Saturday, 4 September 2010
Friday, 3 September 2010
Thursday, 2 September 2010
outstanding day placing first and third in the two races. Rafa Trujillo
(ESP) won the second race of the day to climb to second, while a string of
top 10 placings leave Giles Scott (GBR) in third.
After a short postponement to allow time for the wind to clock round and
build, the first race was sailed in 10-14 knots with Ed Wright leading at
each and every mark. He extended on every leg to win by more than a minute
and a half. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) placed second with Thomas Le Breton (FRA)
recovering from a poor first beat to place third.
Race six was then sailed in 14-17 knots with Trujillo leading from start to
finish. Wright traded positions with Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Giorgio Poggi
(ITA) and Brendan Casey (AUS) before finally crossing the line in third
Wright now has 13 point lead with four more races to sail before Saturday's
medal race, while thre next four boats are separated by onlt four points
Results after 6 races:
1 GBR 11 Edward Wright 9
2 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 22
3 GBR 41 Giles Scott 24
4 FRA 115 Thomas le Breton 24
5 USA 4 Zach Railey 26
6 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 36
7 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 49
8 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 55
9 CRO 25 Marin Misura 56
10 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 57
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
with Zach Railey (USA) in second. Double race winner today Ed Wright (GBR)
is in third. The top five boats are all withinb four points of each other.
The first race started with light winds but increased to 12 knots by the top
mark and 22 knots by the second race in a typical San Francisco Day with fog
rolling between the Golden Gate and cold breeze building during the day.
Wright rounded the top mark in third and moved ahead on the downwind to lead
throughout. Race one winner Gasper Vincec (SLO) and Thomas le Breton moved
tghrough the fleet to place second and third.
The wind had really kicked in for race four with Wright leading round the
top mark from Mark Andrews (GBR). Andrews took the lead on the first
downwind leg, but Wright dug in on the next beat and took a nice lead to
extend to the finish for a second race win. Thomas Le Breton placed third
Results after four races (87 entries)
1 FRA 115 Thomas le Breton 21.0
2 USA 4 Zach Railey 21.0
3 GBR 11 Edward Wright 23.0
4. GBR 41 Giles Scott 23.0
5 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 25.0
6. GBR 88 Mark Andrew 35.0
7. ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 48.0
8 CRO 25 Marin Misura 52.0
9 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 56.0
10. ITA 146 Michele Paoletti 57.0
Two more races on Wednesday starting at 12.00
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Monday, 30 August 2010
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
With I flag up
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
Not many sailors get the chance to sail a major championship in their home
town and even fewer get a chance to win one. But Sunday, for Ivan Kljakovic
Gaspic (CRO) that dream came true as he successfully defended his Finn
European Championship title in the medal race of the 2010 Finn Open Senior
and Junior European Championships in Split, Croatia. The Junior title went
to Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), also defending the title he won in 2009.
After a shifty and gusty medal race, Kljakovic Gaspic placed second to
retain his title, saying "This has been one of the toughest regattas of my
life." Third place for Ed Wright (GBR) secured him the silver medal while
fifth for Daniel Birgmark (SWE) left him with the bronze.
For the first time in the whole regatta, racing started on time, first time.
It was all about the shifts and they came through at frequent intervals with
large gusts mixed in. It was a fantastic test of sailing skill.
The two Croatians, Mate Arapov and Kljakovic Gaspic jumped out of the start
on the first few shifts and were not really ever challenged for the lead.
Race one winner, Arapov led throughout the race with Kljakovic Gaspic just
behind. The chasing pack was led mainly by Wright and Birgmark, while
regatta leader Rafa Trujillo (ESP) rounded the first mark last and with too
much to do.
Kljakovic Gaspic takes up the story, "Today was a really tough day and I
knew yesterday when I saw the weather forecast that it was going to be
really shifty and gusty as well because we had the racing area really close
to the hill."
"I knew I had to get a clear start because you need clear wind so you can
tack whenever you want and I got a perfect start, I think. I got the first
couple of shifts and gusts right and got clear on the upwind so I could
control the fleet in the rest of the race."
"On the first downwind I was super fast and I got a couple of really strong
gusts just at the mark rounding and I flew away from the pack. Then I was
totally clear to sail my own race. On the second beat I controlled the fleet
through the gusts and on the last downwind it was just about finishing the
race and not making any disasters like capsizing or crashing. I think I
performed really well today and I am proud of myself."
At times the Croatians had built a lead of close to 100 metres. Oscar flag
was raised for free pumping on the final leg and the fleet behind closed up
a bit with Kljakovic Gaspic almost catching Arapov at the finish.
