Monthly Archives: November 2015

Artemis Racing wins in Virgin Gorda as Team Nika clinches 2015 title

 

RC44 VIRGIN GORDA CUP

All photos © Martinez Studio

 

RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup

 

Artemis Racing today won the fleet racing at the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, with a four point margin over Peninsula Petroleum, having led from the outset of the four day regatta. But while this was close, the outcome of the 2015 RC44 Fleet Racing Championship was closer, only decided in the last seconds of the final race, followed by some intense mathematics and the breaking of a tie.

Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Swedish team put in a late charge this season, posting four bullets this week to achieve their first RC44 victory since the Austria Cup in 2012.

“It wasn’t the prettiest day for us, but we were very close to winning two races,” said Törnqvist. “We were leading the last race and then I don’t know what happened! I’m very happy of course, needless to say.”

Perhaps the reasons for Artemis Racing’s success were down to Törnqvist having arrived a day before the regatta to train or new tactician Francesco Bruni making his mark. Törnqvist explained:

“We have great sailors on board, and here it’s been the small things. It has also come down to my helming – I was focussed a lot, which was a big difference this time.”

 

 

 

2015 RC44 Fleet Racing Championship

 

The 2015 Fleet Racing season for the one design 44 footers became a two horse race between Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika and Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team. The two teams had either won or come second in the two previous events and, in the championship, Team Nika was one slender one point ahead of her rival going into the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup.

This morning in the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, Bronenosec was lying third, one place ahead of Team Nika, but needed another boat to finish the regatta between her and Team Nika to win the Championship. Initially this seemed all but impossible, but in today’s first race, the two leaders, Artemis Racing and Peninsula Petroleum, finished last. This left Peninsula Petroleum still second but now only three points clear of Bronenosec. This margin narrowed further to two points going into the day’s third and final race.

Team Nika’s tactician Ed Baird explained their situation going into the last race: “There were five boats which could finish between us – that was bad. We had to manage that around the course, in an incredibly shifty, crazy venue”

Against the odds, at the final weather mark rounding of the deciding race, Bronenosec was in a Championship winning position: Leading, with Team Nika in second and Peninsula Petroleum in fourth. However on the last run a squall rolled over the fleet and with gusts of 30 knots on one side of the course and nothing on the other (where the leaders were), the positions were overturned.

As Bronenosec’s Italian tactician Michele Ivaldi explained – on the final run they had fallen into a hole as the squall passed through. “We got a big header, so we kept going on starboard and Team Nika came with us. Instead we should have just gybed and gone to the other side, but there was no way we could do that. It was the wrong cloud at the wrong moment.”

Ultimately Team Aqua and MAG Racing came home first and second respectively, but, importantly, Peninsula Petroleum was third, meaning she retained second in the regatta with Bronenosec Sailing Team and Team Nika still third and fourth.

 

RC44 VIRGIN GORDA CUP

Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika crowned 2015 RC44 Champion

 

 

On the championship leaderboard this left this Bronenosec Sailing Team and Team Nika tied at the top, but with Team Nika claiming the title – the tie split through her having scored a better result at the RC44 Cascais World Championship.

On returning to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Prosikhin was ecstatic: “I have been in the RC44 class for almost five years. It’s been a gradual climb. Last time we were here I was last – my lowest point. So this really means a lot to me. I am very happy to win this season.”

For the final races, Prosikhin admitted that he’d had his head down, focussing on helming and not broaching. “It was only after we’d finished that they told me we had won the season. This regatta has been the most difficult I’ve done for sure.”

His tactician Ed Baird paid tribute to the Team Nika crew:

“As the new guy on the boat, I am really impressed with how these guys are sailing. The only reason we didn’t finish stronger in this regatta was due to decisions I made – never with the driving or sailing the boat or boat handling. Everything was crisp and beautiful – it is a pleasure to sail with the team.”

Bronenosec Sailing Team leaves Virgin Gorda having won the rolling season’s Match Racing Championship and on the same points as the Fleet Racing winner. “I am very happy my friend won,” said Liubomirov of his rival on the water. “But to have lost in a situation like this, in the last 30 seconds of the race, is very painful.”

Cameron Appleton, tactician on 2014 RC44 Champion Team Aqua summed up: “It was a phenomenal year of racing, truly a hard season, a hard-fought win for Nika and huge congratulations. We know what it feels like and we’re proud that someone else has sailed so well to accomplish what they did.”

The 2016 RC44 Championship Tour will be announced imminently, but will start in Bermuda and, for the first time, will visit the UK.

 

For full results visit: http://www.rc44.com/results/fleet-racing/2015

 

RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup Results

VG results

 

2015 RC44 Championship Tour Results

Season results

 

 

 

Lobert and Zbogar secure long awaited Finn Gold Cup medals in Takapuna

 

FGC winners fd

All photos c Robert Deaves

 

2015 Finn Gold Cup at Takapuna Boating Club, New Zealand

 

 

Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) secured their first ever Finn Gold Cup medals today after a tough medal race in Takapuna, New Zealand, which closed the 2015 Finn World Championships on the Hauraki Gulf.

With Giles Scott (GBR) already the runaway winner, the focus on Sunday was the two minor medals and the fourth 2016 Olympic qualification place.

The forecast was the worst of any day so far this week, and at the morning briefing the PRO Ian Clouston emphasised the race committee’s policy of “a fair race or no race”. The fleet was sent out on time, only to be sent back in an hour later and then back out later for a 14.00 hrs start. However in spite of an 8-10 knot wind in place by then, it was still looking patchy so after a short postponement, the decision was taken to send in the fleet and send out the top 10 for the medal race.

This meant that the fourth place available here for Rio 216 went to Uruguay and Alejandro Foglia (URU). Foglia is a recipient of Finn development programme funding and also a member of the newly established FINNTEAM.

 

MR fleet rd

 

“When I came here the objective was to qualify the country. That objective is accomplished, so I am very satisfied. It is very important for Uruguay because I am the fifth athlete to qualify in all sports, so it means a lot for me for all my family, my friends, my coaches and the people who support me in this career. It was a difficult year for me because I had two injuries and had to quit two major regattas, but I managed to come back to be strong here and prove to myself that I can do it and be in the front with these top guys, so I am very happy with that.”

