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12 July 2006, 10:11 am
A Perfect Day
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Finn Gold Cup 2006
Split, Croatia

The 2006 ISAF Grade W Finn Gold Cup started in Split, Croatia on Tuesday 11 July with two good races thanks to fair wind and experienced racing management. Last year's runner up Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE) holds the early lead.
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As expected the competition was fierce with many sailors hoping to grab their chance to win the Finn Gold Cup in a championship dominated the last four years by Ben AINSLIE (GBR). His absence is opening the field and brings new hopes in a strong fleet of 99 sailors coming from 31 countries.

WRIGHT On Form Early On

Ed WRIGHT (GBR) took the first honours by winning convincingly the first race. After a clear start, the Brit increased his lead to 150 meters to the finish. Number one in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) placed second in front of Dan SLATER (NZL) and PAPATHANASIOU.

The wind increased to 18 knots for the second race and the racing committee hoisted the Oscar flag allowing free kinetics. Sharing the lead with Rafael TRUJILLO (ESP) during the whole race, PAPATHANASIOU tricked the Spaniard on the last run to win the race.

'I was lucky,' declared PAPATHANASIOU once ashore. 'My boat was damaged before the last race and I finished with four litres of water in the boat!' Athens silver medallist TRUJILLO took second place with +39 team mate Iain PERCY (GBR) in third.

America's Cup Presence

PERCY, now campaigning in the Star class, has been training hard in the Finn while in Valencia, Spain with +39 sailors. Anthony NOSSITER (AUS), Michael MAIER (CZE), Karlo KURET (CRO) and Piero ROMEO (ITA) are among the +39 sailors present in Split. When asked about his come back in a top Finn regatta after six years of absence, PERCY admits it is just for fun, 'I just wanted to come with the guys [from +39] and enjoy myself in the Finn again. But actually there is not one muscle in my body that's not hurting!'

Three British sailors are leading the Junior division with Mark ANDREWS in 26th position, leading his team mates Andrew MILLS and Henry BAGNALL by 41 and 44 points respectively, after placing 24th and 27th. The 16 Juniors in contention for the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup, are competing in the same fleet as the seniors and are representing nine countries.

The forecast is not too promising for the second day of sailing with light winds preceding a storm in the afternoon.

Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Name R1 R2 Pts
1 GRE Emilios PAPATHANASIOU 4 1 5
2 DEN Jonas CHRISTENSEN 2 4 6
3 GBR Iain PERCY 7 3 10
4 GBR Edward WRIGHT 1 10 11
5 ESP Rafael TRUJILLO JOAQUIN 9 2 11
6 NZL Daniel SLATER 3 8 11
7 SWE Johan TILLANDER 12 5 17
8 CRO Ivan KLJAKOVIĆ GAŠPIĆ 5 12 17
9 SWE Daniel BIRGMARK 11 6 17
10 GBR Matt HOWARD 6 13 19

For all the latest news from the Finn Gold Cup CLICK HERE.

Corinne MCKENZIE (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from day one:© Finn Gold Cup
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