Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Jorge Zarif seals historic Finn Gold Cup win


FGC podium rd

All photos – c Robert Deaves

Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn, Estonia


On Saturday afternoon in Tallinn, Estonia, Jorge Zarif (BRA) completed the task he began on Friday and won the 2013 Finn Gold Cup. A ninth place in the medal race was enough for him to become Brazil’s first Finn world champion since the late Jorg Bruder in 1972. Ed Wright (GBR) placed third to keep the silver, while Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) won the race to take the bronze.

The sailors in the medal race launched on schedule for the first time all week but still, the wind died almost straight away and they sat and waited until past 14.00 hrs until finally a stable breeze of around 6-8 knots became established and the race could start.

Jorge Zarif (BRA) had a 19 point lead and all he had to do was finish the race. He started safely and stayed out of trouble to cross in ninth to take the title. Ahead of him a fascinating race full of drama was played out.

Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) had promised to give it his all and he got a great start mid-line and controlled the lane to the favoured left side. However, Michele Paoletti (ITA) had managed to come up just enough to tack and cross ahead of the group to lead round the top mark from Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), Postma and Ed Wright (GBR).

Postma briefly passed Paoletti downwind but the Italian led through the gate and the leading four led the fleet back to the left side of the course. The wind started getting lighter and shiftier, which allowed Postma into the lead from Zsombor Berecz (HUN) on the final upwind. Wright rounded in third, just ahead of Milan Vujasinovic (CRO).

Postma and Berecz extended on the fleet downwind, but Postma needed one more place between himself and Wright to take the silver, and he almost got it. Wright picked up a penalty, did turns, and Vujasinovic closed the gap. Wright then found a lane away from the chasing boats and sailed back into a safe third to secure the silver, while Postma led Berecz across the line to take the bronze.


FGC win JZ rd


In taking the bronze a clearly elated Postma has broken a run a fourth places and adds to his two silvers from 2007 and 2011. He said, “I am very, very happy with this. I had quite a difficult week. I had a couple of good races but I was totally wrong a few times, and then it’s hard to focus until the end, as I had two bad results making it really hard to get the gold, which is what I wanted. But then you have to be strong and fight to the end, so I am very happy with that. It was a good race.”

“It’s been very light this week. Normally I am not that strong with the light winds as I am 5 or 6 kg more than the others. So I wished for more breeze and then in the light I also performed so I am happy.”

“It’s nice to have a strategy and a plan and even it you are not 100 per cent sure, make a plan and go for it. I had to focus all the race but it came together today.”

Wright has now been on the podium for the past four years and was also really pleased with his silver medal. “It’s been a really, really tricky week without much wind, so just keeping focus with all the waiting around has been very important so that you’re ready to race when you do go out there.”

“The medal racing today was pretty stressful and not that enjoyable. It was all pretty close. My goal here was a top three finish and of course you would always prefer to win, but I’m happy with silver after the week we’ve had. Things would have been a lot closer with the Brazilian if I hadn’t had my OCS yesterday.”

“This week has been really good for me as I’m mainly known for my strengths in the strong winds, and this week has been really light. I’ve lost weight and trimmed down a lot of my equipment for this season to be more competitive in the light winds, which we expect more of in Rio, so it’s great that that seems to be paying off and that I’m back showing more of the light wind form that I had when I first came into the class.”

The new Finn world champion, Zarif, said “It’s feel great, fantastic. I couldn’t be happier. I tried to stay outside the action but it was hard sometimes. I tried to start a little bit after the guys and played the right because you can come back with rights, and in the end everything went quite well.” “I am surprised we actually raced. Three or four times we had some puffs because of the clouds, so I thought when the wind came it was just another puff, but it got a little bit stronger and was sailable.”

“I think this will have a big effect back in Brazil. There is much more money around because of the Olympic Games so I hope with a world title they can support me a little bit more.”

“I had no idea that I would win the Finn Gold Cup. I want to thank everyone who helped with this championship, the competitors and organisers. We didn’t have the best wind we could have but the organisation and the hospitality was fantastic here in Tallinn, so I would just like to thank everybody.”

At the prizegiving Saturday evening, the prizes and the Finn Gold Cup were presented by Esko Rechardt (FIN) who won the Olympic Gold medal during the 1980 Olympics in Tallinn.

Zarif also won the juniors. The top five were Zarif, Jake Lilley (AUS), Arcadiy Kistanov (RUS), Peter McCoy (GBR) and Riccardo Bevilacqua (ITA) – see photo.

In winning the 2013 Finn Gold Cup Jorge Zarif, who turns 21 next month, is one the youngest Finn world champions ever and he is definitely the only sailor to hold the Silver and Gold Cups at the same time.

After finishing 20th in the London 2012 Olympics Zarif went back to Brazil to recover and think about his next move. The removal of the Star class was instrumental in him teaming up with multiple world champion and Olympic medalist Bruno Prada (BRA). Prada asked if Zarif wanted to just take part at the next Games or win a medal. Zarif said he wanted to win a medal, so they started training together. They employed the services of former world champion and 2004 Olympic Silver medalist Rafa Trujillo (ESP) and the training began. Trujillo thought his young apprentice could place top ten this week, but it seems Zarif didn’t want to wait and had all but confirmed the title before the final race. The medal race was a mere formality.

