Day of frustration

Sub-5 knot winds cause day two of the Pata Boats Finn Junior Worlds to be abandoned

Tuesday August 4th 2009, Author: Julia David, Location: United Kingdom
The water was nearly boiling in the tense moments at the starts on the second day of the Pata Boats Finn Junior World Championship on Lake Balaton in Hungary. Although a start was attempted three times, the young Finn sailors could not complete a valid race due to very light winds.

This most bothered Róbert Bakóczy (HUN) and Filippo Baldassari (ITA) having been in first and second round the top mark in the race that did get away before it was abandoned. Unfortunately, according to the rules, no race can be held in under 5 knots.

The second day of the championship began just like the first; with the sailors waiting on the shore. After two races Sunday, Jorge Zarif (BRA) was leading and was sailing with a yellow sticker on his sail, second Alican Kaynar (TUR) with blue and third was Róbert Bakóczy (HUN) with a red sticker.

Wind conditions improved during the day, so around noon, the fleet started to take to the water. The first race began in bright sunshine and around 4-6 knots of wind from the south. Almost half of the boats, keen to get sailing, were over resulting in a general. Eight boats were pulled out on the next start under the black flag. These included Kaynar, Yiannis Mitakis (GRE) and Ian Cook (USA).

On the third, successful start, the pin end buoy was very crowded, with sixth overall Andriy Gusenko (UKR), who first had to re-round the buoy again for touching it and, in addition, picked up a 720 degree turn for pumping.

After the start Bakóczy (HUN) sailed clear of the fleet, but Filippo Baldassari (ITA) and Zarif approached the first upwind mark close behind.
Afterwards, the wind dropped so much that the race committee had little choice but to abandon the race.

After this, sailors had to wait on shore again. In the afternoon, the wind increased a little in Füred bay, but it was still too calm for racing to take place and it was eventually abandoned for the day.

Reaching the shore, Bakóczy spoke of his disappointment: "Calling off the race is vexing me much. I was in a great position and I could have won my first race in the championship."

Baldassari shared his experiences during an international ping-pong match.
"I am absolutely new in the Finn fleet and I started only in February with this boat. Before that I sailed Laser. I do not really know anybody yet, and the local wind conditions here are very strange for me. I am used to much stronger winds. Although yesterday I made many mistakes, and I received a yellow flag punishment, I feel satisfied with my eighth position. My goal is to finish in the top ten."

Among Finn sailors, the Hungarian Finn boat constructor Gábor Antal, owner of Pata Boats and former Finn sailor, was very popular. Team leaders and sailors gathered around him and talked about all things Finn.

At the end of the day, the Finn Class party made all the disappointment go away. Here, beside a film show of photographs from the first racing days, sailors were entertained and fascinated by the bikini show of the finalists of the Királyno beauty contest.

Wind permitting racing continues on Tuesday. A series of nine opening races is scheduled, with the medal race and final race for the rest scheduled for Thursday 6th August.

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