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A Swell Time At Finn Europeans

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  • A Swell Time At Finn Europeans

    Big waves for big sailors on opening day in Cádiz
    March 12, 2018

    Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, won the only race possible on the opening day of the 2018 Finn European Championships in Cádiz, Spain. Caleb Paine, from the USA, and Facundo Olezza, from Argentina are joint second.

    With 30 U23 sailors, it is the largest youth fleet at the Europeans for some time. 2015 Junior World Champion, Ondrej Teply, from Czech Republic leads from Joan Cardona Mendez, of Spain and Guillaume Boissard, of France.

    A three metre swell, left over from the storm that caused Sunday’s practice race to be abandoned, made for an interesting day in the Bay of Cádiz, but the light and patchy winds meant that only one race was completed, with the second race abandoned near the end of the first upwind.

    Defending European Champion, Jonathan Lobert, from France, thought he should have been leading at the top mark, but Heiner emerged ahead to round just ahead with Andy Maloney, of New Zealand, overlapped with Lobert in third. Heiner maintained his lead downwind in the huge swells, while Paine moved up to second.

    The right side paid on the second upwind with Olezza heading further right to move into a narrow lead at the top. However Heiner soon passed him downwind to lead into the finish with Paine crossing third. After racing, Olezza then picked up a one-point penalty for failing to sign out, so ended the day tied with the Rio 2016 bronze medalist.

    Heiner said, “Quite tricky conditions today. Yesterday we had a massive storm and we had still a three metres swell so with the light wind there was lots happening with the sail and in the boat, with rocking going on with the wind changes, and it was really hard to see the pressure differences on the water. So I was just trying to play the fleet. But quite hard conditions out there.”

    “The left side was favoured for the first beat and after that it was the right side, but it was really just about keeping the eyes out of the boat and checking the extreme boats on either side to see how they were going.”

    This is the Dutchman’s first event since the Finn Gold Cup on Lake Balaton in September 2017. He spent the last three months training in New Zealand.

    “It’s been really good and I think the speed today showed we are quite fast, especially on the downwind. I was actually quite happy to have some decent starts and still have the racing skills.”

    Josh Junior, from New Zealand, hasn’t sailed a major Finn event since the Rio Olympics, and has teamed up with Maloney for the 2020 campaign, both of them being coached by his former adversary, Andrew Murdoch.

    Junior, “Me and Andy have been training together in New Zealand for the last couple of months. We are working really closely and Andy has learnt a bit from me and for me it’s great to have someone so close and competitive to train with. We are looking forward to having a good European season.”

    On having Murdoch has coach, “It’s great. Obviously Doc was racing against me for the Olympics, but he is an extremely experienced racer and when it comes to big fleet sailing he’s one of the best in the world, so we are really lucky to have him here and he’s going to do the rest of the season.”

    Maloney was pretty happy with his first day, “It was great to get back into a big fleet. Over the summer, Josh has fast tracked my development in the class, so I’ve got a lot to thank him for getting me in those positions on my first day of racing in the Finn fleet. So I think we are both going quick out there so it’s about starting well and getting back into big fleets.”

    “I am looking forward to sailing in a bit of everything and seeing how I go with the free pumping and that side of the boat. I think we are both just looking forward to getting out here. It’s been a pretty long build up with new boats and getting them ready, so we are just looking forward to racing.”

    Defending champion Lobert, “It was a tricky day with big waves and light winds. The waves were much bigger then the wind. I had a wonderful start and was leading by miles on the left side of the course and I don’t know what happened but fifty metres before the top mark I suddenly lost all my lead, but then I managed to survive to finish fourth, so not too bad for a day like today.”

    On his preparation,” I would say almost the same as usual. Of course I am happy I have already won this event before, so I have a little less pressure, so it will just a bonus to win it again.”

    He said he made of a mess of the second start so was happy when the race was cancelled. “So tomorrow I will focus a little more on the start to escape from the big fleet.”

    On the conditions ahead, “We love to race in big wind and big waves, so will be good fun on the water, so I am really looking forward to have some windy races.”

    Three races are scheduled for Tuesday, with the forecast showing stronger winds and rain. The first warning signal is scheduled for 11.00.