The wind stabilised for the medal race and was an incredibly close fight, which the fleet crossing the finishing line in an overlapped group that was hard to separate.

Tapio Nirkko (FIN) led at the top, but Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) took the lead downwind and led up the second beat. At that point everything changed with the Oscar flag raised for free pumping as the wind went over 10 knots. Ed Wright went more to the right, and when he crossed back was ahead of the fleet, but it still wasn’t over with Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) taking the lead in the final moments to cross ahead of Wright and Ioannis Mitakis (GRE).

 

MR GRE IM rd

 

Lobert had managed to hang onto the silver medal with a fourth place finish, which Zbogar stole the bronze from Andrew Murdoch (NZL) on virtue of a better medal race score, both sailors ending up on equal points.

Lobert said, “The medal race is always lot of tension. I had to take care with Murdoch, because I knew he would be good in light winds, and also that Vasilij or Max didn’t pass me. My strategy was quite clear. I tried to play the wind and the shifts because I couldn’t control all of them. It went quite well because I was on top of the fleet at the first mark and I managed to have a good downwind and then I was just trying to secure the position. In the end I finished second to Giles and I am very pleased with that because I have been three times on the podium before the medal race and I lost it, so this time I’m very happy to secure the silver.”

Murdoch was taking the positives from his performance. “The medal race didn’t go so well for me and I ended up losing third on countback. It was a tough race with lighter air conditions and with a short course like that it was always going to be tough and the fleet never really spread out at all and crossed the line more or less next to each other. I’m gutted to have missed out being on the podium here but working forward to Rio it’s encouraging how I have gone. I’d like to close the gap on Giles, that’s for sure.”

On the sailing this week, “We’ve haven’t had typical conditions here for this time of year but it’s actually been really good sailing and it’s been awesome having the Finn fleet down here in new Zealand for a change. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I certainly did and it was great to sail in front of the home crowd and for our national fleet the chance to sail against the best in the world.”

As well as Uruguay, the other three nations qualifying for Rio next year are Greece, Estonia and The Netherlands.

Postma described the day, “Amazing tense medal race here on the last day. For the guys tied up in third and fourth it was super stressful. For me it was good. I came out with a win. But it was really close racing and only on the last downwind I went from second to the win, so happy about that.”

On his regatta he said, “I came here to get a medal. I didn’t do that, but half way through the regatta I was 25th and then we said we need too change something. And we changed the tactics and a little bit of speed. I didn’t have the good speed yet, but the tactics worked and I am happy about the second half of the regatta. It was a solid second half.”

On the Olympic qualification. “I wasn’t worried about that but it needed to be done and it’s still a relief. It was a relief to get that out of the way but congrats also to the other guys already now looking forward to the Olympics.”

Qualifying Estonia, Deniss Karpak (EST) said, “Today I can officially say that Rio is a real thing. Before it was only an aim, a project, but I finally qualified my country and basically won the national qualification system too. The wind was quite good for me and I was fast in light wind and not so fast in strong wind, but average points were good. Anyway I didn’t make the medal race but am happy with my 11th. It was good for me especially after not such a good season in Europe.”

Third place went to Zbogar. “The medal race was quite nice. I had a good position because I was fifth and I couldn’t lose so much but I could get up to third, so I could risk a bit more. I had a good start and a good second upwind and was sailing extremely well apart from the last downwind which was free pumping. I tried hard to the end and had just enough points to move up to third place. It’s of course for me a very important moment because I was waiting for so many years to get a medal at the worlds. I was many times close but finally I did it so I am super happy.”

Summing up the week he said, “We had a a really nice regatta. Of course there were many ups and downs for many of the sailors, apart from Giles who is definitely ahead of the game. It will be hard to catch him in any regatta, especially at the Olympics. But we try to move forward. He has another level of sailing in the Finn so everyone is now trying to push hard to try and catch him. For sure 10-15 sailors are trying to beat him. He’s unbeatable, but anything can happen at the Olympics. Everybody will be really ready for it and we’ll see what happens.”

 

MR GBR GS rd

 

Summing up his week Scott said, “I am very happy with the way this week has gone. I think it’s been one of the better regattas I have sailed this year. I’ve managed to stay very consistent which has been hugely important here, and to be able to wrap up the championship with two races to spare, no one could ask for a better way to win a championship that that. The medal race was slightly odd for me. It’s always a bit of an odd sensation when you have already got the title wrapped up. I could certainly sense there was a lot of stake for the other guys, so I was very fortunate to be carefree and cruise round to a certain extent. We got a good race in but it was pretty stress free for me.”

On sailing in Takapuna. “Takapuna has been great. I think we’ve been incredibly fortunate with the weather. We’ve had a brilliant mix of conditions. Light days, strong days, shifty and steady, it has been a real mix and to be successful here you’ve had to be able to master all those conditions. I think the class as a whole is certainly pleased with what Takapuna has had to offer and I am sure the Finn fleet will be back here soon.”

On defending next year in Italy. “At the moment the plan is to do the Gold Cup next year. Everything is still a bit fluid working out exactly what we want to get done in our calendar before the Olympic Games as that is the priority but at the moment we plan to go to Gaeta and I’ll be trying to do it again.”

 

Overall Results: (medal race in brackets)

1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 48 (8)

2 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 93 (4)

3 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 112 (6)

4 NZL 16 Andrew Murdoch 112 (9)

5 SWE 33 Max Salminen 113 (7)

6 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 119 (1)

7 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 125 (5)

8 GBR 11 Edward Wright 135 (2)

9 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 140 (3)

10 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 14 (10)

 

full results here

 

By Robert Deaves

 

 

Double bullets for Jonathan Lobert as Scott secures third Finn world title in Takapuna

 

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Giles Scott – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

 

2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand

 

 

Giles Scott (GBR) has secured his third Finn Gold Cup with two races to spare after the final fleet racing day in Takapuna, New Zealand. Going into the day with a 52 point margin, he picked up a third in the first race to put the world title beyond doubt before making extra sure with a second place in the next race. Both races, in the windiest conditions of the week, were won by the London 2012 bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert (FRA) who moves up to second overall. Andrew Murdoch (NZL) posted a fifth and third to move up to third overall, with just the medal race to sail.

