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Finn U23 World Championship - Day 1

The British sailors, Henry Wetherell and Hector Simpson are second and third after the first day at the U23 Finn World Championship in Balatonfured.

Facundo Olezza, Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions to build a 13 point margin after three very tricky races were sailed.

Though the points are very close, the race wins on the opening day went to Olezza, Ondra Teply from Czech Republic and Arkadiy Kistanov from Russia.

The wind on Lake Balaton today was kind of what everyone expected. But it still surprised with its variability, ranging from 2-15 knots and shifting 40-90 degrees at times. Several times the sailors were seen doing straight line tacks.

Defending champion Phillip Kasüske, from Germany, started his defence in the best possible way by leading round the first mark.

However it was short lived with Olezza moving ahead downwind and controlling the fleet from the front to take the first race from Oskari Muhonen, from Finland, and Kasüske.

Teply made up for a capsize in the first race with a win in the second. He rounded the top mark in third behind Olezza and Simpson and the three extended on the fleet.

Olezza still led around the final windward mark after a mind numbingly shifty second beat, but then both Teply and Simpson sailed round him for the top three.

Facundo Olezza - Click image for a larger image

If Race 2 was tough, Race 3 was about to get even tougher.

With a huge split in the fleet on the first beat, the boats on the Tihany shore looked like they were pointing at the mark while on the opposite side Krzysztof Stromski was several hundred metres detached from the fleet.

When he finally tacked, he crossed back ahead of the entire fleet to round in first from Fionn Lyden, of Ireland, and Kistanov.

Oscar flag was raised at the top mark for the first time but predictably the wind died soon after and the fleet sailed the run in 2-3 knots with free pumping.

Kistanov took the lead at the gate and pulled away nicely as the wind came back in from the left, leaving those on the right stranded. He held his nerve to win the race making up for a UFD and a 30th in the first two races.

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Robert Deaves
22 August 2017 19:56 GMT


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