    Results after Day 1

    1 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 1
    2 USA 6 Caleb Paine 3
    2 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 3
    4 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 4
    5 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell 5
    6 NZL 24 Josh Junior 6
    7 TUR 21 Alican Kaynar 7
    8 POL 17 Piotr Kula 8
    9 GBR 11 Edward Wright 9
    10 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 10
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  • #2
    Full Throttle Finns In Cadiz

    Power sailors move up as big breeze arrives at Finn Europeans in Cádiz
    March 14, 2018 Admin News, Press Release
    The breeze finally arrived on the third day of the Open and U23 Finn European Championships in Cádiz, with three testing races in winds building from 15 to 22 knots during the day. Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, extends his lead to nine points from Ed Wright, of Britain. However, Swedish World Champion, Max Salminen, had the best day of anyone and moved up to third overall.

    For the U23 title, the defending champion, Briton, Henry Wetherell took pole position from Ondrej Teply, from Czech Republic, and Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland. Wetherell is the only one that remains inside the top 10, in ninth place after a tough day on the Bay of Cádiz, however Teply and Theuninck are not far behind in 11th and 12th overall.

    With an early start time to get racing finished before another forecast storm came in, and three tough races in strong winds to get back on schedule, it was a tough day for sailors and race officials alike. The severe chop and large swell made for a physically challenging day, but with some beautiful free pumping offwind legs that allowed these powerful sailors to really push themselves and the fantastic Finn to the limits.

    Heiner dominated the first race after rounding the top mark in the lead. Australian, Jake Lilley, was second round, but picked up the first of two black flags. Tom Ramshaw, from Canada, had some great downwinds to finish second while Jorge Zarif, from Brazil, pulled through to cross in third.

    The wind increased slightly for Race 5 of the championship with Lobert leading almost from start to finish. Alican Kaynar, from Turkey, led at the top but dropped behind Lobert downwind, while Nils Theuninck, sailed a great race to cross in third.

    With the breeze now topping out with 24 knot gusts, Lilley had something to prove and was first out of the blocks in Race 6 to just lead round the top from Teply and Caleb Paine, from the USA. Lilley sailed away for the win, while Salminen after passing early front markers Heiner and, Ben Cornish, from Britain.

    Lilley was of the fastest upwind in the big breeze, but two black flags will cost him dearly. However he was happy to come back to win the third race of the day.

    “For me the regatta hasn’t been going too well so far; a pretty steep learning curve and today two black flags didn’t help things. I guess you could say I was pretty motivated in the last race to make amends, and managed to come away with the win and it would have been nice to race in the first two races as I quite like the wind after a good Aussie summer of training in a lot of breeze. Anyway, that’s how it goes and I’m learning heaps.”

    The defending champion, Lobert, is now up to fourth overall. “We had some good breeze out there with big waves; very tough. In the first race I was not too bad at the top mark, but I didn’t make it and had to loop round, so I lot a lot and had to fight to come back.”

    “In the second race I was pushing to get the pin, and I won the start and I was leading from the beginning to the end. Then in the third race everyone started to be a little bit tired. We could see the guys going up and down and in the end I managed to be top 10, which is not too bad. So I am really happy with the day.”

    Paine, “It’s definitely been challenging sailing here. We have had a variety of conditions here with today being super windy. Definitely tested me coming off the back of a cold and new equipment here. It’s my first big event back since Miami and doing the best I can, trying to hang in and kind of see where I stack up and what we need to work on.”

    On the level in the fleet, “There are some really great sailors here. For instance, in my second race yesterday I got a 61st, which was pretty bad. Just goes to show how great the fleet is here. Big starting line, big fleet, long courses, there’s lots to play for here.”

    So at the half way stage, the championship is back on schedule and Henier has a useful lead, but along with Wright, has an inconvenient score from the second race of Wednesday when they both got stuck on the wrong side. Salminen has done really well to creep back to the top, and is now within striking distance.

    The forecast for the next days is a mixture of light and windy weather. Racing continues Thursday at 11.00 with four more races before Saturday’s final race and medal race.

    Results after six races:

    1 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 16
    2 GBR 11 Edward Wright 25
    3 SWE 33 Max Salminen 37
    4 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 38
    5 NZL 24 Josh Junior 48
    6 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 53
    7 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 55
    8 USA 6 Caleb Paine 59
    9 GBR 71 Henry Wetherell 59
    10 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 64

    Full results HERE!

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    • #3


      • #4
        Cadiz Remains Challenging On Day 4

        Ben Cornish schooled the Finn fleet in Cádiz on Day 4 of the Open and U23 Finn European Championship with two emphatic race wins in conditions that developed during the day from awesome to epic with huge waves, 20+ knots of wind, as well as something almost unseen so far in Cadiz, the much promised Spanish sunshine. Unfortunately the second race was later abandoned after extensive jury hearings because the first mark was out of position.

