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28 September 2001, 11:49 am
British Finn Junior Sailors Rise to the Top
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Cumbley Rounds Ahead

Finn Gold Cup
Marblehead

After winning yesterday last race, young British sailor Charlie Cumbley took the lead of the 2001 Finn Gold Cup after placing 2nd and 8th in today's races. Team mate Chris Brittle is placed 3rd overall.
20 year old Cumbley is on equal points with Belgium Sebastien Godefroid overall, while team mate Chris Brittle is close behind in 3rd overall. The 2 Juniors train regularly with coach David Howlett and the Finn British team.

Today's race winners are US Finn President, Geoff Ewenson who was acclaimed across the finishing line by cheerful supporters and Canadian Master sailor, Larry "the legend" Lemieux.

Sailing was extremely difficult today. The sea was flat but the wind evolved from 2 to 6 knots, with lots of shifts and very localised pressure. The current played a big role as well. "What was hard out there" explained Mateusz Kusznierewicz "was to be able to anticipate the shifts. There were no obvious signs." The very light wind didn't provide many chances either to make up for early bad choices.

Like yesterday, the shifts seemed to be favouring the left side on the first beat and the right on the second. Those who didn't follow this pattern, had no chance of coming back!

Race 3 was started after one general recall. After a pin end favoured start, Geoff Ewenson took the left side option to round the top mark in first position, closely followed by Andrew Simpson (GBR), Soren Holm (DEN), Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE), Greg Skidmore (USA) and Charlie Cumbley (GBR). While Geoff was sailing into a bigger lead to comfortably win the race, other positions were slightly upset on the run, where the fleet spread out to find more air. With more pressure coming from the right side of the course, places were gained and lost. Danish sailor, Soren Holm, second at the second windward mark lost 8 places on the last run while Larry Lemieux realised major gains.

Across the finish line, Geoff took the gun with a one minute lead over Charlie Cumbley and Martijn van Muyden (NED). 2000 US Finn Olympian, Russ Silvestri finished in 4th place ahead of Larry Lemieux.

The second race started after a short postponement due to a major shift. Canadian "Rookie" Chris Cook, took the lead after hitting the left side. He was closely followed by British Junior sailor, Chris Brittle, Russ Silvestri. Akif Muslubas, from Turkey and Larry Lemieux.

Chris Cook, remained in front until the second beat when Larry Lemieux passed him. "I was between the centre of the course and the right. I knew the right side was favoured but I didn't want to play safe so I tried to control both sides. Larry went further to the right and gained enough ground to pass me." Chris finished the race in second position. An outstanding result considering he just took up sailing the Finn last winter. He has been training with team mate and Junior sailor Matt Johnson with the help and guidance of Mike Milner from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Larry, who raced in the '84 and '88 Olympic Games, has all the experience required to perform at a high level. His small weight (85 kgs), compared to the rest of the fleet, gives him a good advantage in light air races. After scoring a 5th and winning today's last race, Larry is now placed 5th position overall.

The top 5 sailors after 4 races show the diversity in the Finn class. Charlie Cumbley, first overall, and team mate Chris Brittle, in third, are both Juniors. Sebastien Godefroid in second place won an Olympic Silver medal in 1996. Mateusz Kusznierewicz in fourth place has an Olympic Gold medal and two World Championships, while Larry "The Legend" Lemieux is 20 kilos lighter than his competitors and 25 years older than the regatta leader.

Results:

1 GBR 15 CUMBLEY, Charlie 18 1 2 8 29.0 pts
2 BEL 7 GODEFROID, Sebastien 2 3 10 14 29.0 pts
3 GBR 541 BRITTLE, Chris 3 14 14 3 34.0 pts
4 POL 17 KUSZNIEREWICZ, Mateusz 17 6 8 10 41.0 pts
5 CAN 1 LEMIEUX, Larry 7 30 5 1 43.0 pts
6 CAN 41 COOK, Chris 13 21 7 2 43.0 pts
7 GRE 6 PAPATHANASIOU, Emilios 1 10 6 34 51.0 pts
8 FRA 11 DEPLANQUE, Mathieu 6 5 11 29 51.0 pts
9 NZL 27 WEBB, Clifton 9 25 16 11 61.0 pts
10 USA 1170 EWENSON, Geoff 19 36 1 7 63.0 pts

Corrinne McKenzie/News Editor
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