Only a handful of Finn sailors managed anything approaching consistency on the fifth day of the 2018 Finn Gold Cup at the Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 in Aarhus, Denmark. Scoring a second from last and then a second place, European champion Ed Wright takes a seven-point lead at the top after two more races on Tuesday. Tom Ramshaw is up to second and Josh Junior up to third after most of the top ten picked up at least one high score.
With racing lost on Monday, three races were scheduled for Tuesday, however delay followed delay as the day got hotter and hotter. Finally one race was sailed under a blazing hot sun in very light winds before a further delay and a second race in 10-12 knots. The race course was a minefield of holes and shifts that caught out almost everyone at some stage. After the second race finished at 17.30 the fleet was sent home, after being afloat for more than six hours.
With high scores everywhere, several sailors dropped out of the top ten, but it was an opportunity for others to make their move.
The fleet was split into gold and silver groups, with the gold fleet starting 10 minutes ahead of the silver on the same windward-leeward course.
In Gold fleet, Victor Gorostegui was first round the top from André Højen Christiansen and Zsombor Berecz. Johannes Pettersson rounded around seventh and on each leg he passed a few boats before finally passing Gorostegui on the final downwind to take his first ever worlds race win. Gorostegui took second with Berecz in third.
The breeze increased slightly for the second race with Oscar flag raised at the start for free pumping. Caleb Paine was first round the top from Wright, but on the second upwind, Andy Maloney found some pace and passed all of them to lead the fleet down the run to the finish with Wright second and Jake Lilley in third.
In the silver fleet, Jock Calvert had an amazing day with a 1,2, while Arkadiy Kistanov won the second race.
Pettersson, aged 22, was delighted with his first Finn Gold Cup race win.
“In the first race we had some light winds, about 7-8 knots, I got a pretty good start at the boat end and worked my out to the right side and tacked back and started to control the fleet. Then on the downwind I made really nice decisions and gained some boats and on the second upwind I took some boats on the left hand side this time. Then on the last downwind I gained that last boat and finished first so that was quite fun. It’s my first win at the worlds ever, so a big day for me.”
On his progress since teaming up with world champion Max Salminen and Tapio Nirrko last year. “I’ve made really good progress this year. Since last year’s worlds I have been making big steps forward and since I joined the training group with Max and Tapio and our coach Dayne Sharp, I have been making really good progress. You can see it here in the results, doing better and better.”
Josh Junior has been lurking all week and has only had three top five finishes, but finds himself climbing from seventh to third overall because he has managed to stay consistent in the inconsistent conditions.
“Tough day out there today. The breeze was pretty patchy and there were some big holes on the race course so pretty happy to come away with some good results and hopefully end up near the front of the fleet for tomorrow.”
On the standard in the class at the moment, “The Finn fleet is incredibly tough at the moment, there are a lot of guys who are sailing well and certainly as this year has gone on people have been stepping it up and pushing harder and harder. So every race is tough and you have to do everything right to be near the front. So every day just try and chip away and by doing that you can keep getting good results and everything will come your way, but certainly there are a lot of good yachties out there and it is very tough racing.”
Tom Ramshaw also only has three top five finishes, and climbs to second from fourth, but is just one point ahead of Junior. In fact the whole top 10 is very close with just nine points separating fifth to 11th. Considering that today a lot of sailors added 20 or more points to their total, it is not inconceivable that there will be a lot more changes before the final series is concluded.
The fleet will now use the second reserve day with two more races scheduled on Wednesday from 12.00 on Golf course area, to decide the medal race line-up on Thursday. There is definitely still a lot of racing left for the 2018 Finn Gold Cup and for the eight spots in Tokyo 2020.
Results after eight races
1 GBR 11 Edward Wright 37
2 CAN 18 Tom Ramshaw 44
3 NZL 24 Josh Junior 45
4 SWE 33 Max Salminen 46
5 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 52
6 NZL 61 Andy Maloney 54
7 HUN 40 Zsombor Berecz 54
8 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 56
9 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 57
10 CRO 1 Josip Olujic 58