Monday, 17 May 2010

Final report

Kljakovic Gaspic successfully defends Finn European title

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
with second."

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
host club.

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

Croatia wins

Final results in medal race: CRO2 CRO 524 GBR11 CRO25 SWE11 GBR41 ESP100 NOR1
Overall results: CRO524 GBR11 SWE11

Fleet heading out

all looks to be on time.

Saturday gallery

228 photos from Saturday posted to Picasa at

Medal race day is here

There were times this week when we didnt think this would hapen, but it's medal race day and probably the tighest ever with nine possible winners and very tight points at the top. The sailor who wins the title of 2010 European Champion, is probably going to have to win the race.
It has rained hard sice 19.00 last night, so there is plenty of water for the sailors and the wind is currently north-east (offshore) light to moderate and looking a bit brighter.
Race scheduled to start at 12.00. Follow it on the Twitter feed through this bog.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Saturday photos


Trujillo leads tight fleet into medal race

After two more late races at the Finn European Championship, the 2007 World
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."

Final showdown

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


Among the legends in the dinghy park this week is John Bertrand (USA).
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."

Live racing

Follow the day on Twitter at or through the blog page here.

AP down

Fleet is being sent out. No one is exactly sure what the wind will do. Forecasts include everything from 8 to 35 knots, but at the moment it is 10-14 knots from the north east.


We have a range of videos to show some time, but a few technical issues to solve first. When this is done they will all be upoaded to The Finn Channel at

Friday gallery

AP over 2... flying at the club. Conditions have slightly improved though the wind is now doing pirouettes at out sea. However it is now expected to stabilise later.


Even getting to the club was a challenge this morning. Heavy rain, ferocious winds, thunder and lightning, poor visibility...and it's supposed to get worse later.

Juniors so far

In the juniors, two 28th places Friday leaves defending champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) in 21st overall, 46 points ahead of Luke Lawrence in 34th. Third place is Caleb Paine in 38th place.

Finns return in darkness after two late races

Split's city lights were coming on as sailors returned home after day four
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
Trujillo (ESP)

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
beat him"

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
Arapov (CRO).

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 water.

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

Summary - Friday

After launching at 13.00, the fleet waited for 4 hours before the southerly wind kicked in and two great races were sailed in 10-14 knots with wins to Daniel Birgmark (SWE) and Rafa Trujillo (ESP). The fleet sailed home to the lights of Split and arrived back in near darkness, but at least we now have a championship. Full report to follow.

AP down

We are going racing. Still very hot and sunny with a light breeze in place. Follow the day on Twitter at or through the blog here.

Trophy from 1978

In the boat shed, a trophy of times past hangs high up on the wall as a reminder of former glories. This is Minski Fabris's Lanaverre Finn in which he won the 1978 European Championship In Marstrand, Sweden. Fabris also won the opening race the last time the Finn Europeans was held in Split, 1997, beating the eventual championship winner Luca Devoti across the finish line.

AP up

Fleet held on shore.

Usual story...

Not much wind again, but very hot and thunderstorms about earlier. Local knowledge says Hugo wind will kick in later, but chances are there will be no racing until then. One forecast for tomorrow is very windy, so we need to get races in today to try and make it a championship.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Photo gallery - Thursday

150 new pics uploaded

Better weather ahead?

Everyone is hoping that the clearer skies and lack of haze on the hills may
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

Top 10 after two races

1 NOR 1 Peer Moberg 15
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

Rising stars

Two young sailors here, Caleb Paine (USA) and Luke Lawrence (USA) are both
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 " 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

Lobert wins only race on third day at Finn Europeans

Split spat everything at the sailors on Thursday at the Finn European
Championship, except enough wind to complete more than one race. Jonathan
Lobert (FRA) won the only race sailed to bring the total tally of races
sailed to just two after three days.

Racing was postponed on shore again as first the wind died and then the rain
came. That cleared and the sun came out and everything began to heat up. At
about 13.00 the race officer sent the fleet out in hardly any wind, but by
the time race two was started at 14.45, a stable 6-7 knot breeze was in. The
course was laid to the north of the club alongside some stunning scenery and
for the first time this week, the cloud lifted to the hills behind Split to
leave a spectacular backdrop to the racing.