In the end there were only eight finishers. Jonathan Lobert (FRA),
mistakenly assuming that Oscar flag for free pumping was up, picked up his
second yellow flag so had to retire while team mate Thomas Le Breton (FRA)
unfortunately fell ill overnight and was unable to sail.
Wright said of his race, "It was a very tricky race - as it's been all week.
The wind was off the land so we had very shifty and gusty conditions. I good
a pretty good start but I couldn't really tack because there were a lot of
boats on my hip. The Croatian, Mate, managed to tack and cross and he was
away for the race. On the first run they just got away really and we were
just trying to catch them the rest of the race."
"But considering where I was at the beginning of the week I am pretty happy
Third placed Birgmark said, "Today you had to cash in the whole time, taking
every shift as it arrived. I had a reasonably good start, but the left end
of the line paid off so I lost a bit there to the two Croatians, Mate and
Bambi, but then I managed to come up in the middle of the fleet. I had a
good chance for silver and Ed was very close to me. But I am very happy with
the bronze here though."
"It's been hard conditions this week, but even though we have only had six
races, they have been reasonably fair, and they have been good races. We
would have liked to have more races of course, but the ones we did were not
bad at all."
Just after the medal race the final race for the rest was completed with the
race win going to Florian Raudaschl (AUT) from Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) and
Michael Maier (CZE). This left Dan Slater (NZL) in 11th overall, having
missed he medal race by just one point.
In the Junior European Championship, Ioannis Mitakis had already retained
the title he won in 2009 with a race spare, and with a second place in the
final race he ended up an impressive 12th overall. The two Americans, Luke
Lawrence (USA) and Caleb Paine (USA) went into the final race in silver and
bronze positions. A 16th for Lawrence and a 54th for Paine left them in 30th
and 40th overall and well clear of fourth paced Josip Olujic (CRO) from the
Kljakovic Gaspic concluded, "Winning the event at home is I think impressive
because it's one thing to win a race somewhere else as there is always some
pressure, but it's just on you. But back home you have thousands of people
looking at you and everyone's interested in this. All my friends are
calling, sending texts and emails. Everyone means well but you feel big
pressure and it's not so easy. But I managed to stay cool with good
consistent sailing and not to many stupid mistakes and in the end I did
really well and am so proud I won another Europeans back home because this
was really big pressure event for me."
Final top 10 after medal race
(medal race position in brackets)
1 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 35 (2)
2 GBR 11 Edward Wright 35 (3)
3 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 41 (5)
4 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 41 (7)
5 CRO 25 Marin Misura 49 (4)
6 CRO 2 Mate Arapov 52 (1)
7 GBR 41 Giles Scott 54 (6)
8 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 54 (RTD)
9 NOR 1 Peer Moberg 57 (8)
10 FRA 115 Thomas Le Breton, 59 (DNC)
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Champion Rafa Trujillo (ESP) goes into Sunday's medal race with a two point
margin over the 2006 European Champion Ed Wright (GBR). Daniel Birgmark
(SWE) who was leading going into Saturday, ended the day in third.
Mathematically nine boats can win after the medal race, but realistically it
will be one of the top five or six, though all nine have a good chance of
taking a medal, with just 15 points separating them.
Saturday started with thunderstorms, heavy wind and rain and a two hour
postponement. Race five was important to get in as five races were needed to
be able to hold a medal race.
Starting at the third attempt in 10 knots, the left side proved to be the
best with a 15 degree shift coming through about half way up. The 2009
Junior European Champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) made the best of the shift to
round the top mark ahead of Peer Moberg (NOR), Trujillo, Ed Wright (GBR),
Marko Kolic (ITA) and Dan Slater (NZL).
Moberg said, "It was really exciting. I had a good start and the wind turned
a bit to the left. I was in the middle left and come up to second and fought
with the Greek guy [Mitakis] all the way to round the top mark second."
"I was playing the shifts in the middle and suddenly I got the left shift
and just kept on going. Some guys overstood the mark, so I just tacked under
Mitakis said, "In the first race I went left and rounded first. I am a bit
slow downwind and Moberg passed me easily and then I got past him upwind and
he did the same downwind." Moberg went on to take the win followed by
Mitakis, Slater and Wright.