Zarif won the Junior Finn World Championship, the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup, in 2009 and 2013. His father Jorge Zarif Neto (BRA) sailed two Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988 but passed away in 2008 at the age of just 50. But as the young Jorge has said many times this week it was his father winning a race at the 2004 Finn Gold Cup in Rio that inspired him down this path to top level Finn sailing. You get the feeling it is only just beginning.


Final results after medal race (medal race position in brackets)
1 BRA109 Jorge Zarif 63 (9)
2 GBR11 Edward Wright 70 (3)
3 NED842 Pieter-Jan Postma 71 (1)
4 CRO69 Milan Vujasinovic 76 (4)
5 FRA112 Jonathan Lobert 80 (8)
6 ITA146 Michele Paoletti 87 (5)
7 HUN40 Zsombor Berecz 88 (2)
8 GRE77 Ioannis Mitakis 90 (7)
9 NZL24 Josh Junior 98 (6)
10 GBR85 Andrew Mills 99 (10)


Full results at:


By Robert Deaves, International Finn Class Association



66 Star teams ready to compete in San Diego




All photos © StarWorlds 2013


San Diego Yacht Club welcomes Star sailors for 8th time


Racing starts for the Qualcomm Star World Championship 2013 from the San Diego Yacht Club on Sunday September 1st and finishes on September 8th.

66 yachts are registered and assembled for the 91st edition of this event, the foremost annual gathering of Star Class.

The Star Class is a complex mixture of great sailors and personalities. The Class is represented in 49 countries on 4 continents and comprised of Olympians and professional sailors as well as everyday “beer can” racers. The Class has something to offer for every type of sailor.

Notable competitors in this year’s edition include Olympic Gold Champions, Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel, Bill Buchan and World Champions Vincent Brun, Carl Buchan, Eric Doyle, Rick Peters, Xavier Rohart, George Szabo and Phil Trinter.

The Class has most recently seen a growth in competition from juniors and women as well as a resurgence of family teams in all levels of Star sailing. We can count three women: Laura Beigel, Jessica Costa, Nina Aviles and ten juniors below 25 years with the youngest only 13: Chris Barnard, Chas Beek, Laura Beigel, Julian Busch, Matt Dorgan, Tomas Hornos, Malcolm Mcneil, Benjamin Petterssen Josh Revkin and Killian Weise.




San Diego Yacht Club and Star District 5 is a perfect place to foster the comeback of family Star sailing. Family teams include: Chuck and Chas Beek, Laura and Read Beigel, Peter and Jessica Costa, Carl and Jamie Buchan, Mike and Matt Dorgan, Ben Mitchell and Julian Busch, Guillaume Rasse and Nina Aviles, Bill and Billy Gerard.

Competition begins on Saturday August 31st with a practice race off of Point Loma. September 1-8 are the scheduled days of racing. Six races will take place off of Zuniga Jetty at 1230 hrs.

This race is the first that the Star Sailors League offer 3D gps live race tracking using the Virtual Eye system.

San Diego Yacht Club has hosted many World Championships for a variety of classes, eight times for the Star Class. Commodore Chuck Hope and Regatta Chairman John Burnham, along with a large group of local volunteers, are excited to bring this World Class event to San Diego.


By Star Worlds 2013 media,



Forza Italia!


yandy97913 Enfant Terrible (ITA) celebrate – All photos © Daniel Forster / Rolex

Rolex Farr 40 World Championship at New York Yacht Club



The 16th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) in Newport, RI, was as expected a tightly contested affair, and ended after four days of intense competition over ten windward/leeward races.

Alberto Rossi and his all-Italian crew on Enfant Terrible was crowned 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, out of 15 crews from eight countries – Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Mexico, Turkey and the USA. The final battle for the title came down to very last run of the final race. The Italian victory was clearly hard-fought and well earned: Enfant Terrible finished tied on points with Kevin McNeil’s Nightshift (USA), but the Italians earned their title thanks to their three wins on the series standings. Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA), three-time winner of the World Championship and current leader of the Farr 40 International Circuit Championship, finished in third, three points behind the leaders. Chicago architect Helmut Jahn, defending Rolex Farr 40 world champion with Flash Gordon 6 (USA), finished fourth with 57 points.

“It’s been a very challenging week – we were chasing a title that we really wanted and we had been working all year for,” commented a beaming and champagne-drenched Alberto Rossi as he stepped off Enfant Terrible. The week started slightly uphill, as tactician Vasco Vascotto explained: “On the first race I fell off the boat and we lost those precious four points that would have made us a little less nervous coming into the final day.” The crew was able to stay on top of its game, learn from the unexpected and focus on the big picture, as Rossi commented: “The guys did an amazing job, they never let go even when things went wrong. They have been sailing with me since 2009 and I am very proud of my team.”

