
29
22
39
37
185
28
IRL 5
Goodbody Timothy
26
37
16
9
31
31
53
39
189
29
USA 4
Railey Zach
22
21
27
71
20
27
22
51
190
30
LTU 7
Guzys Giedrius
14
30
30
43
41
21
20
41
197
31
GBR 88
Andrews Mark
24
27
24
34
35
29
50
25
198
32
GRE 8
Dragoutsis Alexandros
18
31
48
15
32
32
43
60
219
33
CRO 69
Mišura Bartul
40
24
23
53
33
62
23
26
222
34
CRO 16
Tomašević Emil
20
35
40
70
43
34
38
20
230
35
CZE 3
Lidarik Rudolf
30
50
46
40
38
56
15
18
237
36
ESP 836
Vadell Alberto
46
32
45
57
52
40
5
22
242
37
NED 80
Willems Sender
13
BFD
15
60
40
30
41
46
245
38
ITA 117
Poggi Giorgio
29
39
20
50
28
36
44
56
246
39
DEN 9
Laursen Thomas
33
40
18
RET
39
42
29
47
248
40
ESP 1
Fructoso Diego
36
36
49
59
24
41
45
23
254
41
NED 64
Zetzema Wietze
41
BFD
28
30
18
55
40
58
270
42
BRA 109
Zarif Jorge
58
44
37
26
30
33
58
43
271
43
GBR 99
Bagnall Henry
52
43
41
24
58
39
62
15
272
44
ITA 660
Bortoletto Davide
35
58
32
61
37
50
25
40
277
45
GBR 589
Davidson Peter
42
54
36
35
46
48
61
45
306
46
UKR 1
Borisov Olexiy
49
41
25
37
BFD
28
31
DNF
311
47
CAN 115
Mess Derek
57
62
43
25
53
49
55
35
317
48
NED 41
Van Hellemond Karel
43
65
53
75
66
35
51
14
327
49
CZE 9
Hruby Michal
39
33
17
21
21
DNC
DNC
DNC
331
50
POL 17
Kula Piotr
BFD
48
DSQ
23
59
54
18
42
344
51
NZL 4
Turner Jim
55
52
44
28
57
61
68
48
345
52
POL 1
Dabkowski Krzysztof
51
46
54
48
45
57
48
59
349
53
POL 45
Mazur Piotr
65
57
87
33
47
69
49
31
351
54
ITA 101
Cordovani Riccardo
79
67
42
41
DNC
38
71
30
368
55
GBR 634
Mills Andrew
54
38
39
81
48
71
42
DNF
373
56
ITA 6
Passoni Marco
53
56
52
BFD
74
51
64
34
384
57
ITA 40
Kolic Marko
BFD
42
51
DNF
67
45
26
55
386
58
CRO 88
Mrduljaš Marin
84
76
80
44
63
46
32
49
390
59
ITA 82
Bosetti Roberto
50
51
61
46
64
70
56
62
390
60
FRA 9
Ponsot Pierre Alexis
63
55
50
31
75
52
69
74
394
61
CZE 52
Vika Tomaš
75
64
73
64
60
65
36
36
398
62
GER 174
Bohn Matthias
56
63
69
93
61
37
47
76
409
63
POL 41
Szydlowski Bartek
48
49
57
62
BFD
44
52
DNF
412
64
ITA 55
Riosa Walter
70
53
63
45
50
60
78
DNF
419
65
TUR 7
Muslubas Akif
68
61
68
63
55
59
85
61
435
66
ITA 68
Romeo Piero
59
RET
75
38
BFD
53
57
54
436
67
HUN 6
Pal Gaszton
61
60
66
84
72
47
54
78
438
68
ITA 70
Lubrano Francesco
47
47
91
88
49
66
67
77
441
69
GER 108
Munck Sebastian
64
80
56
47
76
76
59
66
444
70
BUL 24
Kopanov Mihail
44
59
64
74
83
63
73
75
452
71
CRO 9
Cicarelli Lukša
82
68
74
72
51
73
66
50
454
72
BAR 2
Mcgregor David
80
70
59
56
73
72
76
57
463
73
HUN 8
Beliczay Marton
62
79
79
49
77
79
72
52
470
74
NED 45
De Ruiter Dennis
71
75
58
58
87
75
63
70
470
75
GER 165
Meid Dirk
74
69
62
67
65
74
75
DNC
486
76
ITA 929
Buglielli Marco
66
81
72
RET
68
68
88
53
496
77
CRO 6
Zekan Armano
DSQ
71
71
85
56
88
60
67
498
78
ITA 72
Guidi Andrea
88
72
82
92
54
77
65
64
502
79
EST 7
Liiv Harles
60
45
DNC
DNC
42
58
DNC
DNC
505
80
BUL 20
Stergidov Kosta
73
77
76
82
62
67
84
68
505
81
ITA 926
Mancini Simone
85
85
70
54
69
80
90
69
512
82
EST 3
Eesalu Heiko
81
73
67
90
78
64
86
63
512
83
NED 804
Scheurwater Cees
72
74
65
76
81
86
81
73
522
84
GRE 71
Panagiotis Davourlis
83
86
85
51
80
81
91
65
531
85
ITA 4
Faggiani Francesco
77
78
78
77
86
78
70
DNF
544
86
SUI 496
Gautschi Tomas
69
93
89
66
90
87
74
71
546
87
EST 8
Taveter Aare
93
87
86
73
71
84
83
79
563
88
USA 1197
Brown Conrad
76
84
88
55
79
89
93
DNF
564
89
BAR 1
Kent Christopher
78
90
81
79
84
91
80
72
564
90
AUS 2
Ironmoger Ricky
45
89
55
86
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
575
91
HUN 5
Pallay Tibor
86
83
77
DNC
70
82
77
DNC
575
92
GBR 631
Hart Richard
87
82
83
78
82
85
92
81
578
93
DEN 231
Boggild Kenneth
67
66
60
87
DNC
DNC
DNC
DNC
580
94
HUN 17
Keresztes Gabor
89
92
92
69
88
92
87
80
597
95
USA 1213
Nady Andras
92
91
84
80
92
93
82
82
603
96
ITA 71
Podesta Lorenzo
90
95
90
91
89
90
79
DNF
624
97
GER 666
Wingsch Volker
91
94
93
65
85
DNC
DNF
DNC
628
98
HUN 68
Laszlo Nagy Akos
94
88
94
89
91
83
89
DNC
628
99
RUS 7
Duyunov Maxim
95
96
95
83
93
94
94
DNC
650
Junior World Championship
 
