Light Winds for US Olympic Selection at Finn Europeans
Published on March 10th, 2016
Barcelona, Spain (March 10, 2016) – The Open Finn European Championships stalled on the fourth day with no more races on the board despite spending four hours on the water trying. With two days to go and a maximum of four fleet races and the medal race to go Josh Junior (NZL) leads from Zsombor Berecz (HUN) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) in the 90 boat fleet.
The fleet was held onshore for two hours before being sent out in what looked like a promising breeze. Three attempts at a start were made, with five boats receiving a black flag penalty before the wind flipped 90 degrees and new breeze tried to fill in.
At moments it looked quite nice but it never stabilised for long enough to keep the PRO happy enough to send the fleet away. After two hours of waiting, in what was now a huge swell going up the course, he sent the fleet ashore.
With the championship now three races behind schedule, a maximum of three can be sailed Friday, followed by the final fleet race and the medal race on Saturday, March 12. The forecast is for more light winds, but each day here has been different so the sailors are hopeful the wind will finally show up.
Those who like the adage, ‘It is never normally like this here’ can take comfort from the fact that some locals are saying this is the worst week of wind that Barcelona has experienced since September last year.
One more race is required to bring in the discard, which will give American Caleb Paine new life in the event. Paine needs to beat teammate Zach Railey to earn the US selection for the 2016 Olympics, but he currently sits in 21st place behind Railey in 12th. With a discard now, Paine jumps ahead of Railey by 13 points.
“We’ve definitely had some challenging racing,” said Paine. “I didn’t have a great first race, but after that it’s been fairly good. I’m just trying to keep executing the same process each day, and if the weather cooperates, to be ready to go when the time is right.”
Current Standings (Top 10 of 90; 4 races)
1 NZL 24 Josh Junior 20
2 HUN 40 Zsombor Berecz 29
3 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 43
4 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 49
5 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 51
6 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 55
7 CAN 18 Tom Ramshaw 60
8 NOR 1 Anders Pedersen 65
9 GBR 11 Ed Wright 66
10 DEN 2 Jonas Høgh-Christensen 73
USA Olympic Selection: This is the final event for USA which has a points-based system that uses the final finishing position in Sailing World Cup Miami and the Finn Europeans. After Miami, Zach Railey is one point ahead of Caleb Paine and nine points ahead of Luke Muller. Full details.
Report by Robert Deaves.