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16 July 2006, 09:07 am
The Bura Changes The Game!
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Finn Gold Cup 2006
Split, Croatia

The Bura, a Northerly unpredictable wind came on Saturday to add some excitement to the crucial penultimate race of the 2006 Finn Gold Cup. Renowned for being shifty and inconsistent the local wind from the mountain delayed racing until 1700 hours.
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The racing committee and the 99 Finn sailors were patiently waiting for the wind to gain in stability in order to start a race.

Sailors from Split had probably been waiting for the Bura all week and the results proved that the locals and their training partners made the most of this tricky wind. Nicknamed 'Bambi', Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC, current European and World Junior Champion, has mastered to win his first race in a World Championship climbing into tenth place overall. A best race also for Marin MISURA who finished ninth, and his brother Bartul achieved his best result with a 23. Slovenian Gasper VINCEC who has made Split his main training centre, placed a sixth.

Likely Gold Cup Medallists

Among the favourites for the title, Emilios PAPATHANASIOU took a third across the line and Ed WRIGHT seventh, both managing the difficult conditions well. They retain their overnight series standing while their direct opponents, Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN and Rafael TRUJILLO followed each other across the finish in 33 and 34 place! 'I would have had more chance playing lottery,' declared the regatta leader from Denmark.

The first beat was crucial, and unlike the other days it didn't pay to sail conservatively in the middle. Both sides gave better speed with more pressure. Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC was the first around the top mark. Tapio NIRKKO from Finland threatened the young Croatian on the run where they shared the lead but not for long. The 2 ex-Juniors stayed ahead of the fleet managing the shifts and the pressure. Emilios PAPATHANASIOU came up to third followed by Guillaume FLORENT from France in fourth and Alberto VADELL (ESP) in fifth.

Using this last race as their discard, Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN and Rafael TRUJILLO are only 5 points apart in the gold and silver positions overall. Emilios PAPATHANASIOU is not far behind, 3 points from the Spaniard. Ed WRIGHT who is the only one among the top 4 with no bad race result could also win the title.

Junior Fleet

Even if the leader has not changed in the junior division, Mark ANDREWS is now ranked in 32 overall across the entire fleet. The fight is on for third place between Andrew MILLS (GBR) and Krzysztof DABKOWSKI on equal points and Piotr KULA (POL) only 10 points behind.

Only one race is scheduled for the last day of the championship and with the Bura still in action, anything can happen!

While the sailors were resting and preparing for their last race in the Finn Gold Cup, event sponsor T. Mobile organised a reception on Saturday night for officials, politics and some clients in the ex-President General Tito's, Villa Dalmacija. Among the politicians supporting the event with logistic and funding was the Minister for Sport and Science, and the Vice-Mayor of thecity of Split, Ivan KURET, better known within the sailing community as a 470 sailor. The top quality of the organization of the event is due to the combined knowledge and resources put together by the Labud Yacht Club, their sponsor T. Mobile and the involvement of the city of Split and the Croatian Government, who believe in and recognize the benefits generated by the exposure that a sailing event provides.

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

Corinne MCKENZIE (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action in Split:© Finn Gold Cup
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