Overall
   
1
31
GBR 88
Andrews Mark
2
43
GBR 99
Bagnall Henry
3
50
POL 17
Kula Piotr
4
52
POL 1
Dabkowski Krzysztof
5
53
POL 45
Mazur Piotr
6
55
GBR 634
Mills Andrew
7
57
ITA 40
Kolic Marko
8
61
CZE 52
Vika Tomaš
9
63
POL 41
Szydlowski Bartek
10
73
HUN 8
Beliczay Marton
11
82
EST 3
Eesalu Heiko
12
87
EST 8
Taveter Aare
13
90
AUS 2
Ironmoger Ricky
14
96
ITA 71
Podesta Lorenzo
15
98
HUN 68
Laszlo Nagy Akos
16
99
RUS 7
Duyunov Maxim

 

Finn Gold Cup 2006

Split, Croatia - 8-16 July

 

 

Preview: New world champion guaranteed in the 50th Finn Gold Cup

On Sunday 8th July, the 50th Finn Gold Cup will get underway in the picturesque Adriatic port of Split in Croatia.

In recent years, the Finn class has twice enjoyed the town’s great weather and wonderful hospitality. The European Championship was held there in 1997 and the World Masters in 2002. In 2006 it is the turn of the Gold Cup to complete the hat-trick of major Finn championships.

The Finn Gold Cup is one of sailing’s most prestigious trophies and has been sailed every year except one since it was presented to the class – by FR Mitchell of Burnham-on-Crouch in the UK – in 1956.