The second race looked doubtful for a while as the wind dropped and several
starts failed. Finally the fleet got away at 17.40. Wright and Ivan
Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) went hard right while others played the shifts on the
left. A late left shift cost Wright and Kljakovic Gaspic a lot of ground and
the top group rounded close together with Kljakovic Gaspic leading Mitakis,
Caleb Paine (USA), Wright, Tapio Nirkko (FIN) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA).
By the leeward gate, Andrew Mills (GBR) had taken the lead. He said, "I
started in the middle of the line, went left, which looked good for a bit
then everyone came in from the right. I rounded about 20th and had a nice
run. I went down the left and had more pressure and rounded the bottom in
first. I chose the other gate to Ivan and had good numbers out to the left
so kept going."
This time the left paid. "I went quite a long a long way and then tacked and
the wind picked up and I crossed ahead. I am quite fast in that stuff. And
the last run was quite good fun. I enjoyed it a lot, especially with that
much of a lead. Ivan was going quite quick, but it was too much of a gap for
him to catch up."
Oscar flag for free pumping was raised for the last downwind as a rainstorm
came through and the sailors enjoyed being able to stretch out and sail
hard. During the day storms had been passing on all sides of the course, but
until then the fleet had escaped.
Moberg didn't fair so well in the second race. He is using one of the new
North NZ Dacron sails, developed by Slater. "I thought it would be windy so
I changed sailed between races to my strong wind sail and it's a little flat
and it was too choppy. But I am testing equipment right now so that's OK.
The new Dacron sail is very good. I think it will last for a long time, so
the costs for sailors will come down."
He is very happy to make the top 10, "For me top 10 is everything so I can
get some funding for next year."
Mitakis has retained his Junior European title with a race to spare. "I am
happy to win the Juniors again and I am looking forward to the Silver Cup
[World Juniors] in San Francisco." Sunday's final race will decide silver
and bronze positions. Currently Luke Lawrence (USA) sits in 32nd place, 14
points ahead of Caleb Paine (USA).
Trujillo leads the fleet into the medal race. "I am really happy I make it
to fifth. I was third, but was being careful downwind as I already had a
yellow flag. The second race was really bad. I rounded 27th, but chose the
right options and rounded the bottom mark 14th. I chose the right side,
played the pressure to finish fifth again. I am really happy to still be in
with a chance of the podium tomorrow."
He summed up, "It will be tight, like it always is in the Finn class."
Wright wouldn't say much but had clearly enjoyed the wind. "It's about time
we had some decent conditions."
The medal race for the top ten and the final race for the rest is scheduled
for 12.00 Sunday. It is going to be some fight to take the 2010 European
Senior title and all the sailors are more than up for it. It is wide open
and is going to be fascinating to watch.
Top 10 after six races
1 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 27
2 GBR 11 Edward Wright 29
3 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 31
4 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 31
5 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 32
6 FRA 115 Thomas Le Breton 39
7 NOR 1 Peer Moberg 41
8 CRO 25 Marin Misura 41
9 GBR 41 Giles Scott, 42
10 CRO 2 Mate Arapov 50
Bertrand won the Gold Cup in 1978 and the Europeans in 1979, before taking
the silver medal in the 1984 Olympics in Long Beach. This week he is
coaching Luke Lawrence.
How does he feel about being back on the Finn scene after so long? "It's
great. I've got back into the Olympic scene just by doing some coaching and
working with some sailors for three of four years - mainly Laser sailors and
so this is my first opportunity to really get back and see what's going on
with the Finns. I am coaching Luke Lawrence, a young kid from the United
States and it's exciting. I didn't realise how much I really missed it until
I came back."
"It's a very dynamic class. The sailors are just incredible. They are tall,
they are fit, it looks like everyone is going really fast out there. So it's
exciting for me to come back and see it."
Bertrand sees a big difference in the class to when he was competing. "The
biggest difference, like I said, is that everyone is fit now, everyone is
tall, and it seems like the equipment with the new boats and new
construction and new carbon masts seems to have brought some unity in terms
of the overall speed in the fleet. Back in my day with the aluminium masts
you had to go through 10 or 15 of them before you actually found one that
you liked. It looks likes they are sailing the boats very aggressively and
that probably starts in the Opti and goes through the Laser and then into
the Finn. The overall competitiveness is a lot higher now."
"Actually I was just have a discussion with somebody and the Finn needs to
stay an Olympic class. It's very physical and it suits a heavier sailor. If
you look at the competition, it's great competition, it's spread out - not
one person is dominating and you have be be fit and tactically smart. I
think it's one of the ultimate Olympic boats so it needs to stay."