The line was pin end biased and the right side of the course was favoured.
Rafa Trujillo (ESP) started at the pin and rounded the top mark in the lead
ahead of Marin Misura (CRO), Alexiy Sivenkov (RUS), Peer Moberg (NOR) and

Lobert takes up his story. "I had a good start at the pin end so then I was
on the left hand side of the fleet. I tacked and kept going to the right and
rounded about fifth or sixth and then I had a very good downwind. I was
catching the waves nicely and managed to gain a bit of distance, but I
rounded the wrong gate mark and Marin was leading again." Trujillo had been
yellow flagged at the top mark and trailed in about 10th place

Lobert continued, "On the last downwind Marin and I had a big fight together
and he got a yellow flag, but then he kept coming back at me and got close
to me and we were just gybing for the finish when his sail caught my boom,
so he did more turns and I won the race. I was a little bit lucky to win."

Misura finished second followed by the defending champion Ivan Kljakovic
Gaspic (CRO), Daniel Birgmark (SWE) and Alejandro Muscat (ESP).

Misura said, "For me it was easy. I had a good start. Then I went all the
way right and rounded the top mark in second. I was leading all the way
after that but I got a penalty just before the finish, but I still managed
to finish second."

The start of race three was attempted almost straight away, but it took
three sequences before the fleet got away under black flag. This time the
left side paid off with more pressure as the wind started to drop across the
course. Mark Andrews (GBR) led the fleet round the top mark, but it was
short lived as the race was abandoned 10 minutes later as the wind failed
and lots of boats who had over stood the windward mark struggled to get back
against the current. Gasper Vincec (SLO), who had rounded second, had waited
all day to sail as he had to sit out race two after picking up a black flag
yesterday. So it was a long day for some and only one more race on the

Thursday summary

Another day of only one race. After waiting all morning for wind to build the fleet got in one nice race in 7-8 knots and brilliant sunshine. Won by Jonathan Lobert (FRA) from Marin Misura (CR)O and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO). A second race was started, but at the top mark the wind was so light boats overstanding could not get back to the mark against the current. It was abandoned shortly after and the fleet sent home.
Three days down. Two races sailed. Two days to go.

Going afloat

Boats are launching for a possible start soon...

Weather update

Rain has stopped, sun is out and it's getting hot. Still no wind yet, but talk of new breeze coming soon, so may be starting shortly. Stay tuned..

Not looking good

Low cloud, light rain and no wind.

AP up. Fleet held on shore

here we go again...

Photo gallery - Wednesday

200 photos uploaded to Picasa gallery from Wednesday

Thursday morning in Split

It's a bit colder than yesterday with a fresh north-easterly in place and lots of cloud. Perhaps we may get some racing in today...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Long day afloat for just one race at Finn Europeans

Despite attempts to get the racing back on track, the Finn Open Senior and
Junior Europeans Championships was again saddled with uncooperative and
unusual weather conditions with the wind playing games with the race officer
and the sailors all day. More than 10 starts were attempted, two races were
abandoned, and one race stood, with the win going to Finn newcomer Mate
Arapov (CRO) from Split.

In the first start in 12-15 knots, Rafa Trujillo (ESP) led from the middle
right on the first upwind to build a commanding lead downwind. Then the wind
shifted 130 degrees and switched off.

More than an hour later another start was attempted in a very shifty and
patchy northerly breeze. There was a big left shift half way up with Arapov
rounding the top mark ahead of Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Trujillo, Deniss
Karpak (EST), Peer Moberg (NOR) and Vasiliy Zbogar (SLO).

Arapov said, "The first race was very nice for me. I got a good start right
on the pin and I made a good decision on the middle half of the first
upwind. The left side was good and I rounded the first mark in the lead. On
the first downwind I didn't lose my advantage and I chose the right gate
which gained me 50 metres and then during the second upwind I was just
covered the fleet."

"The last downwind was difficult. The wind was stopping and everyone caught
me up from behind. But I chose the right side downwind where there more more
breeze. Rafa put me under pressure at the end of the second upwind but he
went on the left side downwind and lost out a bit."

