Finn move ahead

Jon Amtrup reports on the 5.5mR class' Scandinavian Gold Cup on Sydney Harbour

Monday January 3rd 2005, Author: Jon Amtrup, Location: Australasia
The 5.5mR class has gathered in sunny Sydney and first regatta out is the fight for the Scandinavian Gold Cup.

The first race was held Sunday in very shifty conditions. "We were lucky," commented Finnish sailor Johan Gulichsen once he was back on the hard.

Gulichsen headed up the right hand side of the course on the first beat and where among the first boats round the top mark. The Finns went for the same side on the downwind leg and it paid off big time. The light breeze shifted at times up to 40 degrees and this combined with the current off downtown Sydney it was hard even for the locals to choose the best course.

Lucky or not, the Finns where also among the top boats in the local regattas between Christmas and the incredible fireworks display on New Years Eve here in Sydney. Today they finished almost a whole run ahead of the Netherland's Hans Nadorp holding second.

The Scandinavian Gold Cup is a competition among nations in the 5.5mR class and eight boats are competing on this occasion. Norwegian Kristian Nergaard won the Faberge designed trophy last year. Only the winners of the first three races continue racing and the first boat with three victories is the winner.

The Scandinavian Gold Cup is a prelude to the World Championship in the class, starting on 6 January. A clear favourite for this is Alinghi boss Jochen Schumann who is racing in Artemis XII. 25 boats will be on the start line off the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron scenic clubhouse.

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