With 108 entries from 29 countries entered for the regatta it will be the largest for 24 years as well as perhaps the closest. In fact the class is guaranteed a new name on the cup as no previous winner of one of the toughest events in yachting is taking part, although the line-up includes a string of former European Champions and Olympic medallists.

The absence of the current World Champion – and the winner of the last four world championships – is considered by many to be a shame, but it may also open up the competition enormously. Ben Ainslie (GBR) is sorry not to be there to defend his title, but commitments with Emirates Team New Zealand take priority.

Ben said, “I’m not competing this year as it is during a vital testing time in Valencia with ETNZ. Like the rest of the team my focus has to be on the AC next year. Having said that, I’m disappointed not to have the opportunity to defend the Gold Cup.”

He continued, “Since the last Gold Cup in Russia I have sailed twice here in Valencia. Not as much as I would like but as I said we are working very hard at ETNZ and right now it is paying off. It’s hard to plan the future at the moment but the next big regatta I intend to compete in is the 2007 Gold Cup.”

Commenting on the form of current sailors, he said, “From the outside it looks as though Ed Wright (GBR), Dan Slater (NZL) and Emilios Papathansiou (GRE) are the on-form sailors. Rafael Trujillo (ESP) has been training hard here in Valencia and I expect the Croatians, especially Ivan Kljakovic-Gaspic (CRO) and Marin Misura (CRO), to be strong on their home waters. The class looks wide open at the moment so it is anyone’s for the taking. I hope it is a great event and the best sailor comes out on top. They will have to earn it in such a tight fleet!”

Favourites

In fact the 2006 season has been one of the most open for many years. With Rafael Trujillo winning in Miami in January, Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN) winning Pricessa Sofia in March, Ed Wright winning Hyeres in April, Emilios Papathansiou winning Holland Regatta and Dan Slater recently winning Kiel Week, no one sailor has dominated proceedings, although five or six have been consistently in the medals.

Since finishing as runner-up in last year’s Gold Cup in Moscow, Emilios Papathanasiou has continued to show good form, winning the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta and a number of others, although he is currently only ranked fourth in the world. He placed third in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Gold Cups and is still seeking his first world championship win. While the memory of the 2005 last race showdown with Ainslie in Moscow may still haunt him, he has to be one of the clear favourites this year.

Meanwhile, the sometimes inconsistent Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, currently ranked first in the world, has had a successful season winning in Palma, finishing third in Hyeres and second in Kiel Week. The winner in Kiel, Dan Slater, has been sailing Finns for only one year and has made rapid progress to a world ranking position of second, and is sure to figure at the front of the fleet in Split. He said of the regatta, “It’s a great venue and we are expecting good sailing in Split, with sea breezes and great temperatures. There are maybe five guys that can win but the top 10 could be made up of any out of 20 sailors. So it’s quite open. Anyone who has won a race this year is in with a chance.  It would be great if Ben was here. It’s a shame, especially as they moved the regatta for the Cup guys.”

The silver medalist from Athens in 2004, Rafael Trujillo is also back for more. Third in Holland and in Hyeres, Trujillo remains a major force within the class, despite having a day job on board +39 Challenge. His recent form and a win at the Miami OCR leave him ranked third in the world.

Following in Ainslie’s footsteps is not an easy prospect, but this year Ed Wright has managed to pull out some of his best results to date. Winning Hyeres with apparent ease, he narrowly finished second in Holland and could be the surprise of the regatta. The locals could also be a force to be reckoned with. Last year’s junior world champion, Ivan Kljakovic-Gaspic is currently ranked 9th in the world, with Marin Misura not far behind in 16th.

Other faces to watch for at the front are Gasper Vincec (SLO), Anthony Nossiter (AUS), Guillame Florent (FRA) and  Chris Cook (CAN) – who took the bronze medal in Moscow last year. Daniel Birgmark (SWE), now up to fifth in the world ranking, said “From what I've heard we could have any wind conditions, and it will be very warm. I have never sailed in Split before but I’m told it’s a nice place. I think it will be quite an open championship and there are certainly lots of people capable of doing well.”

