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17 July 2006, 08:29 am
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Finn Gold Cup 2006
Split, Croatia

Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) lived up to his World number one billing in Split, Croatia, winning the 50th ISAF Grade W Finn Gold Cup. A solid final race by the Dane saw him take the title, whilst his nearest rival Rafael TRUJILLO (ESP) suffered from a nightmare finish and dropped out of the medal places.
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HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN had to face some of the best sailors in a fierce competition where the smallest mistakes were paid dearly. In one of the most closely disputed Finn Gold Cups in years, 99 sailors from over 30 countries gathered on the same starting line. HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN's display of skills was impressive in a field of talented opponents and in varied conditions. He won by a small three point margin from Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE). The Greek won the last race with brio but his second victory in the Championship was not enough to overcome the number one in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.

WRIGHT Takes Bronze

The bronze medal goes to Edward WRIGHT (GBR), who completed a consistent regatta yesterday, scoring only top ten results. He finished in second position in the last race. WRIGHT has made rapid progression after stepping from the Laser to the Finn last year, shooting up into the top ten of the World Rankings after less than a year in the new class.

'I sailed pretty conservatively throughout the regatta, but I really wanted to go out and win the last race,' WRIGHT explained. 'I led at the first beat, but then Emilios passed me on the run and from there it became a bit of a fight to the finish, with him crossing just in front of me.'

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Denmark's new World
© Finn Gold Cup
Another former Laser star, Daniel BIRGMARK (SWE), moved up to fourth position after finishing seventh in the last race.

Olympic silver medallist TRUJILLO was probably the fastest sailor in the regatta. The early leader won three races in the series, but the Bura wind has been fatal for the Spaniard, who after collecting a 39th yesterday, missed the podium to step down to fifth overall. The opposite applied to Guillaume FLORENT (FRA), who, after a slow start into the championship, scored a fifth and two fourth places. He finished sixth overall, an impressive result for the Frenchman just after taking one year off.

ANDREWS Takes Junior Title

The best Croatian performance came from Saturday's race winner, Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC in eighth position. He will pass on the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup to the new Junior World Champion, Mark ANDREWS (GBR). Second Junior is Henry BAGNALL (GBR), also from Great Britain. The third position in the Junior division was tightly contest all week. After a very slow start into the Championship, Piotr KULA (POL) reached third place by bettering his team mates Krzysztof DABKOWSKI (POL) and Piotr MAZUR (POL) by a few points. KULA was satisfied with his results, despite collecting two disqualifications, he is placed 50th overall in his first major Finn regatta.

The International Finn Association is thankful to the Labud Yacht Club and the GRISOGONO brothers who have provided the Finn sailors with a great championship.

Top Ten Results

Pos Nation Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 DEN Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN 2 4 2 5 1 3 (33) 6 23
2 GRE Emilios PAPATHANASIOU 4 1 5 10 2 (DSQ) 3 1 26
3 GBR Edward WRIGHT 1 (10) 7 2 3 10 7 2 32
4 SWE Daniel BIRGMARK 11 6 3 8 15 4 (27) 7 54
5 ESP Rafael TRUJILLO 9 2 1 1 8 1 34 (38) 56
6 FRA Florent GUILLAME (19) 11 12 11 16 5 4 4 63
7 SWE Johan TILLANDER 12 5 13 6 7 14 (16) 12 69
8 CRO Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC 5 12 (OCS) 18 10 17 1 10 73
9 CAN Christopher COOK (21) 7 10 13 14 11 12 9 76
10 GBR Matt HOWARD 6 13 6 (68) 9 13 13 19 79

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

Corinne MCKENZIE/Lindsey BELL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, World Champion Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN:© Finn Gold Cup
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