Arapov was followed over the finish line by Moberg, Karpak, Allansson and
Zbogar. Ed Wright (GBR) had moved up to third, but a yellow flag in the
final 100 metres dropped him to 10th.

Arapov is new to the Finn. "I sailed Split Olympic Week this year and was
second, and have maybe sailed 20 times since." He sailed in the Sydney and
Athens Olympics in the Laser and is now beginning a Star campaign for
London, but said, "The Finn is nice. I am now 92 kg so it's good for me. I
have bought a boat, but we will see."

After another hour wait for the wind to stabilise, race two got away at the
third attempt but the massive pressure variation on the first beat was a
hint of things to come, and it was finally abandoned at the end of the first
downwind while Rafal Szukiel (POL) and Ivan Kjlakovic Gaspic (CRO) were well
ahead of the chasing pack.

Trujillo said, "It was a very difficult day for the race committee and the
sailors. We went out with a nice Sirocco, the typical wind from the east,
and the day looks easy. Perfect Finn conditions. And then the wind died. In
the second race there were really difficult conditions, shifty and big
pressure difference. I was happy with seventh place, even though I was
second for most of the race. Any top ten place here is good."

"In the last race I know the race committee needed to push to get the race
in while there was wind, but it was turning into a 'carnival' race. Full
credit to the race officer though he tried to make a good race, but in the
end he had to cancel. That's the game."

"In the end it is not important how many races we have, what is important is
getting in good races. This is the second most important regatta of the year
for us."

Was he happy with his speed. "I don't know. With 20 degree shifts, if you
take the right shift you look fast, if you take the wrong shift you look
slow. In the last race I was super slow! Trujillo is one of those counting
his good fortune. Many favourites were buried mid fleet or worse after the
first upwind.

Catch up

Three races per day are planned for the next three days, starting each day at 11.00.
Back tomorrow.
Thanks for looking

Top 10 after one race

1 CRO 2 Mate Arapov
2 NOR 1 Peer Moberg
3 EST 2 Deniss Karpak
4 SWE 6 Bjorn Allansson
5 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar
6 GBR 41 Giles Scott
7 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo
8 FRA 115 Thomas Le Breton
9 NZL 1 Dan Slater
10 GBR 11 Edward Wright

Results so far at:

Junior initiative

The profusion of young sailors here in Split is obvious to all. Several
nations are fielding strong Junior squads hoping to take home the 2010
Junior European title.

The ten strong team from Germany includes four members of the Finn Team
Germany initiative, three of which are juniors who are all attending their
first major Finn championship. All three are around 1.9 metres high and
weigh around 85-89kg.

19 year old Julian Massler (GER) is arguably the most experienced of the
three, having placed 10th in last year's Junior World Championship.

"This is my tenth month in the Finn and my first major championship. I was
doing the Laser but not much time for sailing with exams and school. I also
lived in the south of Germany, so I moved to Kiel to go sailing and also to
switch to the Finn as I am now too big for the Laser."

The other two are Lennart Luttkus (GER), who is just 17, and Christoph Froh
(GER) who started in the Finn in February 2009. All have grown too big for
other classes, so the Finn was the ideal choice.

Finn Team Germany was established in 2006 to provide equipment and coaching
support for promising young sailors with the aim of bringing them up to the
level necessary to receive support from the German Sailing Federation

The team is managed by three time Masters World Champion Andre Budzien (GER)
who is also competing here, and coached by double Finn Olympic Michael

How would Budzien rate the success of the project so far? "It gets better
and better. Not the way we planned but we'll see after this week, hopefully
we will have some good results in the Junior Championship and the rest we
will see."

Massler, who finished 53rd in today's only race continued, "The Finn Team
German is a good thing to be involved in for me. We get a new sail every
year, we exchange information within the team and we talk about our
experiences. We all live a long way from each other, sometimes it's a
problem, but when we come together there's a good team spirit."

"I am enjoying it a lot. Sailing a Finn is more like sailing a boat and you
can learn so much more from all the good guys. Even when I am the back of
the fleet I am always learning something."