And then there are the old hands. When the class held its 1997 European Championships at the same venue, Luca Devoti (ITA) surprised himself and everyone there by winning. Now head of the +39 America’s Cup challenger, he is back again – along with several of the crew of +39 Challenge, including Iain Percy, 1999 Finn European Champion and 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist. Percy has not sailed a Finn competitively since the Sydney Olympics, but has done some Finn sailing in Valencia with many of the other Finn sailors taking part in the America’s Cup.

The racing

The first race will be a sad affair. It has been decided to make this a commemoration race for Zvonko Bevic, who died in motorcycle crash in June. Zvonko was a great talent in sailmaking and revolutionised Finn sails from the mid 90s, working with Victory Sails. He will be much missed.

The 2006 Finn Gold Cup officially opens on Sunday July 8th with the practice race on Monday July 10th followed by a nine race series commencing on Tuesday 11th. A maximum of two races per day can be sailed with no warning signal being given after 15.00 on Sunday 16th July. This event is also the last chance for country selection for the 2007 Finn Gold Cup in Cascais, Portugal.


Monday 10th of July

Report #1 by Corinne McKenzie

The 50th Finn Gold Cup has been declared officially opened Monday night by Mr. Zeljko Klaric on behalf of the Croatian Prime Minister. The opening Ceremony put an end to 3 days of intensive measurement and final preparation for sailors and organisers.

IFA Chief Measurer, Mr. Juri Saraskin was satisfied with the high level of preparation provided by the Labud Yacht club for the very demanding Finn measurement procedure. The boats and masts are weighted, their centre of gravity checked, the sails are measured and every item recorded and stamped.

“The logistic and manpower provided for the measurement is one of the best I have dealt with for a long time” declared Mr. Saraskin. “It is even better that what we had for the Olympics!” Helped by new Finn measurer trainee John Driscoll, and a team from the club members, the 97 boats were measured in less than 3 days.

The practice race was the usual affair with half of the fleet taking the start for a lap of practice before heading for the club or for further training. Iain Percy who is making a “guest star” appearance in a Finn regatta since winning the Gold medal in the Sydney Olympic has sent a message to the Gold Cup contestants by sailing in the front of the fleet: “I am back!”

Nine races are scheduled for the championship with 2 for the starting day, Tuesday 11th. With light winds predicted in the early part of the day, racing will not start before 1PM.

The 2006 IFA Annual General Assembly took place on Sunday in the spectacular Archaeological Museum assembling over 70 participants and 27 voting countries (Finn class decisions are democratically taken on a yearly basis by the countries members of IFA). The Executive Committee members were re-elected with the inclusion of top Swedish sailor, Daniel Birgmark in the role of Vice President Sailing. He is replacing Ali Enver Adakan who after committing to the Finn class during many years has decided to reduce his sailing activities.

Among the decisions taken, the Council voted to adopt the new Olympic format for the European and Finn Gold Cup, but will include providing racing on the last day for sailors not qualified in the top 10 final.

For their last Olympic qualifying event which has to be outside of Europe, the Finn representatives have decided to return to Black Rock Yacht Club,

Australia, for the 2008 Finn Gold Cup and chose the newly built Etrusca Marina in Puntone di Scarlino, Italy for the 2008 European Championship.

Representatives from the Moscow Sailing School and Moscow City Sport Management presented the 2007 Finn Junior Championship. To respond to the increasing number of Juniors and with the limitation of entries imposed by ISAF for the 2007 ISAF Worlds in Cascais, the IFA executive committee has proposed to create a separate Junior World Championship every 4 years (in the year of the ISAF Worlds). With 100 complete boats available for racing in Moscow, it was logical to enjoy this opportunity to organise this inaugural Junior event there. Based on the same system as the ISAF Youth Worlds, participants will only have to organise their trip. Accommodation and food will be provided on the premises for all participants for a good rate while the equipment and coach boats will be provided at no cost. “It is a great development opportunity for the class and sailing generally, the Finn class will organise a clinic to increase the level of junior sailors” explained IFA President Dr. Balazs Hajdu.

Other step towards development includes the “Web based Finn clinic” elaborated by Gus Miller and Jane Walker. All sailing topics will be covered in this tutorial interactive web based tool, where still and motion pictures will be available along with comments and interviews of top athletes and coaches in different languages.

