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29 August 2009, 06:45 pm
Kljakovic Gaspic Wins 2009 Finn Europeans
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia, the 2009 Finn European Champion

AGB Finance Finn European Championship 2009
Varna, Bulgaria

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia is the 2009 Finn European Champion with the Junior title going to Ioannis Mikelis of Greece at the conclusion of racing in Varna, Bulgaria.
Light and very instable wind on the last day of the 2009 Finn European Championship in Varna, forced the racing committee to cancel the Medal Race and the final race.

Leading the championship from day one, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) took his first major Finn title. The new European champion came into the event as a hot favourite. #1 in the ISAF World Rankings, Gaspic has climbed to the podium twice at ISAF Sailing World Cup events this year and took bronze at the Finn Gold Cup in Denmark last month. "I am of course very happy with my result. I know I had great speed and I was confident I could do well. To win this first major title means a lot for me."

He has faced strong competition this week, especially from Helsinki sailor Tapio Nirkko (FIN), who raced at his highest level this week, finishing in second overall. "I am very satisfied with my results, especially when my preparation was not great. It is a long drive from Finland to the Black sea! And I was sick for most of the week which didn't help!"

Ed Wright (GBR) who was among the pre-regatta favourites recovered from an OCS early in the regatta, to take the bronze.

Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) is the new Junior European Champion. At the age of 19, Mitakis has not only taken the Nikos Kouklelis trophy in a talented fleet of 22 juniors but has also sailed at high level among the seniors, finishing 21st overall! Tomas Vika (CZE) takes the silver medal and Jakub Pasik (POL) the Bronze. Vika had won the bronze last year and four years ago, it was Gaspic who was crowned European Champion!

All the sailors and officials have enjoyed Varna, racing on the Black sea and most of all the great hospitality from the organisers, club members and the Bulgarian Federation who provided a high standard regatta.

Results - click here

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
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