No wind, no play
It was never going to be the easiest of days to hold racing, and unsurprisingly the wind played tricks with the 69 boat Finn fleet at the European Championships in Scarlino, Italy for nearly four hours before the race officer called it a day with only the two races from Monday on the scoreboard.
The fleet was held ashore for an hour in the morning waiting for the wind to build as the day began still and overcast. Eventually a 8-10 knot breeze appeared from the southwest and the fleet was released about midday, with the sun trying to brea through, but never really succeeding. However soon after arriving in the course area, the breeze started to fade and then clocked round and back and after three hours looked like it was in for good from the west at 5-6 knots.
The first attempt at a start was abandoned with the whole fleet bunched at the pin and then the second attempt, with boats evenly spread along the line resulted in general recall. With reports from the top mark that the wind was down to 3-4 knots again, the race officer called it a day and sent the fleet home for an early tea.
Regatta leader Rafael Trujillo thought that the race team did their best, but in the end made the right decision. “I think it was a good decision. It was the right decision to send us on the water as it was 10 knots when we got to the course area. But it was really shifty going from 260 to 290 and back to 260 and I also think it was a good decision to send us back when he did, but I don't suppose everyone will agree with me!”
Current Junior world champion Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) is sailing his first major regatta, and is lying in 34th overall and fourth junior. He won the Silver Cup in Moscow last year at the age of 17, so still has many years as a junior in front of him. “This week is at a much higher level, but I think the Silver Cup was more difficult sailing. My goal for the week is first, of course, but realistically I came here to try and get top three in the juniors and win a medal, though I really want to be first. But I have had problems with the boat and with beating, and I don't have good speed. I am only 85 kg, so lighter than most of the others so I will probably go fast only if the wind stays light.”
The second placed junior so far is Dimitar Vangelov (BUL): “I came into the championship hoping for a medal in the juniors so I am happy with my results so far. I think I am capable of doing this.” He is being coached here by former Olympic Paul McKenzie, as he was in Perth, though he finished the world championship in last place. Hiowever the lighter winds here are playing to his strengths so far. In both races on Monday he rounded the top mark in 13th place, though dropped a few on the downwind legs. “I need to continue making good results.”
To try and catch up, three races are scheduled for Wednesday starting at 12.00. The forecast is for sunny conditions, with light winds again, but hopefully more stable. Fleet racing continues until Friday, with the medal race for the top 10 and the final race for the rest on Saturday 24 March.