The last day was pretty stressful for everyone – particularly for Rossi and Vascotto, who had to make up four points to overhaul Nightshift, the leader coming into the last day of the world championship with only two races to go. On how they managed their strategy on the final day, Rossi explained: “Today we had two completely different approaches – in the first race we had to win, so we went in pretty aggressively and engaged Nightshift in a tight match race, and the outcome was good. Having gained two points, we were able to sail the last race with a slightly more conservative approach. The finish was simply amazing, with three boats on arriving on the line together. Ending at tied points confirms the exceptional level of the Farr 40 Class.” What does the future hold for Rossi and his Enfant Terrible? “I love these boats, I love the people and everything about this class – I am not going anywhere, I will stay very close to the Farr 40s.”

This was the third time that Newport hosted the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and everyone enjoyed the venue, the warm hospitality of the New York Yacht Club and the race course. “The conditions were fantastic and challenging. We had it all – light breeze, strong wind, fog, rain, sunshine. I love Newport, I’ve sailed here many times before and it always brings me luck. Now it’s time to celebrate with all my team and the other Farr 40 crews,” commented Vascotto, who has all the reasons to enjoy his third victory at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, having previously won in 2003 and 2010 as tactician.

Finishing second at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships is an amazing feat, considering the level of the competition and the line-up of world-class tacticians and sailors, both professionals and amateurs alike. However, coming second on a tiebreaker is clearly a disappointment. With true sportsmanship spirit, Nightshift’s owner Kevin McNeil, who is also Commodore of the Annapolis Yacht Club, was quick to congratulate the Italians and praise his crew: “We are very happy for them [the Italians], they sailed well. We had a great week, my team did a fantastic job and Newport, as always, was a great place to be.” Nightshift’s tactician Andy Horton, America’s Cup and Olympic sailor from the USA, summed up to perfection the essence of the Farr 40 class: “To have the Worlds come down to four feet in the last run of the last regatta was simply awesome – this is Farr 40 racing.” The 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship concluded with a celebration at Harbour Court, the stunning on-the-water clubhouse of the New York Yacht Club. During the official prize giving Alberto Rossi was awarded the Championship trophy and an engraved Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece, in true recognition of Enfant Terrible’s precision on the water.

The next edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will be hosted by the San Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA, USA, from 17 to 20 September, 2014.




Overall Results:

1. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 5-5-8-3-1-1-2-5-1-10; 41pts
2. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 2-8-3-1-2-2-5-3-7-8; 41pts
3. Barking Mad, James Richardson, USA, 4-3-6-2-6-9-1-1-11-1; 44pts
4. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 7-2-2-9-8-6-13-4-4-2; 57pts
5. Charisma, Nico Poons, MON, 1-1-1-11-9-16/DSQ-4-2-10-5; 60pts
6. Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer, TUR, 9-7-4-4-4-5-14-9-3-11; 70pts
7. Nanoq, HRH Prince Frederik, DEN, 6-6-7-14-7-4-9-6-5-6; 70pts
8. Plenty, Alexander Roepers, USA, 3-9-12-13-5-11-3-11-2-3; 72pts
9. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 13-10-5-5-3-13-7-8-9-9; 82pts
10. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, AUS, 11-4-11-7-11-10-6-7-12-4; 83pts
11. Groovederci, John Demourkas, USA, 12-15-13-8-12-3-8-12-8-7; 98pts
12. Endorphin, Erik Wulff, USA, 8-12-9-12-13-7-11-10-6-13; 101pts
13. Flojito y Cooperando, Bernard Minkow/Julian Fernandez, MEX, 15-11-15-6-14-12-10-13-15-12; 123pts
14. White Knight, Zoltan Katinsky, USA, 10-14-14-10-10-14-12-14-13-14; 125pts
15. Oakcliff Racing, Seth Cooley, USA, 14-13-10-15-15-8-15-15-14-15; 134pts


By Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Media Centre,



Jorge Zarif closes in on Finn Gold Cup win


FGC D5 JZ rd

Jorge Zarif has a big lead into medal race day – All photos © Robert Deaves



2013 Finn Gold Cup at Tallinn, Estonia



Jorge Zarif (BRA) is within a whisker of winning the 2013 Finn Gold Cup after an outstanding performance on Friday, including winning the first race of the day. Ed Wright (GBR) moves up to second with Jonathan Lobert (FRA) in third. The other two races were won by Wright and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), who climbs to fourth. Only the medal race is left.

The day began as expected with no wind and fog and warnings from the PRO of a long day ahead. However the air cleared, a breeze began for form and the sailors were sent out at 13.00 hrs. Thursday’s pessimism came to nothing as the sailors were rewarded with three good races on Tallinn Bay, with winds reaching 8-10 knots, as well as patchy rain towards the end of the day. Miraculously, all three races got away at the first attempt, though there were OCS boats in each race.

