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Thread: FinnTastic Happenings In Vilamoura

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    FinnTastic Happenings In Vilamoura



    CONSISTENT ZSOMBOR BERECZ LEADS AFTER OPENING DAY
    April 12, 2021 admin
    Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz opened his title defence at the 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal, with steady fourth and fifth places on a day when many favourites were hitting high scores. He leads overall after the first day from Canada’s Tom Ramshaw and Britain’s Henry Wetherell. The race wins went to Wetherell and Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, on a tricky day of light and patchy winds.

    After a slight delay to the start, the earlier cloudy skies gradually gave way to a sunny afternoon and a breeze that built from six knots at the start of Race 1, through to about 10 knots with Oscar raised for free pumping on the final downwind. However it then dropped for the second race with lots of ups and downs.

    The fleet got away cleanly in Race 1 but it was clear there were some pressure differences across the course with the boats on the far left in less wind. In the end a 10-degree shift favoured those on the far right with Georgii Paches, from Ukraine, leading round the top from Deniss Karpak from Estonia, and Australia’s Jake Lilley.

    Several boats made big gains down the left side while at the front Karpak led through the gate. There were more gains to be made out of the left side round the gate and at the second top mark, Wetherell emerged ahead, and with Oscar flag now up for free pumping, kept his lead down to the finish to take the win, while Lilley passed Karpak to take second.

    The second race also got away first time in about eight knots, but the breeze was patchy again. It gradually became obvious that the left side had more pressure, with Heiner leading round the top from Waltteri Moisio, from Finland, and Panagiotis Iordanou, from Cyprus.







    Heiner was soon clear ahead and extended on everyone to sail away for a comfortable win. Spain’s Joan Cardona, who rounded fifth, moved up to third on the downwind and on the second beat, several boats were making gains in the middle as well as the left.

    However the leading group of Heiner, Ramshaw, Turkey’s Alican Kaynar and Cardona was a long way ahead of the fleet, finishing in that order, with Italy’s Matteo Iovenetti also in the mix for a while.

    The U23 European Championship is currently led by the defending champion, Cardona, who sits in fourth place. While low on numbers here the young sailors have a huge depth of talent. In the second race of the day he was one of three U23s in the top five at the top mark.

    The fleet got away cleanly in Race 1 but it was clear there were some pressure differences across the course with the boats on the far left in less wind. In the end a 10-degree shift favoured those on the far right with Georgii Paches, from Ukraine, leading round the top from Deniss Karpak from Estonia, and Australia’s Jake Lilley.

    Several boats made big gains down the left side while at the front Karpak led through the gate. There were more gains to be made out of the left side round the gate and at the second top mark, Wetherell emerged ahead, and with Oscar flag now up for free pumping, kept his lead down to the finish to take the win, while Lilley passed Karpak to take second.

    The second race also got away first time in about eight knots, but the breeze was patchy again. It gradually became obvious that the left side had more pressure, with Heiner leading round the top from Waltteri Moisio, from Finland, and Panagiotis Iordanou, from Cyprus.

    Heiner was soon clear ahead and extended on everyone to sail away for a comfortable win. Spain’s Joan Cardona, who rounded fifth, moved up to third on the downwind and on the second beat, several boats were making gains in the middle as well as the left.

    However the leading group of Heiner, Ramshaw, Turkey’s Alican Kaynar and Cardona was a long way ahead of the fleet, finishing in that order, with Italy’s Matteo Iovenetti also in the mix for a while.

    The U23 European Championship is currently led by the defending champion, Cardona, who sits in fourth place. While low on numbers here the young sailors have a huge depth of talent. In the second race of the day he was one of three U23s in the top five at the top mark.







    Wetherell said, “The day started off light with a building breeze which made the racing tricky. I managed to get to the fresh breeze on the right in the first race, which was the major change and made some gains through the race to take the win. The second race was different with a long left shift and pressure, which I had to bail out to the right to cut my losses. It was a tough day out there and very tricky to put a finger on what was the next big change would be.”

    With his main training partner in Auckland for the America’s Cup he said it was good to get the group back together. “Preparations have been short with Giles [Scott] and Ben [Cornish] returning from the Cup but we have had some quality training. It’s a great group to hang out with and also train hard.”

    Heiner recovered from a heavy 35th in the first race of the day to win the second.

