Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finn focus at Palma - day one

International Finn Association Press Release
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía MAPFRE
Sunday 5 April

Finland's number one Finn sailor Tapio Nirkko (FIN) took the overall lead in the Finn class at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía MAPFRE in Palma after twotesting races in around 8-10 knots of north-westerly thermal breeze, whichproduced 'medium sized shifts'. Starting at or on the pin end of the line inboth races, Nirkko showed good pace throughout to post a 5th and a 2nd tolead overnight after day one.

Nirkko is one of just seven 2008 Olympic sailors present in Palma. After finishing a disappointing 18th in Qingdao, he has started his 2009 season in the best possible way. A recent win in the 80 boat Cannes International Regatta has given him a welcome confidence boost that appears to be holding.

Second overnight is Andrew Mills (GBR), a member of Great Britain's development squad, which has been doing a lot of training in Palma over the winter months. Mills, who has shown a lot of potential at recent regattas, said, "My plan for race two was to consolidate on my 8th place in race onewith another top 10. I had good pace up first beat and rounded third at the top mark. Then the right side paid on the second beat and I lead from heretill the finish."

Mills, who also won races in Cannes, is one place ahead of fellow British sailor Ed Wright (GBR). Wright spent most of the winter on the other side ofthe Atlantic which culminated in wins at the Rolex Miami OCR and the US Mid-Winters, beating 2008 Olympic Silver medalist Zach Railey (USA) and 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Rafael Trujillo (ESP) in the process.

While Railey is not present in Palma, Trujillo is lying in sixth after a 6th and 10th, on equal points with Marin Misura CRO) and Gasper Vincec (SLO). Deniss Karpak (EST) was provisionally in fourth place after placing aconsistent 7th and 5th, but lost a protest in race 2 and now lies in 24thplace.

Videos of interviews with Finn sailors and the racing in Palma will be posted on the Finn Class dedicated YouTube Channel. The Finn Channel at

© Robert Deaves, IFA / Photo
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