The Finn class welcomed the project and will participate with US$6,000 on an overall estimated budget of US$30,000. This great development tool will be available free of charge to any sailor at the end of 2006 and is predicted to be used not only by Finn sailors but also by other dinghy sailors and coaches.

In order to generate sufficient income to cover the Finn development items, administration, measurement expertise and regatta organisation, IFA has voted in favour of increasing the equipment building fees for boats, masts and sails. In the last 3 years, the ISAF grant for Olympic classes was enough to cover these items. The decision by ISAF to cancel it this year is forcing most Olympic classes to find other source of income.

The high demand from sailors to see the football final forced the AGM to be adjourned after the St Francis YC bid presentation for the 2009 FGC which received high interest from sailors and will be voted for in 2007 along with other bids. The remaining items in the agenda will be discussed on Tuesday evening.


Tuesday 11th of July

Report #2

Races 1 and 2 - A perfect day!

The 2006 Finn Gold Cup started on Tuesday 11th of July with 2 good races thanks to fair wind and experienced racing management.

As expected the competition was fierce with many sailors hoping to grab their chance to win the Finn Gold Cup in a championship dominated the last 4 years by Ben Ainslie. His absence is opening the field and brings new hopes in a strong fleet of 99 sailors coming from 31 countries.

Ed Wright took the first honours by winning convincingly the first race. After a clear start, the Brit increased his lead to 150 meters to the finish. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN) placed second in front of Dan Slater (NZL) and Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE).  The wind increased to 18 knots for the second race and the racing committee hoisted the Oscar flag allowing free kinetics. Sharing the lead with Rafael Trujillo during the whole race, Emilios Papathanasiou tricked the Spaniard on the last run to win the race. “I was lucky” declared Emilios once ashore. “My boat was damaged before the last race and I finished with 4 litres of water in the boat!” Athens Silver medallist, Rafael Trujillo took second place with +39 team mate Iain Percy in third. Percy, now campaigning in the Star class, has been training hard in the Finn while in Valencia with +39 sailors. Anthony Nossiter, Michael Maier, Karlo Kuret and Piero Romeo are among the +39 sailors presents in Split. When asked about his come back in a top Finn regatta after 6 years of absence, Iain Percy admits it is just for fun: "I just wanted to come with the guys (+39) and enjoy myself in the Finn again. But actually there is not one muscle in my body that’s not hurting!"

Three British are leading the Junior division with Mark Andrews in 26th position, leading his team mates Andrew Mills and Henry Bagnall by 41 and 44 points respectively, after placing 24th and 27th. The 16 Juniors in contention for the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup, are competing in the same fleet as the seniors and are representing 9 countries.

The forecast is not too promising for the second day of sailing with light winds preceding a storm in the afternoon.

Wednesday 12th of July

Report #3

Race 3

World N.1 ranked sailor in the Finn class, Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN) has taken the lead of the 2006 Finn Gold Cup in Split after placing in second position in the day’s only race.

The start of the 3rd race in the 50th Finn Gold Cup was delayed by 2 hours on the water, allowing for some refreshing swims in the clear Adriatic waters.  Eager to start, the 99 Finn sailors were aggressive on the starting line generating 2 general recalls. The third start allowed racing to commence but the individual recall penalised 3 sailors on the line. While Akif Muslubas (TUR) repaired his fault by restarting, Dan Slater (NZL) and local hope Ivan Klakovitch Gaspic collected a disqualification.

Rafael Trujillo (ESP) won the race enjoying the increasing breeze and displaying his usual strength upwind in the strong conditions. Starting around 10 knots, the wind rapidly gained to reach 18 knots. Stable in direction, the wind provided some good opportunity for the sailors who could find the areas with more pressure. After a very good start, Rafael Trujillo who was among the leaders with Daniel Birgmark (SWE) and Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN), capitalised his advance on the second upwind leg. ”I was already in front but while I went to the right of the course, most of the fleet chose the left side. I could see them tack while I was heading straight to the mark with a good breeze. I was lucky.” Trujillo passed the windward mark with 1 minute lead to win the race in front of Jonas Hoegh Christensen from Denmark. “I wasn’t good at the start” admitted the Dane,” then I saw more pressure on the right side and I must have gained 17 places. I rounded the top mark in 3rd position. It was the same in the second beat; I gained lots of ground and passed the top mark in third place behind Daniel Birgmark.”