    “It was a super tricky day with big leverages in the fleet and 1.3 mile beats and light pressure. There was a lot of separation, and I think that’s why there’s a lot a big scores in the fleet, including myself. It was really hard to see which side would pay. And with the big separation it’s easy to get it wrong, but some guys did well today to minimise the risks and be consistent. I definitely had a bad first race with a two-turn penalty on the finish, so that’s a race to discard. I did everything wrong in the first race.”

    But he turned it around in the second race with a dominant performance.

    “So then it was good to win the last race, I trusted my eyes a bit more and sailed consistent and fast. Eight races to go and the first two show how high scoring this regatta could be. The discard raises the pressure a bit but also the intensity and we know we can’t make any more mistakes, so it’s game on.”

    Apart from Berecz, Ramshaw was the only sailor to get two top 10 places today.

    “It’s great to have all the guys back together after not having a regatta for so long, so that was super nice. We had a light tricky day and I managed to have some good comebacks to finish to two great scores, so I am very happy with that. Hopefully we will get a little more breeze for the rest of the regatta, but all round it was a good day and really happy to be back racing with all the guys.”










    In seventh place is Ondrej Teply, from the Czech Republic.

    “I had a solid opening day with 6, 15. It was quite light and tricky wind, so it wasn’t easy to make right decisions. I managed to sail consistently and always move forward throughout the race and I am happy for that. It’s an interesting feeling to be racing again in a bigger fleet, and it’s nice to have it back. We have done a lot of good training with great group of sailors, so I think I am getting ready to show my best in Porto.”

    A double U23 Finn World Champion, he represents one of 16 nations here who will be trying to qualify for the final European Olympic place in Porto next month.

    “It’s a real shame for all of us losing the only Olympic boat that is made for anyone heavier. There are many good sailors right now that would be peaking in Paris 2024 or even 2028, but unfortunately their only hope seems to be taken away. Anyway, we all still hope that Finn will keep the Olympic status and we will have more time to enjoy this great class.”

    Racing in Vilamoura is scheduled to continue at 12.00 on Tuesday.

    Results after 2 races
    1 HUN 40 Zsombor BERECZ 5
    2 CAN 18 Thomas RAMSHAW 2
    3 GBR 71 Henry WETHERELL 16
    4 ESP 26 Joan CARDONA 4
    5 TUR 21 Alican KAYNAR 3
    6 CRO 369 Milan VUJASINOVIC 6
    7 CZE 5 Ondrej TEPLY 15
    8 SWE 33 Max SALMINEN 12
    9 EST 2 Deniss KARPAK 24
    10 RUS 4 Egor TERPIGOREV 19

    Full results HERE!

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    Spain's Cardona Assumes Lead At 2021 Finn Euros



    Joan Cardona, the defending U23 European Champion from Spain, showed some serious form on the second day of the 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal. Cardona is one of the world’s most exciting emerging sailing talents, and today won both races in a fleet packed with some of the best Olympic sailors in the world.







    He leads the 49 boat fleet from 29 nine nations after four races. Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz drops to second while Croatia’s Milan Vujasinovic climbs to third.

    Cardona has already made his mark elsewhere in the sport. He won the 2020 eSailing World Championship and is a member of the Spanish SailGP team, but his Olympic career could be over before it even starts, having no chance to sail another boat due to his physique.

    “I feel like the Finn class has so much more to offer me, but if it is not Olympic anymore my Olympic dream will end at the age of 22.”

    He dominated the racing on Tuesday, always in the mix and making the breaks count.

    The left side of the course was popular in Race 3. After a clear start in around 9 knots, most of the fleet headed left but the leaders at the top were those who came back on a long port tack about half way up. France’s Jonathan Lobert was first round from Cardona and Vujasinovic.

    In an increased wind, with free pumping, a good swell and nice waves the good sailors were able to get going downwind and stretch out a lead. Lobert and Cardona extended while Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland, pulled up to fourth at the gate. There were also big gains from Jorge Zarif, from Brazil, Max Salminen, Sweden, and Oskari Muhohen, from Finland. Regatta leader Berecz also moved through the fleet.

    On the final upwind, the leaders played the left and most of the fleet followed, so not much changed. The wind dropped to 8-9 knots on the final downwind, with a huge spread across the course trying to find more breeze. The leaders separated by over 600 metres at times with Cardona passing Lobert on the right and Theuninck leading the left. It was a close finish but Cardona crossed just ahead, while Lobert finished third.








    Race 4 got away first time in slightly less wind at about 8 knots and again the left was favoured. Those who got the better starts led to the left and crossed back ahead. At the top it was Vujasinovic, Taavi Valter Taveter from Estonia, Lobert, Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Cardona.

