Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skandia Sail for Gold, Weymouth: Finn Class

International Finn Association Press Release
Skandia Sail for Gold, Weymouth
Day two - 15 September

Scott and Railey share the honours on day two for Finns

On a very windy day in Weymouth Bay, Giles Scott (GBR) posted a 1, 2 to move
up seven places and take the lead of the 2009 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta,
the final leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, from Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic
(CRO) and Thomas Le Breton (FRA).

While the strong winds caused the cancellation or postponement of some
classes, the Finns enjoyed a great, if testing, day out in the bay. After a
long wait afloat Monday for the 470s to finish their race, the Finns started
race three at the earlier time of 11.00 Tuesday morning in a solid 25 knot
northerly wind, gusting to 30. With the wind still out of the north, the
offshore wind was again very shifty and gusty.

After a great day on the water, Scott replaces team mate Ed Wright (GBR) at
the top of the scorecard after four races. Overnight leader Wright posted a
10th and a 9th to drop to fifth overall, though there are only five points
separating the top five boats. European Champion Kljakovic Gaspic continued
his steady form with a eighth and a third to sit one point behind Scott,
while Le Breton's sixth and seventh leaves him one point further back.

The biggest climber of the day was the 2008 Olympic Silver medalist Zach
Railey (USA) who put a disappointing 9th and 26th from Monday behind him to
post a 2, 1 in Tuesday's windy races. In race four he really found his form,
leading round the top mark in the extreme conditions and holding on for the
win. As a result, he climbed 11 places into sixth place overall, but still
trails fifth placed Wright by 15 points. A third and a sixth was enough for
Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) to climb one place to fourth.

Dan Slater (NZL) picked up a fourth to add to his two sixth places on
Monday, but suffered gear failure in his new boat in the first race of the
day after rounding the top mark in second. He retired from the race to fix
it before the next start. On race four, he said, "I had a really bad start
and tacked into a lane on the first shift. It was a good 25 knots at that
stage so some guys didn't tack, which worked out well for me and I was able
to get back into the race over the next few shifts leaving me fourth at the
top mark. Down the first run it was really hairy to say the least with a few
really massive gusts closing the fleet up again. Over the next two laps not
much changed and I crossed the finish line in fifth."

"I was happy to be going well in these conditions in the new boat as I was
struggling in the same conditions at the Worlds, so I think we have made
some good improvements with the new rig and sail. Tomorrow's forecast is
again 20-25 knots but with some rain maybe as well.... It's hard to get to
excited about it but we are having some great really close racing."

Interestingly, this regatta is the first time that a world class Finn fleet
of this number has raced in the UK for nine years. In 2000 the Finn Gold Cup
was the first world championship held at the then newly acquired Portland
facility. Out of the 89 sailors who competed in 2000, two are sailing the
Finn this week: Florian Raudaschl (AUT) and Ed Thorburn (GBR), while seven
others are now competing in the Star class including the winner of that 2000
event, Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL).

Windy conditions are again forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. Racing
continues until Saturday, when the medal race is scheduled.

Results after 4 races
1 GBR41 SCOTT Giles 18
3 FRA115 LE BRETON Thomas 20
4 NED842 POSTMA Pieter-jan 21
5 GBR111 WRIGHT Edward 23
6 USA4 RAILEY Zach 38
8 SWE11 BIRGMARK Daniel 42
9 GBR634 MILLS Andrew 45
10 FRA112 LOBERT Jonathan 45

Class website: http://www.finnclass.org/
Event website: http://www.skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk/
Video clips from day two:
Results: http://www.sailracer.co.uk/events/18401/Finn.htm