What are his best memories of the class? "I think it was coming to Europe
and travelling around and meeting all the sailors from the different
countries. Even today I have friendships based on that and now that I am
coming back, a lot of the coaches here are those I sailed against, so that's
kind of fun. "
"Here this week Mikael Brandt from Sweden is sailing, so we've had a good
chance to catch up. One of the Estonian coaches, Ren, who I didn't race
against, but he was in Tallinn when we were there for the two pre-Olympics.
And of course Fabris [Minski] who was famous when I was sailing. He still
continues to be famous and now we are here at his home club."
Has Bertrand ever considered making a comeback and sailing at the Finn World
Masters? "I am giving it more and more thought. As you can see I am still
pretty small. I was small when I sailed the boat back in the late 70s and
early 80s, but it seems like with the new equipment, it might make it
possible. I am going to sail the Laser Masters Worlds this year so if that
goes well, I might try the Finn as well."
at the Finn European Championships, but it didn't matter, as two late races
meant that it is now a valid championship, something that earlier in the day
looked highly unlikely. Race three winner Daniel Birgmark (SWE) takes the
overall lead from Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and defending champion Ivan
Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO). The second race of the day was was won by Rafa
Held on shore again due to light winds and thunderstorms earlier in the day
until 12.30the fleet set out to wait under a hot sun and in no wind for more
than four hours. The locals predicted the 'Jugo' wind would arrive at around
17.00 and at 16.55 the breeze started to build and the 97 Finns were
rewarded with two great races in 10-14 knots of breeze.
The wind was up to 10 knots by the start of race three, which was set to the
south of Split close by the dramatic shoreline. The left hand side was
always going to pay. Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA) went furthest to the
left, picked up a nice angle to the mark and rounded the top mark clear
ahead of Birgmark, Marin Misura (CRO), Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Klakovic
The wind started to increase as Birgmark led the fleet back to the left on
the second upwind leg. Kljakovic Gaspic moved into second with Zbogar in
third. The Oscar flag for free pumping was raised at the second windward
mark with the fleet finally enjoying fantastic conditions down to the
Birgmark battled hard with Kljakovic Gaspic, but crossed the line first with
Kljakovic Gaspic in second and Misura climbing to third.
Birgmark said, "The current was with the wind today and not everyone was up
on the line. I had a good transit and I had a really good start, I used the
left side and that paid off really well. There were a couple of other guys
who went further, such as FRA 99 [Allain des Beauvais] but that really paid
off, and he got a really good lift to the mark."
"I liked the downwinds a lot with the free pumping. That was definitely a
lot of fun. It felt really good to win the race, and I had a big battle with
Bambi as he's always very fast on the downwind so I'm happy that I could
The race office was clearly eager to complete the next race before sunset
while there was wind and started race four almost immediately, with Oscar
flying for free pumping downwind. Again the fleet got away first time and
again most favoured the left hand side closer to the shore. However this
time it didn't pay to go that far with Trujillo emerging ahead just beneath
the pack on the left to round first from Tomas Vika (CZE), Misura and Mate
By the leeward gate Lobert had moved up to second with Birgmark in third.
These positions remained the same throughout the second upwind, while Ed
Wright (GBR) was moving through the fleet. He rounded the top mark in fourth
place and then made his move downwind to finally place second behind
Trujillo, who won by 25 seconds. Romeo flag was removed at the second
windward mark to limit pumping as the wind started to drop away Birgmark
finished third and Lobert fourth.
Trujillo said, "I've rounded the first mark three times in fours races and
finally I have won one. In the first race I started at the committee boat as
I wanted to be on the right, but it didn't pay and I finished 17th, so I was
really motivated in the second to try and come back and get a good result.
So I gave it 100 per cent and was lucky that I was on the right side and
took the lead and extended from there."
"I had a feeling the wind was dying but I had more pressure to come through
the fleet. Then towards the end of the race I was thinking with the luck
that I have had this week they would cancel the race because the sun was
going down." But they didn't and Trujillo took his first win of the week.
The sun had already set as the fleet headed back to Split harbour with the
lights around the harbour twinkling in welcome after nearly eight hours on
The defending champion is Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic. With a 2-6 today he moved
up to third overall. He said, "It was a long wait and you have to stay
fresh, you have to keep your mind fresh all the time. I was hoping for the
wind, but it wasn't easy to wait for hours in sun and light winds. In the
end I did a good job."
"The first race was really good for me, but in the second I wasn't looking
so good after the first beat. I was a little bit on the right and I lost a
lot of places, so I had a lot of work to do on the downwind, but I performed
well, especially on the first downwind. Free pumping was on and we were
pumping hard, which worked out really well and after this it became easier
for me as I had more pressure on the right and also on the second downwind."
