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21 August 2007, 10:32 am
Finn Junior World Championship 2007
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Action from Moscow

LASHUK Leads After First Day In Moscow
Moscow, Russia

The Finn Junior World Championship got off to a great start with Konstantin LASHUK (BLR) leading after two good races on Klyazminskoe Lake just outside Moscow.
In the 50 boat fleet, the current Junior European champion Michal STRUSINKI (POL) won the opening race, although it is LASHUK who is leading overnight with 5,4 scores today. The other race win went to Tomasz KOSMICKI (POL).

The first race started in good wind conditions and direction which allowed the course to be set with long upwind and downwind legs. The wind was just strong enough for hiking at times, but by the middle of the race it decreased slightly. The wind shifts proved quite difficult and placed the emphasis on correct positioning. Someone who got it right was the current Junior European Champion STRUSINKI. After a good start he went left on the first upwind, which paid off when a shift and stronger wind came from the left. He managed to stay in the lead all the way to the finish. Henry BAGNALL (GBR) was second for the first half of the race, but was the overtaken by Egor LARIONOV (RUS) and they stayed in the same positions to the finish.

For the second race, the left side did not have such an obvious advantage. The race committee had two attempts to start because of the straggle at the start and a light wind. LARIONOV was penalized at the start, and ended up 19th. LASHUK lead round the first mark and kept this position until almost the end of the race. For two laps he was fighting with Nikolay CHERNICOV (RUS) who was fourth at first mark and displayed very good tactics during the rest of the race. On the final downwind leg CHERNICOV had moved up to first, but just before the finish the wind went very light and three boats passed them. The winner was KOSMICKI, followed by Piotr KULA (POL) and Jan KURFELD (GER).

Overnight leader, LASHUK said, 'The first race was sailed in quite tough wind conditions. The wind speed was changing very often and also suddenly. The competition was making everybody very nervous since a good position during the race did not guarantee you the same place at the finish. The downwind legs gave us more surprises than tacking upwind. Sometimes the wind was coming up from behind and bringing the boats at the back very close to you. That made the competition very tough. In the second race the wind was more stable in strength, but still with many unpredictable shifts. The main issue in that race was to be the correct side of the shift so you didn't lose too much distance. The downwind course gave the same surprises as first race, so this day has made us sweat and be very nervous!'

Racing continues in Moscow on Tuesday.

Robert Deaves (As Amended By ISAF)
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