Twenty years old Scottish sailor Mark Andrews is still leading the Junior’s division improving his overall results by 3 places in 21st position. Team Skandia GBR is counting 3 sailors in the top 10. While Iain Percy have lost 5 places from 3rd to 8th, and Ed Wright have conserved his 4th position, the surprise is coming from Matt Howard. Usually seen around the 20 bench mark, Matt Howard is laying in 6th position. “He is really fast downwind” explained his coach David Howlett,”may be one of the fastest in the Finn squad. He trained hard and it is paying off.”

Two races are scheduled for tomorrow. The week still reserves many opportunities for a sailor to take a clear lead in the championship. This year has been surprising everyone by revealing lots of talented sailors, each of them taking turns to win a regatta in the international circuit. The top 4 sailors in the 2006 Finn Gold Cup have each had their moment of glory this year. Jonas Hoegh Christensen won the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma, Emilios Papathanasiou now in second place took over the Holland regatta, today’s winner Rafael Trujillo took the early glory in the Miami OCR and Ed Wright was the leader in Hyères. Despite having to count with an OCS (which he is seeking redress for at the moment), Dan Slater (NZL) was the latest winner in Kiel but is still in contention for the title.

Lots of hope and pressure were put on the Croatian team who is not performing at its best and have yet to show their full potential. Six more races can still change the perspective of the championship.

Corinne McKenzie

 


Thursday 13th of July

Report #4

Second bullet gives lead to Rafael Trujillo

A second victory in the 2006 Finn Gold Cup places Athens Silver medallist, Rafael Trujillo from Spain on the top of the rankings. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen is on equal points in second position after scoring a 5th place today. This is the third change of leadership since the start of the championship where no sailors are yet in charge! Ed Wright (GBR) and Emilios Papathanasiou are both on 20 points in 3rd and 4th place.

It was a difficult day on the water. The wind came from every direction and the racing was postponed until 3PM. The swimming contest was on again providing some refreshing interlude in the roaring temperatures.

After 2 general recalls, race 4 started with 15 knots and a triangle course. The first beat was fair with the top 3 choosing different options: Rafael Trujillo repeated yesterday tactic on the right of the beat to pass the top mark ahead of Edward Wright who got just as much breeze on the left corner while Waclav Szukiel (POL) got to the top mark in third position after sailing in the middle of the course! With the wind decreasing to 12 knots the reaches didn’t offer much chance to pass boats. The racing committee had to shorten the course and finally set the finishing line at the end of the second beat. The top 3 remained in the same placing. Florian Raudaschl (AUT) took 4th place and is in 11th position overall. He is realising a good regatta so far. ”I finally could take time off work and train properly to prepare for this regatta.”  Florian has taken the reins of the family loft 4 years ago and is coached by one his father main rival in the Finn class Christian Scheineker. Jonas Hoegh Christensen lost 2 places on the second upwind finishing 5th.

The second race of the day had to be cancelled after the wind took a 100 degrees shift on the second upwind leg. Iain Percy who was leading and Jonas Hoegh-Christensen in second place were counting on this race where most of their direct opponents were in very difficult situation: Emilios Papathanasiou, Rafael Trujillo and Ed Wright were sailing in 50 + positions. The top sailors in this race, while disappointed to miss a good opportunity to gain some valuable points on their rivals understood the decision of the racing committee.

Chance seems to be finally turning for Junior sailor from Poland Piotr Kula. After 2 previous disqualifications at the start (a Black Flag and a disqualification after a collision) the young Pole was the first Junior in the day’s race in 24th place.

Mark Andrews is still leading the 16 junior fleet in 23rd place overall. Henry Bagnall has climbed up the overall ranking in 37th place after scoring a 25th today. Third placed Junior is Krysztof Dabkowski (POL) in 50th position.