        At the top of the Open leaderboard, Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, still leads the Briton, Edward Wright, though now just by two points, while Josh Junior, from New Zealand, is some way back in third. Defending champion Jonathan Lobert from France holds third place in the European Championship

        Defending U23 champion, Henry Wetherell, has also extended his lead from Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland and Ondrej Teply, from Czech Republic.

        The fleet were promised great conditions in Cádiz and on Day 4, the weather finally delivered. Following a tough three races the day before, Thursday would prove who was the toughest and fittest on the Bay of Cádiz. By the afternoon the skies had cleared and the waves rolled down the bay to provide exceptional power sailing conditions.

        Race 7 got away in 12-15 knots after delay caused by a wind change that heralded a gradual increase in wind though the day. Josip Olujic, from Croatia, held a nice lead at the top from Piotr Kula, of Poland and Egor Terpigorev, of Russia. A big rain cloud on the second upwind changed the landscape with Cornish playing it the best to emerge in the lead and extending downwind for a nice victory. Olujic held on for second, while Andy Maloney, from New Zealand, also made gains to cross third.

        A long delay to the start of Race 8 caused by wind shifts and a dragging pin end vessel gave the wind time to really pick up and by the time the fleet got away, with more black flagged boats, conditions were about as good as they could get. Cornish slipped round the top mark ahead while much of the fleet had trouble finding the top mark in the huge waves and had overstood.

        Cornish sped away downwind and was never challenged to win his second race of the day. Alessio Spadoni, from Italy and Australian Jake Lilley fought all the way round for second place, with Lilley just getting the inside at the final mark to lead Spadoni across the finish. However after various protests for redress because of the out of position top mark – about 0.6 miles – the race was abandoned.

        Heiner commented, “We had amazing conditions, especially for the second race. Big waves again, building waves, and I think the last race was about 18 to 20 knots, so really good fun. Champagne sailing conditions.”

        “It was hard to see the shifts and the pressure lines, and the weird raincloud that didn’t really work as I would have liked but overall another really physical day of sailing and really hard one, but it was amazing to be out there.”

        “In the first race I had a bit of a miscalculation with the rain cloud. I was on the left side and I thought, happy days, so I hit the rain cloud and waited for the left shift, but that never came and it went right. A lot happened in that race, and fought my way back on the downwind and a 12th is still a counter, so it’s OK.”

        “In the second I knew I just needed to put down a good result, so I just put the hammer down and it was good fun.”

        Kula has not had the best week so far but after a black flag in the first race, now has nothing to show for a long day on the water.

        “I was sailing much better than previous days despite the BFD. I managed to come sixth in the first and 12th in second in these crazy conditions, which is not so easy to do.”

        On the extreme conditions downwind in the second race “The thing with the downwind today, especially the last one, you had to choose between whether you wanted to add some power from yourself or just steer the boat, and let it go with the waves as they were huge enough.”

        “So I was not pushing so much myself, I decided to sail safe and mostly it was paying off. There were moments when the wind was dropping for a brief while and then it may be better to pull the sail one-to-one but changing hands in these conditions is tricky.”

        Cornish said, “It was quite a changeable day. The first race was quite weather dominated with some quite big swings in the wind which came with the rain clouds. For the second race the skies opened up and we got the gradient come down, as forecast and quite a steady breeze for the afternoon.”

        “I couldn’t have asked for a better day but in the first race I was in the mix at the top, but certainly not in a position were I though I would win the race, but then up the second beat a massive rain cloud came through and I had leant from my mistakes from the other day. And made sure I wasn’t on the wrong side of that one and managed to get myself into the lead.”

        “In the second race, there was a little bit of a navigation error from the so I led from the top and held on it for the rest of the race.”

        On the testing conditions, “It was full on. On the back of yesterday’s three races, where everyone was hanging on by the end just to get round and then straight back into it today. It was just as hard today with the conditions and I think there are a few broken people around here, so let’s see what tomorrow brings.”

        With Race 8 being abandoned, three races are now scheduled for Friday.

        Heiner and Wright are separated by just two points at the top, with a nice gap of 22 to Josh Junior, from New Zealand, who moved up from fifth overall. From there the points are really close in the top 10, so everything could easily change on the final day of the opening series on Friday.

        Results after seven races:

        1 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 28
        2 GBR 11 Edward Wright 30
        3 NZL 24 Josh Junior 52
        4 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 53
        5 SWE 33 Max Salminen 60
        6 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 60
        7 USA 6 Caleb Paine 65
        8 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 65
        9 GBR 71 Henry Wetherell 70
        10 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 79

        Full Results
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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        • #5
          Lasers for the grown up kids!