    There were still some waves left over from the morning, but no free pumping and those who gybed away down the middle made some gains downwind. The leading group arrived at the gate almost together with Vujasinovic still leading.

    While the group went left again on the final upwind, a later right shift brought a few a boats through the fleet, with Antoine Devineau, from France, in particular gaining around 15 places. However the front group emerged unscathed, though Cardona was now leading, and set off for the finish in just 6-7 knots of wind.

    On the final run Cardona pulled out a nice lead from Vujasinovic, who crossed second while Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, recovered to third.

    After a high scoring first day, Lobert picked up a third and a fourth, the second best score of the day behind Cardona.

    Lobert said, “Pretty happy with my day. Yesterday was a terrible day for me. I was a bit rusty from racing and I sailed too conservatively. Today I decided to trust myself more and sail the shift as I saw them. I was leading almost all the first race but on the last downwind I lost Joan and Nils coming back with the pressure. On the second race I kept the same mood and I crossed the finish in fourth. It a very good day but most of all I am getting my confidence back.”

    Winning two races at a major Finn championship doesn’t happen very often, but today for Cardona it all came together.

    “Today was a really good day for me. I really like those conditions of about 8-12 knots and choppy waves. I had a really good speed upwind and downwind and took really good decisions in key moments. I am really enjoying being on the water with such a great fleet and such tight racing.”

    Following the news this week that World Sailing consider there is a distinct possibility the offshore keelboat option will be rejected by the IOC for 2024, the prospect exists again that the Finn could be included for Paris 2024 after all.

    Cardona explained how this decision would affect him.

    “For me it would be a life changer if the Finn class makes it to the next Olympics. I am still U23 and did not manage to qualify to the Olympics yet.”

    He is still one of the youngest sailors here but is showing great form in one of the toughest fleets in the world.

    “This fleet is so talented that taking all of us out from the Olympics, it’s a really big loss for the sport of sailing. I really hope the Finn class can stay Olympic for much more time.”

    Racing in Vilamoura is scheduled to continue at 12.00 on Wednesday.








    Results after 4 races

    1 ESP 26 Joan CARDONA 21
    2 HUN 40 Zsombor BERECZ 27
    3 CRO 369 Milan VUJASINOVIC 28
    4 TUR 21 Alican KAYNAR 44
    5 CAN 18 Thomas RAMSHAW 51
    6 SWE 33 Max SALMINEN 52
    7 GBR 71 Henry WETHERELL 56
    8 NED 89 Nicholas HEINER 58
    9 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 58
    10 SUI 1 Nils THEUNINCK 59

    Full results HERE

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    Consistency Prevails At Finn Euros



    FORTUNE FAVOURS THE CONSISTENT ON DAY 3 AT FINN EUROPEANS IN VILAMOURA


    Fortunes changed for many on the third day of 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal, after two more races in great conditions, yet as tricky as ever. Hungary’s ever consistent Zsombor Berecz is back on top, while Britain’s Giles Scott jumps from ninth to second. Overnight leader, Joan Cardona, from Spain, drops to third after a tough day. The race wins went to Nicholas Heiner, from the Netherlands, and Scott.

    Both Cardona and Heiner picked up black flag disqualifications on a day when, again, many high scores were added to the leaderboard. With the discard also coming in after the fifth race, and many other high scores, Wednesday was a definite moving day.

    However the standout performance of the day was from Switzerland’s Nils Theunicnk with two amazing second places that takes him up to fourth on equal points with Cardona.

    Theunicnk is one of round 25 sailors here who will be competing at the Finn Gold Cup next month for the final available place at the Olympics in Tokyo.

    “I’ve been sailing the Finn since 2017 and I enjoy every day of it. I am improving all the time and my results are getting better and better. However, for me, as for many other young Finn sailors, losing the Finn at the Olympics also means losing our Olympic dream altogether as no other Olympic sailing classes are suitable for our bigger body physiques.”

    He is fully aware it could be his one and only chance to get to the Olympics, but remains hopeful the Finn is reselected in place of the offshore keelboat.

    “Definitely I feel like this generation of young sailors are slowly becoming the best in the world, and there’s only one spot left for the Tokyo Olympics. So for 2024 I am really hoping to see all these guys sailing alongside me in the Finn in the next campaign.”







    Wednesday’s races were held under cloudy skies with a breeze varying from 8-15 knots, that varied a lot across the course area. There were also numerous recalls, postponements and black flags as the fleet struggled to get underway.

    After two failed attempts Race 5 got away under black flag in around 8 knots in a big left shift. Two boats were BFD, including regatta leader Cardona.