For the first time this week the sailors had a new wind direction to play with. An offshore, shifty 12-16 knots made the day very interesting, but most of the same faces were up the front. Lobert excelled leading race 9 from the downwind gate and race 10 from the top mark and was never really threatened in either race for two fantastic victories.

Alican Kaynar (TUR) led round the top in race 9 from Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Murdoch. Once passed by Lobert, Kaynar managed to extend on the fleet for a great second place finish, while Scott moved through the fleet to cross in third. Scott then rounded the top mark in race 10 just behind Lobert, but couldn’t find a way past the fast Frenchman. Max Salminen (SWE) was initially in third, but got passed by Murdoch on the final downwind.

 

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Andrew Murdoch – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

It was a day of many upheavals as several sailors were fighting hard for every point towards Olympic selection. Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) had a poor first race but recovered to 37th, and followed that up with a sixth to just make the top 10 and secure a place for Greece in Rio. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) continued his great run with a sixth and seventh to go into the medal race in seventh overall, also securing his place in Rio.

There was also a notable performance from the 2013 World Champion, Jorge Zarif (BRA) who placed fourth and tenth to move into the top 10.

Of the four places available in Rio here this week, the first three go to Netherlands, Greece and Estonia. Netherlands and Greece are in the medal race and cannot be passed. Estonia is 64 points ahead of the fifth placed nation and cannot be passed. The fourth nation place is occupied by Uruguay, in 17th. Then there is a 25 point gap to Italy, with Russia and Spain not far behind. The final race on Sunday, for everyone except the top 10, will decide which of these nations will qualify for Rio.

Mitakis explained his day. “We had two really good races in fantastic weather. In the first race I struggled a bit after the start and didn’t have a good race. In the second race I had a solid start in the middle and rounded the first mark in the top ten, so after that it was quite easy and I finished sixth.”

“The goal of this regatta was just to qualify the country for the Olympics. It was quite hard as many countries are trying to qualify but I think I had a really good regatta and finishing in the top 10 is very satisfying. In the middle of the regatta I had one day I had a bad race in the first one and in the second I had a second yellow flag, so it was not a good day. But after that day I managed to recover quite well.” On Greek selection for Rio, “It is not announced yet but I hope I will be the one.”

 

D5 FRA JL rd

Jonathan Lobert – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

 

Lobert was delighted with his performance, “Today was a good day for me. I had two bullets. The wind was very shifty so my strategy was quite simple. I tried to have good starts and then just play the shifts. Both times I started at the pin end boat and I was really quick on starboard tack and both times I managed to cross the fleet and then I was in front so then it was easy. I liked this kind of conditions with sideways waves”

Going in to the medal race,”Tonight I am second overall so tomorrow I could get the silver medal. I am a few points in front of Murdoch but it’s still quite tight. I have two times been on the podium before the medal race so I hope this time I will make it.”

About Scott’s performance he said, “Giles was just sailing in a different league to us this week. Not making any mistakes, he has no big scores so again winning before the last race and the medal race, so it’s pretty big, but I will try to get the silver and slowly slowly we we get close to him to maybe beat him in the Games.”

 

D5 GBR win rd

Scott wins – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

Scott was typicaly modest about his own performance. “I am really happy with the way I sailed this week. It’s certainly gone to plan. Winning in the way I have done this week is certainly the best way to win a regatta. But it’s it’s a very gradual feeling, it doesn’t just come as a shock, so trust me I am over the moon to have won my third Finn Gold Cup. As a class we are incredibly lucky to have such a historic world championship with so many great names on the trophy before, so to win it three times is such a huge honour.”

About the day he said, “The wind shifted round to the left from where it was all week and we had reasonably windy offshore conditions, so a bit of a change.”

He still needs to turn up tomorrow to win the title but said, “I think the forecast is quite light, but I’ll go out there and do my best to try and win it and see how many points I can win by. It’s a very nice position to be in, very stress free. I think it’s quite a close battle for silver and bronze so will be interesting to see how it all pans out.”

On the week in general he said, “I think the major difference with Finn Gold Cup, racing in a fleet of 76 this week, is that there is an incredibly large scope for winning races by large way and well as losing races by a large way, so consistency in these types of regattas always ends up coming out what wins, and if you can constantly put in top ten finishes, chances are you are going to be in a medal position. And that’s what I have been focusing on this week and I think I have been sailing in a manner that’s allowed me to do that. I’ve tried to stay risk free where possible.”

Racing on Sunday is scheduled to start at 11.00 hrs with the medal race for the top 10 and the final race for the rest. The conditions in the morning will decide which fleet is started first.

 

Results after 10 races (one discard)

1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 32

2 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 85

3 NZL 16 Andrew Murdoch 94

4 SWE 33 Max Salminen 99

5 SLO 73 Vasilij Zbogar 100

6 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 115

7 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 117

8 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 128

9 GBR 11 Edward Wright 131

10 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 134

 

Full results here.

 

Anne-Marie Rindom crowned Women’s Radial World Champion

 

Rad gold DEN amr

Anne-Marie Rindom – All Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

 

Laser Radial Women’s World Championship in Oman

 

 

The Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, organised by Oman Sail, concluded today with Anne-Marie Rindom from Denmark securing the overall world championship title.

The 24-year-old Scandinavian representing Horsens Sejlklub in Jutland, managed to stay cool on a somewhat frustrating day dominated by general recalls, and clinch the event from Marit Bouwmeester (NED). They both finished the day on equal points, but two first places in the overall rankings was enough to break the tie in Rindom’s favour.

Fresh from victory at Semaine Olympique Francaise La Rochelle in October, and a win at the Laser Europa Cup in Denmark in the summer, Rindom was on top form right from the start at this event. This former Optimist sailor who won the first race, and sailed a generally consistent series had to discard a 19th place from today.

“It is an amazing feeling to be confirmed world champion. I can hardly believe it. Thankfully I was able to discard today’s poor result!” she said as she stepped ashore.

There is little rest for the new world champion though. “I have one week at home then I am off to Rio for training, followed by Miami for the next World Cup so it is full on for me from now on.”

Rindom was enthusiastic about Al Mussanah as a world championship venue: “It is a perfect place for a championship, great launching and plenty of room for everybody and, most importantly, the conditions are great for sailing.”