          • #6
            Heiner On The Cusp

            Heiner leads Finn fleet into Europeans medal race as Cádiz turns it up again
            March 16, 2018

            Both Nicholas Heiner, from the Netherlands, and Edward Wright, from Britain, are guaranteed medals at the Open and U23 Finn Europeans in Cadiz after the final day of the Opening Series on Friday. The conditions were again exceptional, with Briton, Ben Cornish, winning another race, while Swedish world champion, Max Salminen, moved up to third, with just the medal race to sail.

            In the U23 championship, Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland, returns to the lead, holding a one-point lead over defending champion Henry Wetherell, from Britain. Third placed Ondrej Teply, from Czech Republic, is 34 points adrift.

            The day started with heavy rain, and then a postponement as the skies cleared and the sun made a welcome appearance. Three races were scheduled but after the late start, and then a delay in starting the first race, it meant that only one race was added to the scoresheet – the re-sail of the abandoned Race 8 from Thursday.

            Getting underway in 12-14 knots, the fleet rounded the top mark pretty tight with Victor Gorostegui, of Spain, leading round from Deniss Karpak, from Estonia and Alican Kaynar from Turkey. Karpak led at the gate but then it all changed again on the second upwind with USA’s Caleb Paine leading round from Nenad Bugarin, from Croatia and Tapio Nirkko, from Finland.

            Cornish rounded fourth and passed all three downwind to record his third race win in a row. Paine crossed second with Bugarin third.

            With the time limit set at 16.00, the race committee did a great job setting up fast and firing the first warning signal just after 15.45. However the fleet was too keen and two general recalls later, time had run out and the fleet was sent back to the harbour.

            Cornish was philosophical about his win after the previous day’s race win had been scrubbed.

            “It was nice to get out there and put right what went wrong yesterday. I was a bit disappointed that the race got thrown out yesterday. But it was nice to go out with a clear head and go and get another race win.”

            He was about 20th round the first mark, but then, had “a good first downwind and I seemed to hit every shift up the second beat which gave me a good chance down the last run. I managed to slide my way down for the win.”

            “It’s such a shame we didn’t get the last race in with such nice conditions. But as it comes to the end of the week everyone is desperate for something and just pushes harder and harder.”

            Salminen also had mixed feelings about the abandoned race, where he placed sixth.

            “It’s been an amazing last two days with really big waves and the sun finally came out with nice medium wind, and it’s been going good.”

            “Yesterday we had some big rain clouds coming through that shifted things around a bit, but I am really happy with my speed and my performance overall. Then we had a little hairy second race yesterday that finally got kicked out and I placed sixth in that race, and that was bothering me last night. Then I came back today and actually scored better, at least compared to the guys around me on the scoreboard. So that feels really good.”

            He placed seventh today and goes into the medal race in the bronze medal position, but he knows he still has a fight on his hands with four sailors capable of taking it away from him.

            “It’s really pleasing to be up there. Unfortunately first and second is out of reach which is a shame but that didn’t happen today, that happened on the first two days. But I am pleased with my sailing towards the end.”

            One of those who will challenge him in the medal race is the 2013 world champion, Jorge Zarif, from Brazil.

            “I think this week has been a really good week. I had really bad starts but I played the right sides so I had consistent results, which has put me in sixth overall, and I hope I can do something well in the medal race tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it. I have to pass three guys but the maths is possible so let’s see.”

            Nicholas Heiner has led from Day 1, and needs to be within two boats of Wright to secure his first Finn championship title.

            He described the day, “Eventually the wind kicked in really quickly and it was another nice sailing day. It was really patchy for the first race and really tricky conditions. I didn’t have the speed upwind so I got buried a little bit, but luckily I had the speed downwind and I knew I had to put it down on the last run to secure points on Ed, who was in front of me, I was really happy to at least get one decent result in today and it’s all on tomorrow.”

            But he won’t be happy with anything but gold.

            “I have a five point lead and am guaranteed a medal, but I have been leading all week and we want to finish that way for sure. It’s another yacht race tomorrow and only ten boats and a massive forecast so I think it will be good fun and a lot of action.”

            There will be two races going on inside the medal race. Gold and silver will go to Heiner or Wright, while five sailors are in the mix for the bronze. Seventh placed Cornish is only 13 points adrift and after his performance the last two days, who would write off a second Europeans bronze medal in a row.