The leading Junior is last year's champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) in 24th,
with Luke Lawrence (USA) in 39th and Artur Ponieczyski (POL) in 42nd.

Talking point

The first (abandoned) race raised some interesting points about unlimited
pumping, which several sailors and coaches discussed with the jury on the
water after the abandonment. When Oscar flag is up and the race committee
permits pumping, rocking and ooching (except on a beat to windward) and the
wind shifts....., at what point do you have to stop pumping?

The answer from the jury is that when the wind shifts so that the boat's
proper course to the mark is close-hauled, the boats will be 'on a beat to
windward' and the regular rule 42 applies. Until the judges are certain that
the boats are on a beat to windward, they will allow pumping while Oscar is

In the same way, when boats are sailing on a beat to windward and have
overstood so that they are sailing free to the mark - they will no longer be
'on a beat to windward'. It is worth noting though that until the judges are
certain that the boat's proper course to the mark is below close-hauled,
they will continue to consider that pumping breaks rule 42.

Full report and pics to follow


Up and down day

Eight hours on the water for just one race. The wind went in circles while the race committee did its best to set a fair course. The wind earlier in the day was very promising but petered out half way through race one after Rafa TRujillo (ESP) had built a commanding lead. The next start in the opposite dorection was shifty and tricky but managed to be completed with class novice Mate Arapov (CRO) winning from Peer Moberg (NOR) and Deniss Karpak (EST). After an hour wait for the wind to stabilise race two got away at the third attempt but the massive pressive variation on the first beat was a hint of things to come, and it was fially abandoned at the end of the first downwind while Rafal Szukiel (POL) and Ivan Kjlakovic Gaspic (CRO) were well ahead of the chasing pack.
Two days down - one race on the board...

Finn sailors going afloat



Forecast for the day is south-easterly 7-18, with 22-25 knots in places...

Wednesday morning

There is wind, sunshine and lots of Finn sailors getting ready for
three tough races. An overnight strom has cleared the air with a brisk
southerly in place. At 9 am conditions look perfect. Follow the racing
live on Twitter at

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


...internet problems caused the delay in this report...normal service
will hopefully be resumed tomorrow.

Thanks for looking


Windless Split

Situation normal – covers stay on

It was situation normal at the Finn European Championship in Split,
Croatia. For the fourth time in a row at a major Finn event this year,
the first day has been lost with the fleet held on shore.

Once again the sailors whiled away the day sat on shore watching the
weather, and finding ways to entertain themselves as the rain pattered
down and later observing the stillness of the Adriatic as the ships
arrived and departed. When the rain finally stopped the wind filled
in, but within 30 minutes it had all but gone. Predictions were
plentiful, but the result was always going to be the same. One day
down, no races counted.

The 2010 Finn Europeans had attracted the largest ever entry. After
measurement and registration was completed, 97 entries were recorded
from 26 nations including 25 juniors, accounting for roughly a quarter
of the fleet.

An encouraging number of sailors are new to the fleet with lots of new
juniors here for the first time, some only 16 years old but already
towering over many 25 year old sailors. In fact the average age of
sailors here is just 28, with 40 per cent of the fleet under the age
of 23.

Three races are scheduled for Wednesday starting an hour earlier at
11.00. Everyone is hoping the weather will be kinder tomorrow.

Image gallery

Image gallery uploaded to

First race postponed

AP up. Raining and very lttle wind. Sailors held on shore.

Good morning from Split

Day one of the 2010 Finn Open Senior and Junior European Championship in Split, Croatia.
First race is scheduled to start at 12.00 local time. Current weather is cloudy, drizzle and about 10 knots. Follow the racing live (hopefully) on the Finn class Twitter feed at Photos and videos of the racing will appear here later.

Opening ceremony


Practice race

Not many did the practice race but the conditions were just perfect. 12-15 knots, sunny skies and nice waves.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Final preparations

The sun is back and there is lots of activity in the boatpark. Measurement is going smoothly with no major problems. However the wind is again very light and patchy. Measurement concludes midday Monday with the competitor briefing and practice race to follow.