Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Dan Slater leads race two of the Finn Gold Cup. Image copyright Vallensbæk Sailing Club.
by Jodie Bakewell-White
The 2009 Finn Gold Cup got underway last night in Denmark. Kiwi Dan Slater described it as a tough day, finishing 33rd in race one, then winning race two to sit 11th overall at this early stage in the week long World Championship.
“Conditions today were very shifty and 7-12 knots,” says Slater. “My first race started really well, but I was forced to tack away from the favoured right side in the early part of the first beat and never got a lane to get back to that side.” The New Zealand sailor crossed in 33rd place in the fleet of 89 boats.
“It wasn’t the ideal start to the regatta but I had some good guys round me in what was going to be a tricky day.”
Slater goes on to describe race two. “Between race one and two the breeze was shifting 20-25 degrees both left and right making it really hard to pick a side to start on. I decided on the committee boat end and had a really good start.”
“At about three quarters of the way up [the first beat] we started getting headed out on the right and for the first time I looked like being able to cross all except six or seven boats. I decided to take the shift and get back into the middle of the course as there were some dark clouds starting to roll over us. This proved to be a good move and by the top mark I rounded third.”
“As we went up the second beat I managed to get into the lead and had a battle with Daniel Birgmark from Sweden for the remainder of the race. The breeze built with a black cloud down the last run to maybe 18-20 knots and at the finish I crossed just three lengths ahead of Daniel to win race two of the regatta.”
“Overall it was a really tough day and everyone had a mixed bag of results so if I can get some consistent good results then things may work out well.”
At the top of the leader board after day one is Rafal Szukiel of Poland followed by Andrew Mills of Great Britain.
Dan Slater was New Zealand’s representative in the Finn class at the 2008 Olympic Games where he finished 12th. At last year’s Finn Gold Cup Slater won silver finishing behind Ben Ainslie (GBR) who went on to win Gold in China.
A further eight races are scheduled over the next four days in Denmark, with the final medal race to decide the world title, planned for next Saturday.
Finn Gold Cup 2009