Ed Wright (GBR) was the early leader in race 5 rounding the first mark ahead of Jorge Zarif (BRA) and Alican Kaynar (TUR). The left side was strong, and not for the only time during the day. Wright started to stretch out downwind, but Zarif closed on the next beat and just sneaked past him on the final downwind to lead into the finish. Unfortunately Wright was one of the early starters, so second place went to Greg Douglas (CAN) from Milan Vujasinovic (CRO). Another casuality was Bruno Prada (BRA), his third such disqualification this week.

At this point, Vujasinovic had taken a commanding lead of the championship, but it was all about to change again. Wright continued his good form in race 6, starting correctly and rounding the top mark in sixth. First round was young Jake Lilley (AUS) from Tapio Nirkko (FIN) and Josip Olujic (CRO), befitting from a big left hand shift into the top mark. Nirkko took the lead downwind but then collected his second yellow flag and had to retire from the race. Lilley led through the gate, but it was all very tight. He had dropped to fourth by the windward mark and finished in sixth, which moved him into the silver medal position for the juniors. Wright took the lead upwind and extended into the finish from Olujic and Jonathan Lobert (FRA).

Zarif had now taken the overall lead by 12 points, with all around him picking up high scores of one sort or another. He just needed a solid final race to keep things simple. The line up at the first mark was different once again with Alejandro Muscat (ESP) leading round from Lobert and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO). Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Ioannis Mitakis (FRA) were up to second and third at the gate, with Wright also moving up. Zarif moved through to around 15th.

The final beat was crucial. Mitakis took the lead from Postma while Zarif moved up to tenth. Postma sped away downwind to win from Mitakis and a fast approaching Josh Junior (NZL). More importantly Zarif went right downwind, stayed away from the pack and slipped round the final mark in seventh, just enough places to make the medal race a formality for him, albeit a necessary formality.

Lobert’s and Postma’s good form pulled them back into contention, while some of the other early leaders struggled and dropped. The leader going into today was Andrew Mills (GBR). His best result of the day was 26th, as he struggled to find any of the form of the early races, and he has dropped to eighth overall. Zsombor Berecz (HUN) also had problems and dropped to ninth, while Vujasinovic just stays in touch in fifth. Junior left it to the last minute to drag himself into the medal race with his second place.


FGC D5 fleet rd

Giorgio Poggi leading Thomas Le Breton & Jorge Zarif – photo © Robert Deaves


Lobert summed up his day, “It was a very difficult day again, very shifty. In the first race I didn’t manage to start properly because of a boat beside me who got a penalty. Then in the other two races I got good starts and managed to be on top on the left to be there at the first mark. On the third race I found a hole downwind and I lost some places, but I finished top 10. I am a little bg disappointed because it is not possible to win any more. That’s a shame but when it’s tricky, you never know what can happen. But Jorge sailed well, so well done to him, and tomorrow I look forward to fighting with Ed to get the second place, and of course, PJ again.”

Postma climbed 10 places today to be in with a shot at a medal. “It was a tricky day with the left paying all day today. But still there were a few clouds you had to watch. In the last race I started at the boat end and crossed the whole fleet to the left and then played the left. I was about tenth at the top mark and then third at the bottom. I chose to play the left again but the second half of the fleet had to play the right because of this big cloud and we could cut this cloud before the top mark. The Greek sailor passed me to round the top mark ahead but I was faster downwind. I ended up winning the race so I am happy with that.”

“Tomorrow I will be full-on. We are four guys who can win two medals. So I’ll put all the cards on the table and we’ll see.” He concluded, “A medal tomorrow will make me happy,” reflecting on a string of fourth places in recent events.

Zarif, who is just 21 and won the Junior Finn World Championship in July, has sailed his best regatta ever including winning two races. He said, “I couldn’t imagine this happening, assuming I finish tomorrow. I think the company of Rafa and Bruno has been crucial to this.”

“It’s really different to be top 30 or top 10. I think this time with them has helped me to change a little bit, to change my head. I am using the same boat and mast as at the Olympics, with just a few modifications to the sail. Before when I had a good race it was, wow I did well, and I think this time with Rafa [Trujillo] and Bruno [Prada] it starts to get more normal. Today after the second race I didn’t know I was in front, Rafa didn’t tell me. Everything was just normal. And this made the difference.”

“I think Friday was the best day of the sailing here in Tallinn. It was really shifty, the conditions were very hard but the wind was stronger than the other days. You had to work a lot with the shifts and that was the key to the day.”

His coach Rafa Trujillo (ESP) said, “We still need to finish tomorrow, but it’s really great. I was more nervous than him all day I think. Since the beginning of the championship, I knew in these conditions he could make top 10, but I didn’t want to say that to him as he is still so young, but after seeing him leading the second race of the first day and being so steady in this wind, I talked to him about a target of being top 15 each race. It’s amazing. It’s been really difficult conditions, and good racing. And if it was windy I think he would also be competing to win because he is now a good all round sailor.”

The championship concludes Saturday, with the medal race for the top ten at 12.00 and the final race for the rest at 13.00. Zarif just has to finish the medal race to take the title. Theoretically seven boats can take the other medals, so that should be a battle worth watching.