Light, shifty conditions and fleets eager to start resulted in a succession of general recalls in both Gold and Silver fleets. The Gold fleet managed just one race before the 15:00 time limit and Silver was unable to start at all.

 

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Marit Bouwmeester – Photo c Mark Lloyd

 

 

Bouwmeester (NED), 2014 World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist was naturally disappointed about losing her title but a fourth place in today’s race was enough to retain silver.

Evi Van Acker (BEL) representing the Royal Belgian Sailing Club, and ranked world number one, also had a less than satisfactory day.

“It was a frustrating day, I think I was on the wrong side on the first upwind and, although I caught up a lot on the first downwind, I then went up the right side of the beat, and the wind came completely from the left so I lost out there too.

“Overall though, it’s been a great week of sailing with a real mix of conditions which is perfect for this sort of regatta.”

As well as Rindom’s success of being crowned world champion, the star of the show in today’s sole race was reigning Olympic champion – Lijia Xu (CHN). This 28-year-old sailor from Shanghai, who has been off the racing scene for two years with back and knee injury, demonstrated her light wind skills by winning the final race.

From a pin-end of the line start, Xu read the shifts well and had a good first beat. She pulled up the fleet from 3rd on the final round and led fellow Chinese sailor and closest rival, Dongshuang Zhang, across the line.

 

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Evi Van Acker – Photo c Mark Lloyd

 

“Today’s conditions were perfect for me because that is what I am most into. I am glad that most of my feeling is still there. One month ago I wouldn’t even have been able to finish one race in strong winds. The best I could manage was a club race in Weymouth with amateur sailors so I am glad to be where I am now,” said Xu.

“The fitness is just a matter of time and with eight months I am quite confident I can compete for a place at the Rio Olympics.”

The prize giving and closing ceremony, took place at Al Mussanah Sports City in the presence of Her Highness Dr. Muna bint Fahad Al Said – Assistant Vice Chancellor of International Cooperation at Sultan Qaboos University – and Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi – Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Chairwoman of Oman Sail.

Also present was David Graham, Oman Sail CEO, who, in his closing speech said that hosting major international events in the Sultanate helps to build the country’s profile and the effects of this championship will be visible in Oman for many years to come. “The quality of sailing on show has been incredible, with fierce competition every single day. It is an honour to have welcomed Olympic Champions, medallists, World Champions, the current world number one and many of the sailors who will be lining up in Rio next summer.”

 

Overall Results Gold Fleet: (top ten)

1. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 40pts

2. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 40pts

3. Evi Van Acker (BEL) 44pts

4. Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) 49pts

5. Josefin Olsson (SWE) 53pts

6. Lijia Xu (CHN) 84pts

7. Alison Young (GBR) 101pts

8. Manami Doi (JPN) 104pts

9. Maxime Jonker (NED) 110pts

10. Erika Reineke (USA) 110pts

 

As well as producing a new world champion, the Laser Radial Women’s World Championships at Millennium Resort in Mussanah acted as a country Olympic qualification event for the Laser Radial class.

After today’s racing, a total of four countries have had their Olympic qualification confirmed.

 

Countries qualified for the Olympics are as follows:

•Japan

•Australia

•Turkey

•Argentina

 

Full results from the Laser Radial Women’s World Championships can be found here.

 

 

Three race winners on tough day in Takapuna

 

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All Photos c Robert Deaves

 

2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand

 

 

Scott extends Finn world title lead again

 

Giles Scott (GBR) continues to dominate the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand. In spite of only winning one race so far this week he has amassed an impressive 52 point lead after eight races with just three to sail to decide the 2015 Finn world championship. Three races were sailed Friday with three different winners: Max Salminen (SWE), who moves up to third behind Scott and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO), Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Ioannis Mitakis (GRE).

It was a tough day in Takapuna, but after a few days of light winds the sailors were able to stretch their legs and sail the boats as hard as they liked. The generally clear blue skies and strengthening wind played to the assets of the Finn and the Finn sailors and though the 75 sailors came ashore exhausted, they also have ashore satisfied after a great day’s racing.

With the black flag up, race 6 got away after several attempts, with two boats pulled out. Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) led at the top mark from Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) but Salminen had taken the lead and by the gate extended away to win from Josh Junior (NZL) and Anders Pedersen (NOR). Scott had moved up to second at the gate but lost out on the second beat to drop to fourth. There were numerous changes on the second beat with boats moving from the 40s to the top five and vice versa. The Oscar flag for free pumping went up at the first top mark and stayed up all day as the wind built through the day to reach 14-16 knots by the end of racing.

 

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Giles Scott – Photo c Robert Deaves

 

 

Race 7 was started very quickly in a slightly increased wind, but still onshore with a very tricky chop to steer through. Pieter-Jan Postma finally put together a good first beat to dominate and lead round the top mark from the right. He extended downwind to build a big lead at the gate. Alejandro Foglia (URU) rounded fourth and moved up to second by the gate, a position he maintained all the way to the finish. Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) crossed in third after rounding the top mark in fifth. Scott had rounded the top mark in the 40s, but managed to recover to 15th by the finish.

More cloud arrived for the third race of the day with the wind now at 12-15 knots. It was perfect conditions for Finn sailing with nice waves and great sailing, and this suited Mitakis perfectly as he led round the top mark again. This time he kept hold of the lead to win the race while Scott moved through the fleet to cross in second, while Lobert ended a good day with a third. One of the four black flag casualties of the race was Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), who adds a second letter score to his card and effectively ends his medal race hopes.

Lobert ended the day in fourth overall, his highest so far this week. “Today was a big day with many ups and downs for me.” After rounding second and making some mistakes and a broken vang in the first race he ended up 14th. “So I was really mad. I fixed my vang and said I needed to get back on track. I played the right side which was not good side again so rounded 40th, but I made a nice comeback to 18th. In the last race I had a really good start at the pin and managed to finished third. So in the end not a super day as Max, but I am still on top of the fleet which is good for the next days.”

“I am not too bad in the results but I was expected a little bit better. I had many races when I was losing points stupidly, but the racing conditions are not easy. You never know what will happen. You just have to take what you have and try to do your best with it. Sometimes it’s working and sometime it’s not working.”