After a long day on the water and sailing back under stormy weather and showers, the sailors enjoyed the “Tuna on the BBQ” party organised by the Labud Yacht Club. Two Optimists were filled with ice and beer and brightened all the spirits. T. Mobile, the event main sponsor, presented with prizes, the previous race winners.

Two races are scheduled on Friday.

Corinne McKenzie


Friday 14th of July

Report #5

Race 5 & 6

Faultless regatta for World N.1 Jonas Hoegh-Christensen

Consistent racing with only top 5 placing in the last 6 races and a win today places Jonas Hoegh-Christensen from Denmark in the lead of the 2006 Finn Gold Cup in Split. Yesterday leader, Rafael Trujillo, is ranked 2nd at only 1 point from the Dane after collecting his third victory and placing 8th.

Emilios Papathanasiou and Ed Wright are placed respectively 3rd and 4th overall 8 points behind the Spaniard (10 points for Wright). However a pending disqualification for the Greek after an incident on the starting line could cost him a place in the ranking.

Perfect conditions provided 2 good races in a strengthening westerly wind. After a general recall penalising Olexiy Borisov (UKR), Junior Sailor Bartek Szydlowski (POL) and Piero Romeo, the race was started with a stable10 knots breeze on a windward return course. The “usual suspects” dominated the race with a first victory for Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN) followed over the finish line by Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE), Ed Wright (GBR) and +39 helmsman Iain Percy.

The wind increased to 18 knots in the second race, and the racing committee changed the course for a triangle and upwind finish. The Dane was first at the top mark but lost his lead to finish 3rd. “I had a good start on the left then I covered the fleet in the middle. I didn’t want to go too far on one side with so many boats. I was leading at the windward mark but then I couldn’t find the mark and my usual rhythm downwind.” Peter-Jan Postma from Holland passed the wing mark in front but could not keep the fast Athens Silver medallist, Trujillo behind. The Spaniard passed him at the leeward mark and conserved his position until the finish where he collected his third bullet. Peter-Jan Postma (NED) managed to stay in second place obtaining the 10th place in the overall ranking.

The Croatian sailors are back into their usual form with Ivan Kljakovitch Gaspic placed in 13th position overall (after discarding an OCS) and Karlo Kuret climbing to 14th after finishing in 6 place twice today. “I was a bit rusty in the first 2 days” explained Kuret “now I am finding my mechanisms and marks in the boat.”

Like Iain Percy, Karlo Kuret is only sailing for the fun. “I could not think about having a Finn Gold Cup at home and just watch!” A Team +39 sailor, Kuret has his mind set on the America’s Cup but has been training actively in Valencia with his team mates to prepare for this regatta.

Mark Andrews is still leading the Junior division from the 33rd position overall. He has a good lead from Henry Bagnall (GBR) and Krzysztof Dabkowski. The young Pole’s third place is threatened by Andrew Mills (GBR) and Bartek Szydlowski (POL) only a few points behind.

After catching up with the racing programme, the sailors, happy with the great sailing conditions but tired, quickly disappeared from the Yacht Club to find some rest before tomorrow’s two scheduled races.

Corinne McKenzie

 


Saturday 15th of July

Report #6

Race 7

The Bura changes the game!

The Bura, a Northerly capricious wind came on Saturday to add some excitement to the crucial penultimate race of the 2006 Finn Gold Cup. Renown for being shifty and inconstant the local wind from the mountain delayed racing until 5 PM. The racing committee and the 99 Finn sailors were patiently waiting for the wind to gain in stability in order to start a race.

Sailors from Split had probably been waiting for the Bura all week and the results proved that the locals and their training partners made the most of this tricky wind. Nicknamed Bambi, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, current European and World Junior Champion, has mastered to win his first race in a World Championship climbing in 10th place overall. Best race also for Marin Misura who is finishing 9th or for his brother Bartul realising his best result with a 23rd. Slovenian Gasper Vincec who has made of Split his main training centre has collected a 6th place.

