The Finn youth put on a spectacular show of physicality and very cool sailing on the second day at the U23 World Championship in Aarhus, Denmark, on Wednesday with three races in winds gusting 25 knots. After bronze and silver finishes in the last two years, Nenad Bugarin (CRO) has taken the overall lead at the half way stage. Max Kohlhoff (GER) enjoyed the power sailing day to remain in second, while Tuesday’s leader, Phillip Kasueske (GER) struggled in the breeze and dropped to third.
It was a perfect day for powerful and physical Finn sailing with sunshine, choppy waters and a gusty, shifty offshore wind, which meant brain as well as brawn was needed to survive the day. There were a few casualties, more so as the day wore on and exhaustion set in, but the 35 young sailors knew this is what they were here for and knuckled down to the challenging conditions.
Bugarin won the first two races of the day almost unopposed, leading from almost the first mark all the way round. Kasueske, seemed to struggle on the first upwind in each race, but recovered enough on subsequent legs to post a reasonable score for the day. His teammate Kohlhoff revelled in the windy conditions to post two comfortable second places behind Bugarin, before slipping slightly in the third race with a seventh.
The last race belonged to Facundo Olezza (ARG) the only sailor here who is heading to Rio for the Olympics in just four weeks. He dominated the first upwind and extended away for a big win. Defending champion Ondra Teply (CZE) posted his best result of the series so far with a second, while Bugarin recovered on the last downwind to take third to end a brilliant day’s sailing for him.
Teply has narrowed the gap on the top as he seeks to defend the title he won last year in Valencia. “I was thinking it would be hard to make a goal to win again so I set my goal to be in the top three. Now I am in fourth and I am not that far from the medal positions so I will be going for it and hopefully at the end of the week I will be there.”
“Today was quite a good day for me. I managed three races in the top five. Very hard conditions, very strong winds and quite shifty from the shore, so not so easy, especially with three races. But I really enjoyed the sailing today, though hopefully tomorrow I hope we will have a bit less wind so we can fight again.”
“Today was very hard conditions physically, and also technically, the wind was very shifty and as it was very windy it was hard to manage.”
Race six winner Olezza said, “It was a lot of fun, but also very tiring.”
On his race win, “It was the toughest race of the day because it was the third one. The legs were starting to shake and even my hands were cramping, but I managed to pull it out with a good right hand shift and then I just split on the first downwind and managed to maintain the lead.”
He explained that this is really just a training event for him for Rio, but, “…I want to do my best, of course. There are certain things I needed to work on here and one of them was sailing in the breeze, so I am really happy to happy to have these kinds of days with strong breezes and to get better in these conditions which are my weak spot heading into Rio.”
“Today was brutal. Right now I am only thinking of resting. Three races with 20 knots was brutal. That’s the only word that fits this day.”
Bugarin dominated the day. “It was nice day for sailing and finally day without rain. I managed to have good starts and speed upwind and downwind. It was interesting sailing with gusts and shifts, against some great competition so it wasn’t easy to sail against them.”
“Every day is a new day and every race is new race so everything is possible. We will see.”
Three more races are scheduled for Thursday when slightly lighter winds are forecast.
Results after six races:
1 CRO 52 Nenad BUGARIN 16
2 GER 25 Max KOHLHOFF 17
3 GER 259 Phillip KASÜSKE 19
4 CZE 5 Ondrej TEPLY 22
5 ARG 48 Facundo OLEZZA 25
6 RUS 6 Arkadiy KISTANOV 34
7 DEN 24 André HØJEN CHRISTIANSEN 39
8 GBR 71 Henry WETHERELL 42
9 GBR 96 Hector SIMPSON 50
10 POL 16 Mikolaj LAHN 51