    After the start the wind gradually turned to right with increased pressure and for those who started at the boat end or took a step up, things got better and better. Ukrainian, Georgii Paches led round the top from Italy’s Matteo Iovenitti and Ioannis Mitakis, from Greece. The wind was up to 12 knots and with free pumping downwind Mitakis extended to the gate while Oskari Muhonen, from Finland, moved up to second. With Paches in third, Heiner was up to fourth from Theuninck.

    The final beat was a game changer. Many headed back to the right, which looked good for a while, but then the breeze started to go left. Mitakis was playing the middle with Heiner and they saved their positions, but many on the right suffered and many on the left gained. Mitakis still led at the top from Theuninck. Heiner went more to the right downwind and found enough pressure to take the lead and win his second race win of the week from Theuninck and Mitakis

    Race 6 started with another high profile casualty, after several attempts to get the start away, with Heiner jumping the gun on a black flag.

    Scott headed left and already had a nice lead at the top from Russia’s Arkadiy Kistanov and Oisin Mcclelland from Ireland. As the fleet set off downwind, there was a significant wind difference down to the gate, where it was down to 7 knots, giving the leaders an advantage as they rounded.

    Scott maintained his lead and extended again to the left of the final beat, though the right side also paid for many, including Facundo Olezza, from Argentina who moved up to third behind Theuninck.

    The pressure dropped again on the final downwind, but Scott won easily from Theuninck, with another big gap to Olezza.









    Muhonen had a great day picking up a 7, 8 to move up to 12th overall.

    “Today was all alright. I didn’t find all the shifts but I think the speed was good and especially the downwind speed, so I came back pretty well.”

    Current U23 World Champion, he is still hoping to qualify for Tokyo, and loves sailing the boat.

    “I really enjoy the physical side of Finn sailing, especially downwind free pumping, but also the way you can trim the boat so well and get the rig working so nicely upwind. I think it’s a really great boat.”

    The decision to review the offshore keelboat event in Paris 2024 and possibly open a way back for the Finn gives him hope for his future in Olympic sailing.

    “I think the keelboat was way too expensive, and it’s looking like a really great chance for the Finn to get back in the Game. That would be really great because we love the physical side of sailing the boat and we have a very good generation of young sailors that won’t make it to this Olympics so would be fantastic to have another chance in Paris as well.”

    Olympic champion Giles Scott is fresh from back from the America’s Cup in New Zealand where he was tactician on IOEOS Team UK. He has put together a mixed bag so far, but the win in Race 6 was classic Scott.

    “I’ve been out of the Finn for about six months now, but now the focus is on the Olympics. It’s 99 days away, so it really is just around the corner and I especially have not got too much time. So were really into it and we have a great group, so it’s a bug push for the next three months.”

    He explained what makes the venue very difficult to manage.

    “It’s been a super tricky week so far. I think the guys who have managed to put in the consistent series have done really well. We are racing in one fleet on a big course of 1.3 to 1.4 miles, and that makes tricky venues even more tricky. If you get on the wrong side it’s hard to come back and a few of us have felt the pain of that during the first six races. So I am expecting a very difficult four more races to get through.”

    Theuninck was delighted with his performance.

    “I had a really good day, with two seconds, so very happy about that. We had really nice conditions with 10-15 knots, some good waves. There were some amazing surfs on the downwind and it was very physical on the upwind, so I really enjoyed that.”

    Going back to the looming Olympic decision, “I’m obviously happy with the decision of the IOC to not keep the offshore event. For me the Finn is the ultimate sailing boat; it requires excellent racing abilities alongside being very athletic and having technological expertise.

    “The Finn is the best boat to represent athletic young sailors and it’s the best pathways towards professional sailing teams as we can see by having so many Finn sailors involved in the America’s Cup or SailGP and other circuits. As for now the battle to keep the Finn Olympic is not over, so I will keep pushing to make it happen.”








    Results after 6 races

    1 HUN 40 Zsombor BERECZ 30
    2 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 34
    3 ESP 26 Joan CARDONA 38
    4 SUI 1 Nils THEUNINCK 38
    5 ARG 48 Facundo Mario OLEZZA BAZAN 43
    6 GBR 71 Henry WETHERELL 49
    7 TUR 21 Alican KAYNAR 49
    8 NED 89 Nicholas HEINER 59
    9 CRO 369 Milan VUJASINOVIC 60
    10 BRA 109 Jorge ZARIF 60

    FULL RESULTS
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