Salminen is now in one place ahead of Lobert in third overall. “It was a physically really tough day with a medium wind and really choppy waves, and free pumping downwind all races, and three of them. So it was really tough but I am super happy. I got away with the lowest scorecard of the day so I won the day in that sense and took a big leap up the scoreboard as well. So I couldn’t ask for more. I feel great in these conditions, in the current and this strength of wind.”

On the key to the day, “The current was pushing up on the starting line so there was a lot of managing the current there, and then to get a free lane to sail at 100 per cent speed. It was pretty stable conditions so I think it was a speed race.”

After a terrible Thursday, Postma has found some form and moved up to 12th overall and currently third nation that has not already qualified for Rio, “Three races in great conditions. Was 10-12 knots, free pumping, perfect Finn conditions. And it went my way so that was nice. First race I had to come back from around 42nd and I finished 13th. The second race from start to finish was a great first, and the last race a sixth. Amazing battles today.’

“This week was definitely up and down. Actually the start was down I couldn’t get the shifts right and today I got them right and looking forward to tomorrow. I think a solid day tomorrow will make this regatta end with a smile and then I can do the medal race. I also want to say that even when the last days were not that good, the support team were amazing to keep me up in the air and everyone worked hard, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

 

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Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) – Photo c Robert Deaves

 

Zbogar is surprised to be in second place overall after a a day averaging tenth. “I am surprised because my results are not even close to second. My best is sixth. It means that he regatta is really tough and you have a lot of good sailors, about 20-30, can win every races, especially in these conditions. Everyone has a chance to be in front.”

“Today was nice conditions, quite stable wind, with three race and pretty tough. Extremely good racing conditions but physically exhausting because three races in a Finn is really, really hard. I managed to make three comfortable races all around tenth place and I thought this was important because many sailors were going up and down over the last days so consistency was my goal today.”

“The wind is pretty tricky but like always, it is the same for everyone. For me I am happy, already a Master so to be in front of the ranking is extremely good. Of course I give everything every day and not looking too much at he results, just try to sail well and make as few mistakes as possible.”

As well as the top 10 landscape changing dramatically, so has the list of four nations occupying the important space to qualify for Rio. Currently Greece, Estonia, Netherlands and Uruguay are the four nations, but Russia, Italy and Czech Republic are all within striking distance as the finish line looms ever larger.

 

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Josh Junior NZL – Photo c Robert Deaves

 

If yesterday was moving day, today was all-change day. All-change except the top of the leaderboard of course, as Scott looks to be inexorably headed towards his third world title. But as we get towards the narrow end of the championship, the points behind him have closed up. With just 25 points separating the next 11 boats, there is still along way to go in this very high scoring championship.

The fleet series concludes on Saturday with two more races scheduled from 12.00 By the end of the day some of the four nations from this event to qualify for a place in Rio may have already been decided, ahead of Sunday’s final race and medal race.

 

Results after eight races (one drop)

1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 27

2 SLO 73 Vasilij Zbogar 79

3 SWE 33 Max Salminen 80

4 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 83

5 NZL 16 Andrew Murdoch 86

6 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 90

7 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 91

8 GBR 11 Edward Wright 98

9 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 101

10 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 101

 

Full results here.

 

 

Scott extends but Fabian Pic wins the third day

 

 

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Fabian Pic – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

 

2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand

 

 

Giles Scott (GBR) extends his lead at the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna to 18 points after two more races were sailed on the Hauraki Gulf. Deniss Karpak (EST) won the first race of the day to move up to second, while a great day for Tapio Nirkko (FIN) leaves him in third overnight. However the performance of the day went to Fabian Pic (FRA), who followed up a second place in the first race with a race win in the second.

It was a long day on the water in Takapuna. The day started with a postponement on shore, but when the fleet was sent out towards Rangitoto, the wind died and clocked, so the course was moved back to the Takapuna side. It was mid-afternoon before the first race got away after a few false starts. Eventually two races were managed out of the three were originally scheduled. The fleet didn’t come ashore until past 18.00 hrs.

 

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Giles Scott – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

In race 4 it was a French 1, 2 at the top mark as Pic led Jonathan Lobert (FRA) around the top mark from the right with Pablo Guitian Sarria (ESP) and Karpak not far behind. Karpak had moved into second at the gate and took the lead on the second upwind to lead down the final run to win the race from Pic. Sarria followed across in third while James Hadden (GBR) sailed a spectacular race to cross in fourth. Regatta leader Scott moved up from around 15th at the top to eighth at the finish.

The breeze was coming and going, but the fantastic fifth race was sailed in a solid 7-9 knots and beautiful clear skies. This time it was Nirkko in the lead at the top, with Pic in second. Scott rounded third but that was as high as he got. Ben Cornish (GBR) passed him downwind, while on the second beat Scott passed Cornish but also got passed by Croatian youngster Nenad Bugarin (CRO). The only change on the final downwind was Bugarin moving up to second, while Pic took an emphatic victory that clearly shows potential for his future.

It was also a day for a lot of mixing it up and changes on the leaderboard with a lot of big scores picked up by various sailors. First day leader Andrew Murdoch (NZL) could only manage a 43, 37 to drop to 13th, while Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) picked up a DNF, for his second yellow flag, and a 24th to drop to 12th. Ed Wright (GBR) picked up a 54th in the second race, while fourth overall this morning, Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) drops to 15th after a 33, DNF.

 

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Dennis Karpak – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

The high scoring day for many also included Alejandro Foglia (URU), who is one of many sailors hoping to qualify for the 2016 Olympics this week. He is currently in 35th place, and ninth nation, some way outside the qualification zone.

He said, “It’s good to be here in New Zealand for the first time and my second Gold Cup. It’s an important event for me to qualify for the Olympics. Everyone has come here very fit and trained, and it’s quite a tough regatta as a lot of guys are sailing well and the conditions are up and down. I had a good start, but today was not a very good day. I managed good starts but the pressure was on the right and I was on the left. But still it’s a long way to go with six more races, and hopefully with a more equal wind, so I can sail better and try to qualify here.”

Foglia became the International Finn Class Vice President for Development earlier this week and is also a member of the FINNTEAM development programme. “I am very happy to develop the class to get more countries into the Finn. The FINNTEAM also needs more activation. It’s been a bit quiet so far and we need to get more people involved in the crowdfunding to support these guys. The FINNTEAM is group of five sailors who don’t have much support to travel to events and buy equipment.”