The racing can be followed online in a number of different ways including the live video stream from ERR, GPS tracking from Trac Trac and Twitter updates on @Finn_Class.


day 5 start

Start of race 5 – photo © Robert Deaves



Results after Day 5: (seven races, 1 discard)

1 BRA 9, Jorge Zarif, 45pts
2 GBR 11, Edward Wright, 64pts
3 FRA 112, Jonathan Lobert, 64pts
4 NED 842, Pieter-Jan Postma, 69pts
5 CRO 69, Milan Vujasinovic, 69pts
6 GRE 77, Iaonnis Mitakis, 76pts
7 ITA 146, Michele Palette, 78pts
8 GBR 85, Andrew Mills, 88pts
9 HUN 40, Zsombor Berecz, 85pts
10 NZL 245, Josh Junior, 86pts


Full results at


By Robert Deaves, International Finn Association,




Healy takes the J24 Worlds title


J24 Worlds 13 db

All photos © David Branigan /



BMW J24 World Championships at Howth Yacht Club in Dublin



In a tense and closely fought final day, Tim Healy and his crew from Newport, Rhode Island, on board ‘Helly Hansen’ were impressive winners of the BMW J24 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club (near Dublin, Ireland), with eight top-five results (including three race wins) in the 10-race series.

Healy, who previously won the title in 2010, was pushed all the way by the defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil on ‘Bruschetta’, who also demonstrated remarkable consistency, but who had to be content with the runner-up spot, four points adrift of his rival.

Third place overall went to another American crew led by Travis Odenbach from Rochester on ‘Honey Badger’ who had been the series leader overnight but who did not enjoy the final day. A 20th and an 8th effectively knocked his chances, although he was only two points off Santa Cruz in the end.

In fresh westerly winds which touched 25 knots at times, the penultimate race saw a second win in the series for Britain’s Ian Southworth on ‘Il Riccio’, ahead of fellow Briton Bob Turner’s ‘Serco’. Third place went to local Howth skipper Mossy Shanahan on ‘Crazyhorse’, following up on his great form the previous day, a result which contributed to him finishing as the top Irish boat overall in 19th place.

Success in the last race went to the German boat ‘Rotoman’ (Tobias Feuerherd), with Keith Whittemore (‘Furio’) from Seattle 2nd and Santa Cruz 3rd. The Brazilian, however, needed Healy to be further down the fleet than his finishing place of 5th and so surrendered his world title to the American crew by four points after the one allowed discard.

With the exception of the Tuesday when racing was abandoned due to lack of wind, the championship featured four good racing days, with the wind strength progressively increasing as the week went on. There were six different race winners and the four US entries all finished in the top 10 which featured two German boats and the sole Italian entry.


J24 Worlds win db


Overall Results: (ten races, 1 discard)

1. Tim Healy (USA) 38pts
2. Mauricio Santa Cruz (Brazil) 42pts
3. Travis Odenbach (USA) 44pts
4. Ian Southworth (GB) 53pts
5. Tobias Feurherd (Ger) 73pts
6. Keith Whittemore (USA) 77pts
7. Bob Turner (GB) 83pts
8. Ignatio Bonanno (Italy) 88pts
9. Tony Parker (USA) 114pts
10. Sullberg (Ger) 115pts


By Graham Smith,



Breeze will not play ball at Finn Gold Cup


FGC D4 no wind rd

All photos © Robert Deaves



2013 Finn Gold Cup at Tallinn, Estonia



For the second consecutive day no racing was possible at the Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn, Estonia. Only four races have been sailed over four days and the prospect of further racing is not that encouraging. Andrew Mills (GBR) still holds a 17 point lead over Zsombor Berecz (HUN) and Michele Palette (ITA). There are just two days left to conclude the championship.

The fleet was held on shore in the morning but a developing sea breeze prompted the race officer to drop the AP at 14.00 hrs and send the fleet afloat. However as soon as the boats arrived the wind started to disappear, with some large heavy clouds forming along the coast. The breeze returned gain, but was never more than 5 knots. Finally at 17.00  hrs AP over H was hoisted to send the fleet back to wait ashore. The sea was glassy and the chance of racing was extremely slim. And so, 30 minutes later racing was abandoned for the day.

Racing on Friday has been brought forward to 10.00 hrs to try and make the best of any wind available. Three races are planned to try and get back somewhere near the schedule. One more race needs to be sailed before a medal race can be sailed on Saturday. After one more race, the discard also comes into play, which could change the leader board somewhat. However, whatever happens on the next two days the necessary four races have been completed to constitute a valid championship.


FGC D4 rd



Championship leader, Andrew Mills said, “Another postponement and and no racing unfortunately. It would be great to get out and do some racing. Four races in four days in not brilliant so hopefully with an early start tomorrow, we can get three on the scoreboard and then it will look a bit more reasonable.”

