Light winds on the second day of the Finn Gold Cup in Gaeta meant only one race could be sailed. Phillip Kasueske (GER) sailed very well to win his first ever major international Finn race. The win moves him up to second overall after three races behind Deniss Karpak (EST), who placed 13th in the race. Piotr Kula (POL) crossed in third to end the day in third overall.
For the second day running the fleet were held on shore for an hour before going afloat and the postponement continued afloat for a while before one race was sailed in 6-9 knots. There were a number of high profile black flag disqualifications including long time race leader Jorge Zarif (BRA). In fact, four out of the top 10 finishers crossed the line to find their sail number on the board.
Kasueske explained the race. “I startled on the pin end and it wasn't the best start but I managed to find a gap to tack and cross the fleet. From there I went with the shifts and for me it was very easy, but I think further back in the fleet it was hard to gain places.”
Zarif rounded in front and led all the way until half way down the final run when the German kept to the right and passed. Kasueske continued, “It feels really good, it's my first win in a major regatta, so I am very happy I managed to pull that off. I am really looking forward to the next days with similar conditions and maybe some more good results can happen.”
“To be second overall is great. My goal is to finish top 25, so right now I am pretty safe, but let's see what the next days bring. But I am really happy to show what I can do, so perhaps I will stay motivated for the next years.”
Working under coach Per Baggøe (DEN), Kasueske is part of a young team that has put in the hours and this kind of success has been a long time coming. “We had some really good training this year, mostly in light winds. That's why we are good in light winds this year. We really are a great team, four young guys, always pushing hard and that brings us forward.”
While defending championship Giles Scott (GBR) recovered from around 12th at the top mark to second at the finish to end the day in seventh overall, Piotr Kula (POL) recorded his second top three place in a row to cross in third and rise to third overall.
“I am very happy with how I am going this week, but not happy that it didn't happen a month ago when we had the Olympic trials.” Poland failed to qualify for the Olympics.
“Maybe I am just a little bit more relaxed now, because I am not playing for big stakes, but also in lighter airs my old boat goes pretty well.”
On the future. “We don't know yet what will happen. For me depending on the result here it may mean I am in the team or not, but Tokyo is a far away plan right now, so I am not thinking about it yet. Our season pretty much ends with this regatta, only the Polish nationals in September, and then I am going to think about my plans.”
One of the few sailors still sailing his Olympic trials is Tom Ramshaw (CAN), who is having a great week so far and sits in sixth place. “It's been pretty light, but I've had good speed so it's just about keeping it simple. Today I had a good start and two tacks on the first upwind got me round the windward mark in third.”
About the downwind. “It was difficult. I sat in the middle and had a bit of space behind me, and was able to extend, and didn't sail too much distance. I am new to the downwind techniques, especially in light winds. It's difficult to keep flow. I wasn't fully confident but ended up extending on that downwind, thought the next one wasn't so good.”
On the Canadian trials. “I have got a couple of good results so far in some other regattas that count, and they want to see consistent performance. They will select after the Gold Cup, so it will will be exciting to hear the result. I was working really hard to get to the Olympics in the Laser but keeping the weight down was difficult, and there were four of us. So I gave the Finn a try and liked it and saw an opportunity. It means lot to improve this much during the year and hopefully to be able to compete in Rio, and hopefully to be able to battle in the front there. That would be a long shot but that is the plan.”
Racing is scheduled to continue on Tuesday at 13.00 with even lighter winds forecast, though better wind is expected for the rest of the week.
Some of the races are being covered with live video on Facebook. Keep an eye on the Finn Class Facebook feed for updates about when we expect to broadcast.
Results after three races
1 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 17
2 GER 259 Phillip Kasueske 28
3 POL 17 Piotr Kula 30
4 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 31
5 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 37
6 CAN 18 Tom Ramshaw 40
7 GBR 41 Giles Scott 45
8 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 45
9 FRA 17 Fabian Pic 48
10 RUS 57 Egor Terpigorev 48
Full results here.