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27 August 2009, 09:34 am
Gaspic Holds Onto Top Place At Finn Europeans
The Finn fleet battle during Wednesday's racing
The Finn fleet battle during Wednesday's racing

AGB Finance Finn European Championship 2009
Varna, Bulgaria

After three races sailed in light to medium wind on the third day of the Finn European Championship in Varna, Bulgaria, Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic continues on his good form to conserve the event lead.
Races victories went to young Polish sailor Jakub Pasik, Ed Wright (GBR) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). However with all the top sailors scoring mixed results, the day's winner was surely Marin Misura (CRO) who scored his best results so far in the championship with a fifth and two thirds, bringing him into sixth position overall.

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) maintains the overall lead of the championship, four points from ISAF Sailing World Cup leader Wright and 13 from Tapio Nirkko (FIN).

Reflecting on his regatta so far, championship leader, Kljakovic Gaspic explains: "The first two days were good, but not so much today. Nothing worked for me in the first two races. I had trouble getting to the front. I was trying too much to make small gains, rather than looking at the bigger picture and plan for the race. The third race was more fun for me. I had a very good start and was fast upwind, so it made it easier to control the fleet. I was seventh at the top mark and made huge gains on the run taking over 150 meters on the guys in front, each time. I love sailing downwind when Oscar is up [free pumping flag]. I just focus on the waves and wind and forget about the rest. It is just pure pleasure!"

The winner of race four (the first of the day) was a real surprise. Pasik has moved to the Finn this year racing his first international regatta in the Junior World in Hungary last month where he finished 6th in a strong 50 boat fleet!

"I took a good start at the committee boat and crossed all the fleet to go up the left side. I was second at the top mark just behind Haris Papadopoulos [(CYP)]. I passed him on the run and could control the fleet until the finish!"

From 7 knots the wind slightly increased in the second race but was unstable in direction. Considered as the most difficult race of the day, Race five was won by World Cup leader Wright. After the fifth race today, Wright discards his OCS collected on the second day, to climb to second overall.

The wind strengthened for the third and last race of the day reaching 14 knots and allowing for free downwind pumping. Postma enjoyed these conditions taking the race in front of Croatians Gaspic and Misura.

"It was a great job from the racing committee to get these three races in today", says Postma. "I took an excellent start from the pin end, had the patience to look for the right shifts. It was hard work though. The runs were difficult, but I was able to put a safe distance on the fleet."

Tomas Vika (CZE) has taken the lead in the Junior division, in 24th position, seven points ahead of early leader Filippo Baldassari (ITA) 25th. Third place goes to Josip Olujic (CRO) 26th. Race four winner Pasik is only one point away from the podium in 27th overall on equal points with Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), who scored a seventh in the first race of the day.

After the daily debrief with coaches and sailors, race winners were presented with a trophy. The occasion was taken to celebrate the birthday of Nirkko who turned 25 Monday and Giorgio Poggi (ITA), 28 years old today!

Two races are scheduled for Thursday.

Results - click here

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
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