Event director, Ants Väinsalu commented,, “Everything has come later this year. Usually we would have such weather in July, and we experienced this in July when the 470s have come here before. It was the same, with no wind. This year Spring was late, and then Summer was late and now we are having summer weather here. We normally have quite good winds, even strong winds, at the end of August. I don’t ever remember in August that we have two days with no wind and no racing and with tomorrow and Saturday the same conditions are promised. It’s awful.”

The sailors killed the time on the water swapping boats, telling tales, coaching their coaches, and generally larking around, while some caught up on much needed sleep as the long days and Tallinn nightlife were taking their toll. In spite of the lack of racing, spirits were high and the sailors wore smiles.

The opening series continues, wind permitting, at 10.00 hrs on Friday with three races scheduled. If the opening series is five races or more, it will be followed by the medal race for the top ten and the final race for the rest on Saturday, 31 August. Otherwise the opening series will be concluded, with up to three races, on Saturday with no medal race.


Results after Day 4: (four races)

1 GBR 85, Andrew Mills, 25pts
2 HUN 40, Zsombor Berecz, 42pts
3 ITA 146, Michele Palette, 42pts
4 CRO 69, Milan Vujasinovic, 47pts
5 FRA 112, Jonathan Lobert, 52pts
6 ITA 117, Giorgio Poggi, 58pts
7 GBR 11, Edward Wright, 59pts
8 EST 2, Deniss Karpak, 59pts
9 AUS 261, Oliver Tweddell, 65pts
10 BRA 9, Jorge Zarif, 72pts


Full results at


By Robert Deaves, International Finn Association



No racing for Finns on third day in Tallinn


FGC D3 ap rd

No racing on day 3 of the 2013 Finn Gold Cup – photo © Robert Deaves



2013 Finn Gold Cup at Tallinn, Estonia



For the third day in a row an early postponement was hoisted at the Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn, Estonia, but unlike the first two days, the wind never built enough to start racing. Racing for the day was abandoned at 15.00hrs.

The early morning wind was offshore, and it took some time for the developing sea breeze to kill this off, but when the sea breeze arrived it struggled to increase to more than 5 knots. The sailors were held onshore under just AP so they could be ready to go as soon as the wind arrived, but by 15.00 hrs the PRO made the decision that it wasn’t going to happen, and abandoned racing for the day.

There are lots of sailors here doing better than expected, but the tricky winds are playing havoc with the established pecking order.

In his first year in the Finn Milan Vujasinovic (CRO) is exceeding his expectations, sitting in fourth place after four races. He said, “I am happy so far with my performance. I was looking forward to some lighter winds because I am not at Finn weight yet and just came to the class this year. So I am more happy with lighter winds than strong winds.”

“I am also pretty happy with my mental preparation for this regatta, which I think has been most important. These are really difficult conditions.”

“I am a bit surprised by my position so far. My goal was top 15, which would have been a big success for a first year, but so far it is looking good. It’s only been four races so far and we all know it’s far from over. I am feeling comfortable in strong winds but so far the forecast is not saying that, so I am happy so far.”

Several of the coaches here, and even one of the sailors, were among the group that were denied the chance to compete in the 1980 Olympic regatta by the western boycott of the Moscow Olympics. There is a constant reminder of missed opportunities every day as the fleet sail past the Olympic flame cauldron and the Olympic rings at the harbour entrance.

But all are happy to be in Tallinn. John Bertrand (USA), the Australian coach said, “I hadn’t really thought about it much until I got here this year. I really love Tallinn for obvious reasons. It’s a great place to sail, and the Estonian people are wonderful. It’s been really nice coming back and an opportunity to maybe close that chapter.”

The Canadian coach Larry Lemieux (CAN) added, ” I think partly I agreed with it at the time a little bit because I was so ignorant, but I was just a young kid. In the Olympics your window of opportunity to win a medal is not that big in a sport that is athletic. So that would have probably been one of my best opportunities to win a medal.”

“But I am really pleased to be here after so long. Now I see what the conditions are like here and everything else, it would have been great.”

Lemieux did four Olympic campaigns, but hasn’t raced for several years. “I’m not so keen on getting back into competition any more. When you’ve done it for so long, your body starts to get accustomed to reacting in a certain way to stress, and it’s almost an automatic reaction. Even when I’ve tried to do just a fun regatta, those feeling still come, and I just don’t like that. I used to get the same reaction from coaching, when I first started. I was nervous for them. I’d feel the stress before the race started. It’s really weird how that happens. I did the Finn Masters for a while, and the last couple of times I did it, after the first day of racing I’d just be thinking I can’t wait for it to be over. That s not the way it should be be. You should be looking forward to it and excited to race. I just don’t have that desire any more and I think it’s because I did it so hard for so long.”

The full interviews with Bertrand, Lemieux and Gus Miller will be released later this week.

Despite the lack of wind, it was another beautiful sunny day in beautiful Tallinn, and the mood of the sailors was good despite the lack of racing. Tonight a BBQ is being held in the regatta centre overlooking the harbour.

