Ondrej Teply (CZE) has started the 2015 Finn Junior World Championships for the Silver Cup in the best possible way, after winning both races on the opening day. Stig Steinfurth (DEN) is second with Andre Hojen Christiansen (DEN) in third.
The breeze built during the first race and early in the second from 9 knots to around 12-13 knots, before dropping slightly on the final downwind. The weather of the past few days continued with very hot conditions taxing the sailors as they tried to find the shortest route around the course.
The left side generally proved favoured all day with Lars Johan Bordtkorp (NOR) coming out of the left corner on the first beat to lead round from Teply and Steinfurth. Nenad Bugarin (CRO) made gains on the downwind to challenge the leaders but Bordtkorp still led at the gate and at the final upwind mark. However he gybed away from the pack to take the left side of the final downwind and Teply and Bugarin found more pressure on the right to take first and second.
The wind picked up slightly for race 2 with the left side again favoured. Oscar flag was raised at the top mark to allow free pumping downwind as the wind increased past 10 knots with some nice waves now in place. Steinfurth rounded first from the left with Fabian Pic (FRA) in second and Facundo Olezzo (ARG) in third. Teply rounded in fourth and soon took the lead again downwind to take another race win. Steinfurth crossed in fourth but with Pic and Bugarin OCS, picked up a second place with Hojen Christiansen also benefiting from the six boats that were OCS to take third.
Teply said, “I had quite a good day. I had quite OK upwinds so I managed to be top five at the first mark, and then I had very good downwinds, where I got into the lead and then just maintained my position. I saw there was more pressure on the left hand side. I am local here so normally I think the left side would pay in these conditions. Then if the wind increases a bit it slowly turns to the right.”
On his goal for the week. “After last year's Juniors I don't have any goals. It can be a strange regatta sometimes. But I have started very well so I am happy with that. I was going quite fast during training here but for sure it's a surprise to win both today.”
Steinfurth explained his day. “It was a good day for me with a fourth and a second. I was a little worried about the yellow flags, so I was not so aggressive on the downwinds, but as soon as we had the free pumping in the second race, it was full on. In the second race I rounded in first, but I lost some boats on the second upwind, and I was not happy about that.”
On the conditions, “Today the wind picked up so we could do some free pumping. The first three days I was here we have been sailing at the same time as the start and there hasn't been 10 knots. So I was happy it built today. It's what makes Finn sailing so much fun.”
“I think it is important to look for the pressure, and also where the ships are at the top mark and to look which side the wind is coming from. I lost some metres at the end of the upwind because the wind was coming from the left side. Otherwise out of the start I had pretty good speed.”
One of the favourites here, and a former champion, Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) made hard work of his first day to round deep in both races before recovering to sixth in each. “Today was a bit strange for me. I kept going to the wrong side. It thought being a land breeze and it would go right, but both races it was still on the left and second race there started to be some current from the right. Both times I rounded the first mark really bad, but managed to pass some boats before the finish for two sixth places. I am not really happy with my sailing today but I am still in the race.”
Luke Muller (USA) is sailing his first international Finn regatta, “It was great, really fun, and it was really great that we had downwinds without and with free pumping. That really gave me an idea of where I am at. I had some really good downwinds on the free pumping and then tried to stay with the group on the shifts upwind and it worked out OK. Speed wise I am matching them, but just need to get off the line so I can stick with them. It's not fast to be spinning when everyone is going upwind. Hopefully I have learned my lesson for the event.” He took a penalty on the start line of the first race and trailed for a while before getting back into the race.
Racing continues in Valencia until Sunday. In total, 11 races are scheduled in the series.
Results after two races
1 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 2
2 DEN 31 Stig Steinfurth 6
3 DEN 24 Andre Hojen Christiansen 12
4 RUS 6 Arkadiy Kistanov 12
5 NOR 9 Lars Johan Bordtkorp 13
6 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 13
7 GER 595 Simon Gorgels 14
8 GBR 96 Hector Simpson 21
9 USA 91 Luke Muller 23
10 RUS 7 Anatoly Korshikov 24