Race four winner Karpak is also trying to qualify his county. “For me and my country this Gold Cup is an Olympic qualification event so is very important. I am really happy to do that for myself, my parents and my country.”

“Today was a good day for me, especially the first race. At the first mark I was fourth and I caught some pressure downwind and then step by step I worked out the shifts and won. The second race was a bit harder and I was a bit slower. With the discard now in I am second overall after Giles so I am happy with that. It’s the best place I have ever been mid-regatta in my career so I hope to continue in that way.”

On his performance so far, “I am a little but surprised with my good speed in these light conditions, but it’s good for me, so we’ll see.”

After three days the four nations in the qualification zone are Estonia, Russia, Greece, and Czech Republic. However, there are three more nations within 20 points and many more close behind fighting for the four places in Rio available this week.

The star of the day was undoubtedly Fabian Pic. Now in fifth place overall, he also has a huge lead in the Junior fleet, 28 points ahead of Bugarin, with the World Junior Champion Ondra Teply (CZE) in third, another nine points back.

 

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Tapio Nirkko – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

 

Pic said, “It was a really good day for me. I started all the time at the committee boat and tried to keep to the right and I think my speed was quite good. It was not easy to win but I was fighting all the time so it was good. In the first race I finished second after a big fight with the Estonian. And I am really happy with that. In the second I won so everything is perfect today.”

“I am higher up than I was expecting, so really happy. It’s a good beginning so I’ll take that.”

Jonathan Lobert has already been selected for Rio so that is not on the cards for Pic, however he is already looking further afield. “Jonathan has already qualified for Rio, so it’s a big challenge to try and beat him, anyway I am training to go to Tokyo, but I am happy to take this.”

Racing continues Friday with three races scheduled again. With more wind forecast by some, hopefully the championship will get back on track.

 

Results after five races

1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 13

2 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 31

3 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 31

4 GBR 11 Edward Wright 37

5 FRA 17 Fabian Pic 41

6 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 43

7 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 46

8 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 48

9 SLO 73 Vasilij Zbogar 49

10 USA 6 Caleb Paine 51

 

Full results here.

 

 

All braced for epic final 

 

 

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Anne-Marie Rindom – All Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

Laser Radial Women’s World Championship in Oman

 

 

Denmark and Belgium take joint lead with one day to go

 

The Oman Sail-organised Laser Radial Women’s World Championship is dishing up some spectacularly close racing with just four points separating the top three boats. The conditions, with winds reaching 15 knots and big waves are adding to the excitement and making this world class dinghy championship on the Gulf of Oman one of the most challenging to date.

Leading the field on equal points with just two races to go are Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN). Van Acker with three first places to count however, moves into pole position.

With a 4,6 score today, number 1-ranked Van Acker (30), said she felt she could have done better but her focus now is on the final two races.

“It is a pity I guess, but it is what it is and I have to be full on for tomorrow. The forecast is also for some lighter winds so it is likely to be really tricky so I will just have to be really focused.

“The conditions with big winds and waves are amazing. I think it is every sailor’s dream to have conditions like this.”

Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), who started sailing at the age of five mainly in Optimists and who is now 24, had a reasonable day with a 4,7 but confesses to have struggled a bit in the conditions particularly in the first race of the day.

“I think it was my nerves that got to me in the first race because it was quite tough in the big swell and waves. You have to sail really fast on them and that was really difficult, especially the downwind legs. I had a bit of trouble in the first race where I ended up in the group and I couldn’t get free. In the second race however, I was calm and stuck to my plan and I did as I should and finished second so I am very happy.”

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) reigning World Champion and silver medalist at London 2012, scored 10,4 today which drops her down a peg to third, just four points behind the leading duo. It is all about tomorrow however and Bouwmeester, a perfectionist, knows what she has to do.

Josefin Olsson (SWE) who won the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago has been performing well in Oman this week with a 1,2 on her score line. However, this 26-year-old from Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS), also struggled a bit today in the big conditions. She sailed a good first race of the day but had to discard a 23rd in race 4. She is still only 8 pts off the leaders however, so there is still a chance for a comeback tomorrow.

“I was trying to do my best in the second race of the day but I found the conditions a bit tricky. I still have a chance tomorrow with two good races and there is talk of the wind being slightly less which, for me is good news, because anything can happen and it gives me another chance.”

 

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Alison Young – All Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

 

One of the most notable performances in the Gold Fleet over the last two days comes from Alison Young (GBR). Young (28), who originally came from the GP14 Class, was impressive today in the second race. She stormed into the lead, sailed a smart race and kept her lead to the finish leaving Rindom in her wake.

She said she struggled a bit during the first few days but she now feels she’s got her head around the conditions. “I managed a good start and linked in well with the shifts and the pressure and gained a nice lead. I struggled a bit on the downwind in the first race, spoke to my coach, changed a few things and got myself into a bit of space and a nice rhythm.”

Reigning Olympic Champion, Lijia Xu (CHN), the 28-year-old sailor from Shanghai, who is back on the race scene after a two-year break to recover from sailing-related injury, says this event is all about getting back into the grove for her. Given the break from sailing, her mixed results this week are not a surprise but she says she is really enjoying the regatta and feels it has now given her the confidence to contest a place at the Rio Olympics.

“It has been good to be back in the boat and enjoying the racing, this event in Oman was always going to be a good guide and although we needed to see how things went, my results have generally been better than expected, so I am going to have a go at contesting a place at the Rio Olympics!”

As the event reaches its final day tomorrow, competition for World Championship victory is still very much wide open. The last two races of the event are scheduled to start at 1200 local time (CET +3).

For results from the Laser Radial Women’s World Championships, please go to Laser Class Association International Results.

 

 

Defending Finn world champion Giles Scott slips into the lead 

 


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Andre Hojen Christiansen leads race 1  – Photos © Robert Deaves

 

2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand

 

 

Defending world champion Giles Scott (GBR) has taken the lead at the 2015 Finn Gold Cup after winning the only race sailed on the second day in Takapuna, New Zealand after light winds disrupted proceedings. Andrew Murdoch (NZL) drops one to second while Ed Wright (GBR) remains in third.

It was a mixed day with several weather changes during the day including some light rain, but the wind also remained light under both black clouds and blue skies.