Racing continues, wind permitting, at 12.00 noon on Thursday.


Results after Day 3: (four races)

1 GBR 85, Andrew Mills, 25pts
2 HUN 40, Zsombor Berecz, 42pts
3 ITA 146, Michele Palette, 42pts
4 CRO 69, Milan Vujasinovic, 47pts
5 FRA 112, Jonathan Lobert, 52pts
6 ITA 117, Giorgio Poggi, 58pts
7 GBR 11, Edward Wright, 59pts
8 EST 2, Deniss Karpak, 59pts
9 AUS 261, Oliver Tweddell, 65pts
10 BRA 9, Jorge Zarif, 72pts


By Robert Deaves,


America’s Cup: What you may not know about the AC72


Ora 2 training gg

Photo c Guilain Grenier/ Oracle Team USA


By John Longley, 1983 America’s Cup winner

After spending a week in San Francisco and having the opportunity to talk to a number of people who have actually sailed the extraordinary AC72s, I have gathered a bit of AC72 trivia to share…

* If you had an engine to power the hydraulics rather than grinders, you could sail the AC72s with 4 people rather than the crew of 11 they now sail with.

* There is really only one trimmer on board and he controls the wing. The helmsman controls the cant and rake of the board with buttons on a control pad in front of him but only has 3 seconds of stored power before he has to “throw bananas” into the grinding pit i.e. ask for more hydraulic power.

* They have seen 47 knots as the top speed so far but expect to see the 50 knot barrier broken in the Cup match.

* The boats go directly downwind 1.8 times faster than the wind. So if you let a balloon go as you went around the top mark you would easily beat it to the bottom mark.

* There is only 4 degrees difference to the apparent wind from going on the wind to running as deep as you can.

* If you lost the hydraulics while the boats were foiling they would be completely uncontrollable and would most likely capsize.

* It is faster to find the strongest adverse current going downwind because the stronger apparent that is then generated translates into more speed than if you were sailing in slack water. (Warning – this takes a bit to get your head around)

* When sailing downwind you look for the puffs in front of you not behind you.

* It is actually quite dry on the boats, unless you make a mistake and come off the foils, as you are flying a couple of metres above the water. Waves have almost no impact on the boat when foiling.

* In strong wind you carry negative camber at the top of the wing to “reef” or de-power the wing.

* All crew carry personal tackle so they can effectively rappel down the netting if the boat capsizes.

* Gennakers are only used below about 8 knots; the jibs only provide about 3% of the lift up wind.

* The foil on the rudder generates about 800 kg of lift with the rest coming from the center board foil to lift the 7 ton yachts clear of the water.

* The centre board foil’s tip comes out of the water so it effectively works like a governor on an engine i.e. as the board generates too much vertical lift it comes out of the water, the area is thus reduced so it goes back down etc until it finds equilibrium.


Article reproduced from Scuttlebutt:


Andrew Mills extends lead as tricky conditions continue


FGC Start D2 rd

Crowded startline on day 2 – All photos © Robert Deaves



2013 Finn Gold Cup at Tallinn, Estonia


Andrew Mills (GBR) has extended his lead on the second day of the 2013 Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn, Estonia after winning the second race of the day. Zsombor Berecz (HUN) moves up to second with Michele Palette (ITA) now in third. The first race of the day was won by Pieter-Jan Postma (NED).

In conditions very similar to Monday’s races the fleet was again held on shore for two hours for the wind to build. The wind turned up again, but was still not more than 7-8 knots at any time and still very unpredictable, causing a string of high scores throughout the fleet. The results make for interesting reading with a huge number of different names near the top, with many of the favourites struggling down to mid-fleet.

Race three got under way after two general recalls. Starting right at the pin end and tacking straight across to the right side of the course, Pieter-Jan Postma ((NED) controlled race three from start to finish. He rounded the top mark ahead of Josh Junior (NZL) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and these positions remained the same throughout. Junior made some gains on the second upwind with Postma tacking right on top of him as they approached the top mark. However, Postma extended downwind to win from Junior and Lobert. Mark Andrews (GBR) recovered from the teens at the first mark to cross the line in fourth.



Andrew Mills extends overall lead – photo © Robert Deaves



Regatta leader, Andrew Mills (GBR) crossed in 15th after rounding the first mark well placed, as he slipped back slightly. However in the second race, he made amends, starting near the pin and tacking across to the right to lead at each mark for the whole race. He rounded the top mark ahead of Michal Jodlowski (POL) and Milan Vujasinovic (CRO). Many of the overall leaders were deep in the fleet again.

As Mills maintained his lead throughout Vujasinovic moved up to second at the downwind gate. Jodlowski was back in second at the final top mark and held it to the finish, only to find out he was one of seven boats black flagged at the start. So Vujasinovic picked up the second place with Jorge Zarif (BRA) had a great last leg to move up to third.

The list of black flagged starters also showed that Bruno Prada (BRA) had picked up his second black flag of the day.

