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7 September 2007, 11:16 am
KURFIELD Keeps His Cool
Image of the Finns racing in Moscow
Action from Moscow

Finn Junior World Championship 2007
Moscow, Russia

The Finn Junior World Championships for the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup has concluded in Moscow with six more races held over three days in a range of conditions. Jan Kurfield (GER), one of the three German Finn sailors in Moscow as part of the Finn Foundation scheme moved into the lead after only placing once outside the top nine and maintained his concentration to take the title on the final race.
After two days of idle winds, the 2007 Finn Junior World Championship returned to the water on Friday for three great races in good winds. However the direction of wind was not along the lake, but a little bit across. Due to that the racing committee decided to put the course onto the Ostashkovo part of the lake - the most difficult and unpredictable part of the lake. The young sailors had a very tough time with the wind coming onto the course area from two places causing a wind divide across the course and all the sailors had to fight the wind as well as each other - sometimes there were 3-4 shifts in a matter of seconds.

In the first race of the day Frederico MELO (POR) and Marko KOLIC (ITA) made a good start and led through the whole race. Third place was a battle between Alexey SELIVANOV (RUS), Egor LARIONOV (RUS), Ilya STRAH (BLR) and Will KOWAN (CAN). Finally LARIONOV came third followed by Will KOWAN and Alexey SELIVANOV.

From the start of the next race it was looking like KOLIC had found the secret of the place, leading round the first mark. He was joined at the front by Michal STRUSINSKI (POL), Jan KURFELD (GER), Henry BAGNALL (GBR), STRAH and Sergey KOMISSAROV (RUS). They were in quite a tight group with some other boats. The main surprise occurred on the final upwind. KOMISSAROV, who was sixth at last mark, moved ahead just before the finish, but Jan KURFELD passed him in the final few metres to take the gun, while STRUSINSKI dropped seven places to finish 12th. BAGNALL scored another third.

The third race of the day was lucky for Peter Kula. He made a good start, and led all the way. The main battle took place behind him between STRUSINSKI and Tomasz KOSMICKI (POL), Nickolay CHERNIKOV (RUS), STRAH, KOMISSAROV and Konstantin BESPUTIN (RUS). With constant position changes it was anyone's game, and on the last downwind mark STRUSINSKI and BESPUTIN came together fighting for second position. Both took the lead at times, but BESPUTIN took got the best of the wind at the finish to take second behind KULA and ahead of STRUSINSKI

After racing, Piotr KULA, who won the last race of the day said, 'It was quite lucky or normal day for me. In first race I was not lucky on the upwinds, I missed a few good shifts, but in spite of this I finished 11th. In the next race I finished 7th. Actually I should have been 4th, but 3-4 passed me on the line. In the last race after the start I was quite sure that wind was more coming from the left. I was leading from the first mark. I used all opportunities which the conditions gave to me. After six races I am in third position. That is good; it keeps me in the front of the fleet.'

After six races the situation at the top had changed. Jan KURFELD (GER) took the overall lead, but there were four very strong competitors right behind him.

Tricky Winds on Penultimate Day

The day started with good winds, but then disappeared so only one race could be sailed. The start of the race was difficult because the left side of the start line had less wind than the right side, but the left side of the course was favoured, so during first upwind the sailors had to balance between advantages from the left side due to the shift and lack of wind due to the forest.

BAGNALL, BESPUTIN and LASHUK had a good lead at the top mark, but just before downwind mark a new wind brought the boats behind back in contention. Rodesta LORENZO (ITA) took the lead, followed by LASHUK and BESPUTIN. At the last downwind mark BESPUTIN was first, Lorenzo second and KOMISSAROV had moved up to third. KOMISSAROV quite easily passed Lorenzo and went on to win the race from KOMISSAROV and LASHUK.

The regatta leader KURFELD placed fifth, so managed to keep the overnight lead. However KOMISSAROV was now very close - just two points - and moved up to second overall.

KURFIELD Takes Title In Style

On day seven of the regatta the weather finally decided to give the organisers and participants a break with a solid wind up to 12 knots. KURFELD and KULA managed to overcome the pressure better than the others to finished first and second overall. It was quite difficult day for KOMISSAROV because he was not as strong in the increased wind as the German and Polish sailors. At the same time he was protested in both races of the day, and that made him nervous. STRAH had real chance to finish third, but last race was also unlucky for him. But nevertheless another Russian sailor Alexey SELIVANOV (RUS) displayed very good speed and won the first race of the day to set up a final race showdown between KURFELD, KULA and KOMISSAROV.

STRUSINSKI took an early lead, while KURFELD moved up to second. During the last upwind KURFELD managed to pass STRUSINSKI won his second race of the championship to take the title in fine style. BAGNALL placed third just behind STRUINSKI.

So after light winds plagued the opening races of the series, nine races were finally completed with a worthy winner in the shape of Jan KURFELD (GER). The 2006 bronze medalist Piotr KULA (Poland) won the silver, while Sergey KOMISSAROV (RUS) managed to cling onto third despite being disqualified from the final race.

Robert Deaves (As Amended By ISAF)
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