In his first Finn Gold Cup, André Hojen Christiansen (DEN) led round the top mark from the left, with Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), Alican Kaynar (TUR) and Philip Kasüske (GER) close behind. Mitakis took the lead on the first downwind to lead through the gate and extend up the second beat, rounding ahead of Kaynar and a fast approaching Scott.

 

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Giles Scott – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

As the wind got lighter on the final downwind, Scott closed up to the left of Mitakis and gained the inside overlap at the final gate to take the lead on the short leg to the finish to win the race. Mitakis crossed in second with Zsombor Berecz (HUN) passing Kaynar for third. The biggest gains went to Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) who had rounded the first top mark around 25th and gained on each leg to cross in fifth, just behind Deniss Karpak (EST).

The wind was never particularly strong, topping out at around 8-9 knots, but after the arrival of some dark clouds and rain towards the end of the race, the wind dropped out to 3-5 knots. After the finish the fleet waited afloat for conditions to improve enough to be able to start race 4, but an hour later the Race Committee sent the fleet ashore for the day.

Many battles are being fought out this week, not just for the World title but also for Olympic selection and for the four precious Olympic places.

 

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Max Salminen – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

 

Max Salminen (SWE) is battling with yesterday’s race winner Björn Allanson (SWE) to be the Swedish rep in Rio. Salminen said, “We all want to aim for the best result possible and we try not think about it too much, just focus on the regatta and take it from there. We don’t have a qualification that is based on maths so it’s all about proving yourself as good as possible and you can’t really do anything tactical.”

He finished 13th today, just one place behind Allansson, “It was a good day for me. In this big fleet and quite light wind it’s all about trying to keep the speed and keep single digits. There were no major shifts anyway and after the race we had a big shift to the left and less wind so I think it was the right decision to call it off.”

“My hope for this regatta is doing a solid event and measuring my strength and my speed against all the others as this is the last Gold Cup I will do before the Olympics so I want to finish with a result I can be proud of.”

In contrast Postma has met national qualification but has not yet secured the Olympic place. After some poor results on the opening day, a fifth today has boosted his confidence.

 

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Pieter-Jan Postma – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

“Yesterday was very disappointing. I was really struggling with the strategy, normally I never struggle with that so we had to change a few things and today was better.”

On the day, “It was tricky racing with quite some current and you had to have a great start. That was the key. The pin end looked amazingly good so we started there well and tacked over. The whole fleet was downstairs and we crossed the fleet but it wasn’t enough. There was too much current on the right side so we had to be early right, so at the top mark I think I was 25th. But from then on I caught up. On the first downwind I took 10 boats and the second downwind another 10, so it was a good race.”

After three races Scott has taken the lead. He said, “The forecast was pretty bad early on and they did a good job getting us out there on time and getting one race in before the rain killed what little breeze there was. So that was a good thing. And I managed to come away with a victory which put a good spin on it for myself, so I am happy with how today went.”

 

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Ioannis Mitakis – Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

 

On taking the lead from Mitakis. “We were overlapped from about 40 boat lengths. I had been sailing reasonably well downwind. There was a bit of a left shift in the breeze and I managed to soak down in the breeze and he didn’t early on and that brought me right up to him and from there I just protected the inside down to the gate, which worked well for me. The breeze was light and quite tricky with a long phase but generally there were little gains here and there to be had, which I managed to do quite well up the second beat which brought me to the front of that chasing pack.”

On his event strategy, “I think you have to take it race by race and every race so far has gone well and you can’t complain sitting at the top of the leaderboard, but there’s a long way to go.”

Three races are now scheduled for Thursday to try and catch up with the programme.

 

Results after three races

1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 9 pts

2 NZL 16 Andrew Murdoch 25 pts

3 GBR 11 Edward Wright 27 pts

4 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 32 pts

5 SLO 73 Vasilij Zbogar 32 pts

6 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 36 pts

7 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 36 pts

8 USA 6 Caleb Paine 38 pts

9 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 52 pts

10 NZL 24 Josh Junior 52 pts

Full results here.

 

 

Thrilling start to Final Series in Oman

 

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All Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

Laser Radial Women’s World Championship at Oman

 

 

The opening races of the Final Series produced the windiest conditions seen so far at the Oman Sail-organised Laser Radial Women’s World Championship. After a tough opening three days on the water, and a day of relaxation enjoying cultural activities on Reserve Day yesterday, competitors were ready for action this morning for the first, final showdown.

Winds that reached in excess of 16kts made for exciting racing with the cream of the fleets embracing the conditions and producing some extremely impressive racing.

Although she didn’t actually win a race today Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), representing Horsens Sejlklub in Jutland, took two good starts from the middle of the line, sailed consistently and was happy to finish the day with a 4, 5 score.

Rindom commented: “I was just trying to sail my own race, not do so many tacks just sail really, really fast because that is what it is all about when there is that much wind. Because of my leading position, also, I don’t want to risk anything so my strategy is to just stick with the fleet and sail my own race and do as best I can. I do not want to think about other people, especially Marit [Bouwmeester] and the other Danish girl because we have our Olympic trials here.”

 

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Marit Bouwmeester – Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

Marit Bouwmeester (NED), reigning World Champion and silver medallist at London 2012 demonstrated her heavy weather skills today and concluded the day with a 1, 3, which lifts her into second place overall overnight.

A modest Bouwmeester commenting on the opening races of the Finals Series, said: “It was an okay day. I was naturally pleased with the first race of the day, but my focus switched to the second race where I messed up my start. Thankfully I worked really hard and made a good comeback, so I’m happy about that.”

Number 1-ranked Evi Van Acker (BEL) had a poor first race of the day but learned from her mistakes and rounded the day off with a first. In race 1 she found herself in the middle of the start line and confessed she was not happy at all with her sailing.

“My upwind performance in that race had plenty of room for improvement. Getting stuck in the middle of the line wasn’t a particularly smart decision either but I learned from it and did better in the second race, so I’m happy with that.”

 

 

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Evi van Acker – Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

In the second race of the day, it paid to go right off the start and that was exactly where Van Acker (30) positioned herself.

“I also had good speed in the windy conditions and built up a nice lead. Tomorrow will be all about making improvements in the opening moments of the race.”