Postma described his day, “Before the start, the wind shifted a little bit left and so I went to the left side of the line and I won that side, and then I could take the shift and I was leading straight away. The fourth race was not a good race for me. Again the wind shifted left at the start but farther than the whole day so I started on the right side and I thought it would shift back but it only shifted more left so I was taking the long way and had a bad race.”



Pieter-Jan Postma controlled race 3 from start to finish – photo © Robert Deaves


Junior scored a 2, 11 and moved up to 15th overall. He said, “Another glamour day with five knots and the shifts continued, but instead of the right paying like yesterday, the left paid. I was pretty lucky and found myself out on the left and managed to get a second in the first race and a 12th in the second, so I’m pretty happy. It’s plenty tricky and it’s really hard to predict what’s going to happen as you can’t really see the pressure, so all you can do is get a good start and play the percentages and work your way up.”

Mills said, “Another tricky day. It was just about trying to get two consistent races, maybe top 10’s. Light winds is not traditionally what I am good at but I seem to be doing ok here. But it’s a long way to go, with seven races left.”

“The last race was tight, with a black flag and a lot of people pushing the line at the pin. I lined up with a few seconds to go and was perfectly covered and found a wave to surf out of the line. I hit that perfectly. From there I was well punched, tacked on the shifts and got a decent bit ahead. From there it was just sailing, as I was confident I was in the top two from five minutes out.”

After an indifferent Monday, Greg Douglas (CAN) had a better Tuesday with a 8, 13 to move up to 13th overall. He said, “It was another lovely summer day in Estonia with a light, tricky breeze which made for some interesting racing. As always the boys were eager to get off the line so we had a few recalls which made for a slow start but we got away and had two great races.”

“Being consistent and keeping your head out of the boat really paid. There was more wind in the second race which stretched the fleet out a bit more, which was nice so the marks were less crowded and made the racing easier and more spread.

The man who brought the Finn Gold Cup to Estonia two weeks ago now finds himself 17 points clear at the top of the leader-board after four races. He is not taking anything for granted but in this high scoring regatta most of his main rivals have already collected two high scores. The forecast is for more of the same conditions in the coming days.

Racing continues at 12.00 noon on Wednesday. The opening series of ten races will be followed by the medal race for the top ten and the final race for the rest on Saturday, 31 August. It can be followed in a number of different ways including the live video stream from ERR, GPS tracking from Trac Trac and Twitter updates on @Finn_Class.


Results after Day 2: (four races, 1 discard after five races)

1 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 25pts
2 HUN 40 Zsombor Berecz 42pts
3 ITA 146 Michele Palette 42pts
4 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 47pts
5 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 52pts
6 ITA 117 Giorgio Poggi 58pts
7 GBR 11 Edward Wright 59pts
8 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 59pts
9 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell 65pts
10 BRA 9 Jorge Zarif 72pts


Full results at

By Robert Deaves, IFA,



Opportunity of a Lifetime


YAC fleet

All photos © Gilles Martin-Raget / ACEA

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in San Francisco


More than 60 youth sailors representing 10 teams and eight nations have descended on San Francisco for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Only one team will emerge as the champion, but the many sailors are auditioning for a spot with an America’s Cup team. The racing, scheduled Sept. 1-4, will be held off the America’s Cup Village, at Marina Green, and will be broadcast around the world on the America’s Cup YouTube channel.

The teams have been training out of San Francisco for just over a week, but this marks the final step in what has been over a year of preparation for most.

“We’ve been sailing more than 150 days this year to prepare for this,” said Lionel Vaucher, a grinder with the Swiss Team Tilt. “We’ve done the same amount of time in the gym. Now we are working on getting time on the AC45s and improving our communications on board and it’s getting better. We’re ready.”

The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is a new event intended to identify the next generation of America’s Cup sailor. The introduction of wing sail catamarans that can sail faster than 50 miles per hour requires a younger, more athletic sailor.

“When America’s Cup teams look for the next generation of sailors, it’s natural that they would look at the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup,” said sporting director Roman Hagara. “The next generation will come from this talent pool. These sailors are the new breed who will be the next stars.”

This past weekend, the young guns of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup were all on the water, along with the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA’s Jimmy Spithill. The symbolism of the young guys on the smaller AC45 catamarans in pursuit of the America’s Cup sailors on the AC72 wasn’t lost on Spithill.

“It’s fantastic to see the talent level,” Spithill said. “Already we are starting to see a couple of guys that we would target next time – they don’t just look good on the water, but also their fitness levels in the gym, and the way they organize themselves.”


YAC start gmr



  • The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup runs from September 1-4 and is based out of the America’s Cup Village at Marina Green
  • The format is fleet racing – 2 races per day, for an 8-race series, with racing beginning at 11:10am each day
  • The boats are AC45 catamarans powered by giant wing sails – the same boats used by the America’s Cup teams in the AC World Series from 2011-2013
  • Teams are composed of six sailors, aged 19-24, who must be passport holders of their team’s country
  • Nations represented include Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand (two teams), Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. (two teams)


For more info see:


By 34th America’s Cup media



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