            The forecast is so bad for Saturday that the medal race has been brought forward to 09.30 in an attempt to get racing in before the wind really kicks in. Even then the forecast for 09.00 is for strong wind from 25-30 knots. The final race for the rest has been rescheduled for 10.30.

            Results after eight races:

            1 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 42
            2 GBR 11 Edward Wright 47
            3 SWE 33 Max Salminen 67
            4 USA 6 Caleb Paine 67
            5 NZL 24 Josh Junior 71
            6 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 75
            7 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 80
            8 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 87
            9 CRO 1 Josip Olujic 91
            10 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 94

            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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            • #7
              Does the 1st Finn on the wave have rights?


              • #8
                Wright Pulls Out Gold Mead Performance In Epic Conditions

                Ed Wright won his second Finn European title in Cádiz on Saturday after a spectacular medal race in high winds and huge waves that nearly resulted in the race being cancelled. Nicholas Heiner, from the Netherlands, had led all week, but several capsizes and a last place left him with the silver, while Max Salminen, from Sweden did enough to take the bronze, after placing second in the race.

                The Final Race for the rest of the fleet was canceled with sustained gusts well over 30 knots and huge seas. This meant that Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland, won the U23 European title, from last year’s winner, Henry Wetherell, from Britain, and Ondrej Teply, from Czech Republic in third.

                The medal race started with an average wind speed of 24 knots gusting to 29. With the huge waves it was on the limit, but the Finn sailors wouldn’t have it any other way. The race was on and they loved the extreme challenge of survival against the elements.

                Wright got off to a great start, on top of Heiner, but Brazil’s Jorge Zarif escaped at the pin end and led the fleet the entire race to cross the line with a comfortable lead. However he neglected to round the final downwind mark and was disqualified. Josh Junior, from New Zealand, and Salminen were chasing him down and Salminen just got through on the downwind to cross behind Zarif and Junior and take the bronze. Junior took the race win.

                Heiner was having problems, capsizing on the downwind and again at the gate to trail the fleet by some distance. Wright kept upright and a fifth was enough to take the gold.

                Heiner can look back on a successful week even though he fell at the final hurdle. “It was a really hard race today, with quite extreme conditions. I didn’t really sail my own race in the end and tried to stay close to Ed. Unfortunately I had a capsize on the downwind and another at the bottom mark. I just wasn’t good enough today, and we know what we need to work on. I must say I haven’t sailed much in these conditions in the Finn.”

                “But that’s no excuse. I just need to get some more pace in the breeze and make sure the boat handling is crisp.”

                On his second major medal in the last nine months, “Progress has been great I’ve not raced since last year in Balaton, so to be leading here the whole week and to have sailed so well has been really nice, and showed that we had a good summer in New Zealand. But saying that, on a day like this you just need to finish it off and unfortunately we didn’t.”

                Salminen, said “It was an amazing medal race. I am really happy that we did it. It was clearly marginal conditions, but this a really cool part of our sport to be able never control, but at least, you can try to survive in these conditions. And what an amazing venue to run races from. The wind and the waves are amazing.”

                “It was a tight medal race as you would have expected. But I found myself around the boats that were around me in the results, so from the last lap I just tried to cover them as much as possible and get the boat safely to the finishing line.”

                On another medal, “For sure it’s confirmation that we are doing the right thing with my training partners and my coach. And for sure you want to win championships. I think it’s important to keep being on the podium, when you aim is to win a medal in 2020, you need to be there already now and for that I am happy.”

                On his second European title, 12 years after the first, Wright said, “It was a crazy race. I saw Heiner capsize at the five-minute so then I realised everyone was having a hard time with the conditions not just me.”

                “I knew I needed to nail the start which I did and immediately rolled Heiner, which was great and had good speed to extend. I tried to sail him back and still stay in contention, as I needed boats between us. I got an early gybe in on the first run and sailed the boat hard downwind and extended. By then it was a matter of keeping it upright.”

                “The seas were massive and very difficult, but it was awesome sailing and awesome racing. I enjoyed every second. What a race.”

                “I am so happy to win the title again.”

                The sailors now get two weeks off before continuing the battles at the Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma at the end of the month.

                Results after medal race (medal race in brackets)

                1 GBR 11 Edward Wright 57 (5)
                2 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 60 (9)
                3 SWE 33 Max Salminen 71 (2)
                4 NZL 24 Josh Junior 73 (1)
                5 USA 6 Caleb Paine 73 (3)
                6 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 92 (6)
                7 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 97 (DSQ)
                8 CRO 1 Josip Olujic 99 (4)
                9 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 101 (7)
                10 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 110 (8)

                Full Article

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