Josefin Olsson (SWE) who won the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago, is also sailing consistently. With 5, 4 score line today, this 26-year-old from Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS) in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden, is now in fourth place.

 

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Josefin Olsson –  Photos © Mark Lloyd

 

 

With a 15th and 27th it was not such a good day for reigning Olympic champion, Lijia Xu (CHN) who now drops down the rankings to 7th with 54 points. However, this 28-year-old sailor from Shanghai, who is back on the race scene after her two-year break to recover from sailing-related injury, says this event is all about getting back into the grove.

In Silver fleet, Line Flem Høst (NOR) currently holds the lead from Isabella Bertold (CAN) with Susannah Pyatt (NZL) in third.

As the event reaches the penultimate day tomorrow, the competition is likely to intensify further, particularly with just four points between the top four boats. At the end of play tomorrow (after 10 races are complete) a second discard will also come into play.

Finals Races 3 and 4 will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) with a start time scheduled for 1200 local time (CET +3).

Live race blog accessible via www.omansail.com or directly at www.laserradialworldchampionship.com

 

 

 

Andrew Murdoch pleases home crowd on opening day 

 

 

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Race 2 start off Rangitoto – Photo credit: Robert Deaves

 

 

2015 Finn Gold Cup at Takapuna, Auckland

 

 

Andrew Murdoch kept the home crowd happy on the opening day of the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand after winning the opening race to lead overnight. After two races, he is on equal points with defending champion Giles Scott (GBR) with Ed Wright (GBR) nine points back. The second race was won by Björn Allansson (SWE).

With a forecast of very light winds all day, the early postponement ashore was not exactly unexpected but the solid breeze that came later in the day was a pleasant surprise. Starting in 8-9 knots north-westerly, it increased to 10 knots at the first mark and peaked at around 11-12 knots in the second race to create a fantastic first day to the 2015 World Championship.

Murdoch led almost all the way in Race 1, sailing conservatively, while those who took a more risky course on the edges came unstuck. He rounded the top mark from Michele Paoletti (ITA), Ed Wright, Caleb Paine (USA) and Ioannis Mitakis (GRE). Alejandro Foglia (URU) had moved up to second from the gate and briefly took the lead on the second upwind. However, Murdoch got the final approach right to round first and lead down to the finish. New IFA Vice President, Alejandro Foglia, kept his nerve down the lighter final run to cross second with Mitakis third.

 

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Andrew Murdoch – Photo credit: Robert Deaves

 

The second race followed a similar pattern in slightly more breeze with Allansson breaking away from the pack after rounding the top mark in first to build a substantial lead downwind and on the next upwind to take a comfortable win. Jake Lilley (AUS) occupied second place throughout the race as did Anders Pedersen (NOR) in third.

Defending champion Scott said of his day. “It was a good day. We had 12 knots by the second race which was pretty unexpected. It was quite nice to get out after an hour’s delay and get some good races in.”

On his tactics for the day. “I think looking back on the season it’s quite a big shock to be racing in such a large fleet again. There is a huge amount of leverage out there from left to right especially when you throw in conditions like we had early today with huge shifts, so it just opens up scope for big gains and huge losses. So I think you have to try and be as consistent with that as you can and a lot of people struggled with that. I think the winner will be the person who deals with that best.”

 

 

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Giles Scott – Photo credit: Robert Deaves

 

He has already qualified for Rio, so does that lesson the pressure in him? “I wouldn’t say I feel less pressure. It’s been an odd season because we’ve had a double peak with the test event and here. But I am motivated to come here to defend my title and that’s what I am focussing on.”

On the changing conditions, “I think we are all going to have to be really open to anything. I think at the moment the forecast looks reasonably light but I know a lot of the models don’t agree with each other.”

Race two winner Allansson said, “The second race went really well. I had a good start and had good speed so could go the way I wanted. I was actually able to lead from the first mark onwards and take the bullet. The first race was not especially good. I was struggling the whole race and made some mistakes, so that was a hard race.”

On Takapuna, “You know, it’s been giving us a little bit of everything. When we got here it was shorts and tank tops and we thought this is great, it’s just like Australia. Then we had a week of hailing rain and really, gnarly weather and now we are back to glamorous sailing weather.”

On his Olympic selection trials against Max Salminen. “I am focusing on beating as many as I possibly can this week, not just Max. Hopefully it’s going to be a whole bunch of people.”

 

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Bjorn Allansson – Photo credit: Robert Deaves

Murdoch was pretty happy with his day, now leading the Finn world championship in home waters against the best in the world. “I had a pretty solid day and it’s pretty nice to be sailing on home waters. I like the pressure of sailing in big fleets and we’ve had a few foreigners here for a while now. It’s cool to be training here in New Zealand with the level of the Finn Class. So I’m loving it.”

“Winning the first race was pretty special. I worked my way up the middle and getting near the top of the first beat I was working out I might be leading, which was pretty cool and to win the first race here is good to do for the home crowd and all the supporters, and good starter on a good day.”

On tactical issues, “There’s a bit of current and the channel is on the right hand side of the course , and if you went too far left the pressure was dropping out as well. So it was hard one to get right. I sort of probably just did it a little bit better than anyone else, but it certainly didn’t feel like I was all over it. The sea state that came with it also made it hard work upwind. You wanted to get fully hiking but then you had to sit in now and then, so it was quite uncomfortable. You couldn’t really stretch your legs too much. But we had a few of the downwind legs which were free pumping when the breeze dropped out a bit so I’ll sleep well tonight.”

 

Racing continues Wednesday at 12.00 noon local time

 

 

Results after two races:

1 NZL 16 Andrew MURDOCH 8

2 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 8

3 GBR 11 Ed WRIGHT 17

4 CRO 524 Ivan KLAKOVIC GASPIC 20

5 CRO 69 Milan VUJASINOVIC 21

6 FIN 218 Tapio NIRKKO 22

7 NOR 1 Anders PEDERSEN 25

8 SLO 73 Vasilij ZBOGAR 25

9 USA 6 Caleb PAINE 29

10 AUS 261 Oliver TWEDDELL 29
Full results here.

The Finn Gold Cup runs from Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 November. Ten races are scheduled from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 November, with the medal race and final race on Sunday 29 November.

 

More information on the event website at: 2015.finngoldcup.org