He finally moved up to sixth by the finish.
All sailors were complimentary about the race team, waiting patiently to get
the races in. Trujillo said, "I want to congratulate the race committee,
they were great conditions and they did a good job today. We now have four
good races so are on the way to saving the championship."
Kljakovic Gaspic said "I think they made a really great effort to get us
sailing. The races were really fair, in really nice conditions and I can
just say thanks to them because they really did a great job and it paid
After four races, Birgmark has a four point margin from Lobert and seven
point from Kljakovic Gaspic. The final qualification races will take place
on Saturday and one more is required to have the medal race on Sunday.
Top 10 after two races
1 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 22
2 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 26
3 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 29
4 GBR 41 Giles Scott 31
5 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 34
6 GBR 11 Edward Wright 34
7 FRA 115 Thomas Le Breton 36
8 CRO 25 Marin Misura 37
9 CRO 2 Mate Arapov 44
10 NOR 1 Peer Moberg 44
Friday, 14 May 2010
Thursday, 13 May 2010
bring better weather and wind tomorrow. Lobert summed up, "I think so far we
have done the best we could have done in these conditions. Hopefully
tomorrow will be better."
After two races Moberg has a one point lead, but there is hopefully still a
very long way to go and if the two races sailed are anything to go by it
could be a high scoring regatta.
There are just two more scheduled days of fleet racing left, though we need
to sail four to make a series and five to sail a medal race, which is
scheduled for Sunday. Three races are scheduled for Friday from 11.00
2 GBR 41 Giles Scott 16
3 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 16
4 FRA 115 Thomas Le Breton 16
5 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 18
6 SWE 11 Daniel Birgmark 18
7 CRO 2 Mate Arapov 20
8 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 21
9 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 21
10 GBR 11 Edward Wright 21
part of the US Sailing Development Team. While this is Lawrence's first Finn
championship, Paine's introduction was at last year's Finn Gold Cup in
Denmark. Both are very ambitious sailors with Olympic dreams for 2012 and
Both are also just 19 years old and gunning for the Junior European
Championship this week. But how did they get into the Finn?
Paine said, "I actually started in a Finn last year through the guys in the
US, especially Scott Mason and Peter McDonald who helped me out a lot.
Basically they realised I was too big for the Laser and said, "Here, try a
Finn". So I tried it and loved it. I signed up and bought a boat and here I
"I did the Finn Gold Cup in Copenhagen last year and the OCR in Miami this
year. I am going to try and do the circuit this year and if I can get
funding from Alphagraphics for next year it would help me a bunch."
Talking about his long term goal to represent the US in the Olympics he
said, "For me it's extremely important to have a boat for heavyweights in
the Olympics. If I don't have a boat to sail in the Olympics it sort of
takes that dream away from me. And from many other people as well. At the
moment the Finn is the ideal boat for that."
"Lawrence said, "I started off back in January. I was training for the OCRs
in the Laser and in the process of going to the gym I put on about 10
pounds, which made me too heavy for the Laser so I decided to take the next
step with the Finn. So I found a boat and sailed the OCRs. I did pretty
well, so decided to stay with it. I made the US Sailing development team and
they shipped my boat over here and I have been doing all the events since."
"I love sailing the Finn. I have also been sailing the 505 for a few years.
It's different to the Laser. Technically it's more my thing. I enjoyed the
Laser but I got a bit bored with it after a bit. The Finn is constantly a
new challenge every time I go sailing."
"My long terms goals are the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Right now I am working
with John Bertrand full time. He's a really good coach. We work well
Lawrence weighs in at 88 kg and admits "I am still a bit small for the Finn
but I'm still putting on weight and building muscle to handle the boat."
Paine, who currently weighs 100 kg said, "I have put on a lot of muscle
since last year."
After two races Paine lies in 39th place though he says, "My goal for the
week is top 20 overall." Lawrence, whose goal is "...top three in the
Juniors," lies in 32nd and is second Junior, though there is already a
sizeable gap to last year's Junior Champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) who is in
19th place. Third place is currently held by Christoph Froh (GER).
Lawrence concluded, "The best part so far is the learning curve. I got a
second in the Youth Worlds and I had fun with that, but I got to a point in
the Laser where I was once I got too heavy I was just starting to suffer a
lot and didn't want to just eat salad to sail my boat. For me, I like
sailing singlehanded boats at the moment and I definitely want to go for the