Among the favourites for the title, Emilios Papathanasiou 3rd across the line and Ed Wright 7th, managed the difficult conditions. They are keeping their previous standing while their direct opponents, Jonas Hoegh-Christensen and Rafael Trujillo followed each other across the finish in 33rd and 34th place! “I would have had more chance playing lottery” declared the regatta leader from Denmark.

The first beat was crucial, and unlike the other days it didn’t pay to sail conservatively in the middle. Both sides gave better speed with more pressure. Ivan Kljakovitch Gaspic was the first around the top mark. Tapio Nirkko from Finland threatened the young Croatian on the run where they shared the lead but not for long. The 2 ex-Juniors stayed ahead of the fleet managing the shifts and the pressure. Emilios Papathanasiou came up to third followed by Guillaume Florent from France in 4th and Alberto Vadell (ESP), 5th.

Using this last race as their discard, Jonas Hoegh-Christensen and Rafael Trujillo are only 5 points apart in 1st and 2nd position overall. Emilios Papathanasiou is not far behind, 3 points from the Spaniard. Ed Wright who is the only one among the top 4 with no bad race could also win the title.

Even if the leader has not changed in the junior division, Mark Andrews is now ranked in 32nd position. The fight is on for 3rd place between Andrew Mills (GBR) and Krzysztof Dabkowski on equal points and Piotr Kula (POL) only 10 points behind.

Only one race is scheduled for the last day of the championship and with the Bura still in action, anything can happen!

While the sailors were resting and preparing for their last race in the Finn Gold Cup, event sponsor T. Mobile organised a reception on Saturday night for officials, politics and some clients in the ex-President General Tito’s, Villa Dalmacija. Among the politicians supporting the event with logistic and funding was the Minister for Sport and Science, and city of Split vice-Mayor, Ivan Kuret, better known from the sailing community as 470 sailor. The top quality of the organisation of such an international sailing event is due to the combined knowledge and resources put together by the Labud Yacht Club, their sponsor T. Mobile and the involvement of the city of Split and the Croatian Government who believe in the benefits generated by the exposure that a sailing event is providing.


Jonas Hoegh-Christensen is the 2006 World Champion

Sunday 16th of July

Final report

Jonas Hoegh Christensen has proved this week he really is the N.1 Finn sailor in the World by winning the 50th Finn Gold Cup. He had to face some of the best sailors in a fierce competition where the smallest mistakes were paid dearly. One of the most disputed Finn Gold Cup in years; this edition assembled 99 sailors from over 30 countries on the same starting line. Hoegh Christensen’s display of skills was impressive in a field of talented opponents and in varied conditions. He is winning by a small 3 points margin from Emilios Papathanasiou. The Greek won the last race with brio but his second victory in the Championship was not enough to overcome the Dane. The Bronze medal is going to Edward Wright who raced the most constant regatta scoring only top 10 results. He finishes in second position in this last race.  Ed Wright has made a rapid progression after stepping from the Laser to the Finn last year. Also coming from the Laser is Daniel Birgmark who is acceding to 4th position after finishing 7th in the last race.

Rafael Trujillo was probably the fastest sailor in this regatta, the early leader won 3 races in the championship but the Bura wind has been fatal for the Athens Silver medallist who after collecting a 39th today misses the podium to step down to 5th position overall. Opposite situation for Guillaume Florent who after a slow start into the championship scored a 5th and two 4th places. He is placed in 6th position after taking one year off.

The best Croatian is yesterday race winner, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic in 8th position. He will pass on the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup to the new Junior World Champion, Mark Andrews (GBR). Second Junior is Henry Bagnall also from Great Britain. The third position in the Junior division has been fought for very hard during all week. After a very slow start into the Championship, Piotr Kula has reached the third place by distancing his teammates Krzysztof Dabkowski and Piotr Mazur by a few points. Piotr Kula is satisfied with his results, despite collecting two disqualifications, he is placed 50th overall in his first major Finn regatta. The 19 years old has realised his best results in Kiel Week finishing 18th after a few months in the Finn.

The Finn class is thankful to the Labud yacht Club and the Grisogono brothers who have provided the Finn sailors with a great championship.

Corinne McKenzie

 

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